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West Kildonan Library nominated for historical status

The West Kildonan Library is seen on May 9, 2022. (CTV News Photo Scott Andersson) The West Kildonan Library is seen on May 9, 2022. (CTV News Photo Scott Andersson)
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The West Kildonan Library has officially been nominated for historical status.

Winnipeg's property and development, heritage and downtown development (PP&D) voted on the motion Monday night, and it was carried.

The city's historical buildings and resources committee will now have 180 days to report on the building's historical features and architectural merit. The committee emphasized the ruling will protect the architectural integrity of the building, but not the function of it.

A group representing community leaders from across northwest Winnipeg had been pushing the committee to request that West Kildonan Library be nominated for historical status.

In a Monday news release, the Friends of West Kildonan Library Coalition said its request comes two weeks after the Lord Selkirk – West Kildonan community committee endorsed a motion to have the site considered for historical status.

“This is a motion which has seen endorsement not only from our Coalition and community members, but also Heritage Winnipeg, multiple architectural stakeholders, and all City Councillors in northwest Winnipeg,” said Daniel Guenther, co-chair of the coalition, in a news release.

“We implore PP&D to respect the wishes of our community by ensuring this motion is approved at today's meeting.”

According to the coalition, if the property and development committee passes the motion, the department’s director along with the city’s historical buildings and resources committee will have 180 days to report on the building’s historical features and architectural merit.

The board of directors of the Friends of West Kildonan Library Coalition voted last week to support the motion. The group now calling on the city to ensure it passes without delay.

“It’s critical that this motion be passed immediately to ensure the City has enough time to report back on the building’s architectural merit,” said Evan Krosney, co-chair of the coalition.

“Just like the St. John’s, Cornish and St. Vital libraries—all of which have seen beautiful renovations and redevelopment over the past few years—West Kildonan deserves no less and should be recognized for its storied history.”

This motion comes after the city considered moving the library into the Garden City Shopping Centre earlier in the year. This proposal prompted rallies and pushback from residents, with the city ultimately deciding not to move the West Kildonan Library into the mall.

-with files from CTV's Kimberly Wertman

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