As reported on CBC News, it would be a challenge to squeeze a pencil in the gap between the buildings at 310 and 312 Ross Avenue in the Exchange District — the space is that tiny.
Yet both buildings have separate titles and both properties are being reviewed for their status by the city of Winnipeg’s historical buildings and resources committee.
The two property owners have similar views on preserving buildings in the exchange, but differ on accepting heritage status.
The committee will look at five downtown Winnipeg buildings this week and their owners are not all on board with the possibility of having their properties listed as a historical resource.
The two buildings on Ross are joined on the review list by the McLaren Hotel on Main street, the Cockshutt Plow Company building on Princess Street and the Winnipeg Hydro showroom, also on Princess Street.
The committee, made up of councillors, architects, engineers and representatives from other levels of government, will review conditions to maintain and preserve the five buildings and send their recommendations to the property and planning committee and ultimately to city council to be voted on.
Architect Wins Bridgman represents the Toronto owner of the 310 Ross Avenue property, known as the Leadley building. His clients welcome a heritage designation, but they also want some flexibility in what that means.
“It is not a fight between heritage and developers. It is trying to work through something where there is a balance,” Bridgman said.
In the case of the Leadley building, the owners have plans for offices on the upper floors and a restaurant on street level. But those plans mean some alterations to the property.