The Côte-de-Gaspé is interested in the economic potential of its built heritage

La Côte-de-Gaspé s’intéresse au potentiel économique de son patrimoine bâti

La Côte-de-Gaspé s’intéresse au potentiel économique de son patrimoine bâti

The MRC of la Côte-de-Gaspé introduces an approach to having a pre-inventory of the built heritage of its territory.

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June 28, 2020 15h27

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The Côte-de-Gaspé is interested in the economic potential of its built heritage

La Côte-de-Gaspé s’intéresse au potentiel économique de son patrimoine bâti

La Côte-de-Gaspé s’intéresse au potentiel économique de son patrimoine bâti

Simon Carmichael

Initiative of journalism-local – The Sun

While its most recent data date back almost 25 years, the MRC of la Côte-de-Gaspé will be conducting a pre-inventory of the built heritage of its territory in the course of the next few weeks. With this update its knowledge, the MRC hopes to raise awareness in the population and exploit the economic potential of these relics of the past.

A few weeks after the tabling of a damning report of the Auditor general of Québec (VGQ) denouncing a “lack of leadership” at the ministry of Culture in the folder of the heritage, the MRC of la Côte-de-Gaspé introduces an approach to having a pre-inventory of the built heritage of its territory. The officer of rural development, cultural and communication to the MRC of la Côte-de-Gaspé, Julie Pineault, mentions, however, that these two events are not related. “Our approach was well underway prior to the filing of the report,” she says. However, this last only served to confirm the relevance of our project.”

This new information will allow the RCN to raise the awareness of owners of heritage buildings, but also inform the population about their history and value.

“Everyone thinks that when it is heritage, it is expensive. We often forget the history and the historical value, but also tourist of these buildings-here,” explains Ms. Pineault. “In the medium term, we would like to set up a circuit with our heritage buildings. It is necessary to begin to see these witnesses of history as the development potential, not only as spending”, she adds. It recalls, moreover, that if the municipalities are often blamed for their lack of planning with regard to their heritage buildings, the majority of these belong to individuals.

Data going back 25 years

Over the next few days, members of the consulting firm heritage PatriArch will run on the lands of private owners to carry out surveys outside and take photos of the buildings. The firm will be made by the following list of heritage buildings and a list of recommendations for their preservation. The latest figures from the RCN were harvested at the end of the 90s, when the Gaspésie was with a master plan of the heritage. “Unfortunately, we expect some loss of buildings that were interesting, 25 years ago, but due to lack of maintenance, are not any more,” explains Ms. Pineault.

A pre-inventory contains only some of the data on the buildings, such as their architectural style and their state, so that a complete inventory requires inspections much more extensive, and more expensive, an approach “not necessarily relevant” for the MRC, according to Ms. Pineault.

Heritage Gaspé skeptical

If the announcement of the update of the inventory of the built heritage of the MRC is seen with a good eye for Heritage Gaspésie, its director general, Jean-Marie Had expressed certain reservations, including that which will follow the refection of the data. “We hope that this will not be an inventory, but this will be followed by an analysis to prioritize which buildings are most at risk,” he notes.

It is hoped that the work that will be completed over the next few weeks will be followed by recommendations to municipalities, but more importantly, plans of actions on the part of the latter. “All the world is offended when a building falls down or is demolished, but the cities do not have plans to save them, and do not put [the building] on their master plan. Then as soon as they have an application to demolish or renovate a heritage building, as it is not listed, there is no special attention and we immediately said yes,” says the historian.

Le Soleil

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