Regina city council looking to approve tax exceptions for three historic downtown buildings

Regina city council looks like they will approve tax exemptions for three heritage buildings in the City’s downtown core.

The Leader Building, the Willoughby & Duncan Building, and the Canada Life Assurance Building will all receive tax exceptions to help cover repair costs.

During an executive committee meeting Wednesday, city council voted unanimously in favour of the Heritage Building Rehabilitation Program applications.

The total cost of the City’s financial assistance for the three buildings is over 591,000 dollars.

Council will make a final vote on the exemptions at its March 2 meeting.

The Leader Building is located in downtown Regina at 1853 Hamilton Street and was initially constructed in 1911 – 1912.

The building was a new home for the Morning Leader newspaper, later renamed the ‘Regina Leader-Post.’ After its construction, the Leader building was the tallest building in Regina at six storeys. The building was also the home of the first radio station in Saskatchewan, CKCK Radio. 

Repairs include addressing critical issues with the foundation, masonry, the historic terra cotta cornice and a low protective wall along the edge of a roof. A later phase of repairs will include work on windows and removal of the facade paint. The city has recommended it give financial assistance at 50 per cent, costing $236,217.

Willoughby & Duncan Building, located at Scarth Sweet, was built in 1909 and is one of Regina’s oldest remaining commercial buildings.

Repairs to this building would include:

  • Work on the exterior trim.
  • Installing weather barriers on the brights.
  • Preparing an engineering report and documentation.

The city recommends it give financial assistance at 50 per cent, costing $27,120. 

The Canada Life Assurance Building located at 2201 11th Avenue was built between 1912 and 1914.

The building was originally built as the Saskatchewan headquarters for Canada’s leading insurance company. In 1947 it was sold to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI). 

Repairs would include Roof maintenance, stair restoration and window painting or partial replacement for Phase 1 of the conservation work as these items are considered critical. The next phases include terra cotta cleaning, review and maintenance, review of window condition, boiler replacement, potential roof replacement and more.

The city recommends financial assistance at 50 per cent of eligible work costs which is approximately $328,026.82.

More from Play92