Disappointing 2019 heritage results in Quebec
I am dismayed and devastated by the heritage demolitions in the capital. Outraged to see how the promoters squander our collective treasures which constitute an undeniable source of beauty, art, history and engineering.
ATwhen municipalities should realize the potential of such buildings with extraordinary architectural qualities, they most often give their consent to future projects without scope where the heritage is shamelessly destroyed. Heritage is a non-renewable resource. The promoters’ game seems to be the same modus operandi everywhere. We buy without conditions, we do not maintain and we use dangerousness (and security) to legitimize the demolition. Don’t we say that our dog has rabies when we want to drown him? However, current technology makes it possible to rebuild ruins if the (political) will is there. We have to admit that she got lost somewhere. And what about the waltz between the municipalities and the Ministry of Culture and Communications who constantly pass the buck on protection,
The ongoing demolition of the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, in Limoilou, is unfortunately part of the continuity and will leave another fine legacy of the current town hall. Let us also think of the heartbreaking destruction of the superb and unique Saint-Coeur-de-Marie church on Grande Allée, a building that was nevertheless emblematic of Parliament Hill and significant for the population of Quebec, in addition to being a work exemplary architectural style in North America. There was also the demolition of the Pasquier house, in Neufchâtel, dating from New France; the negligence leading to the fire at the magnificent Livernois villa in Duberger; the rescue in extremis of the Jobin-Bédard house, in Charlesbourg, which avoids demolition, at least for the moment, following an intention of heritage classification allowing to evade the demolition permit granted by the city of Quebec. Tomorrow, it will be the fate of the very monumental church of the Très-Saint-Sacrement to be sealed, the only emblematic building in the Saint-Sacrement district and a striking visual landmark that punctuates the horizon of the Coteau Ste-Geneviève at kilometers to the round with its two towers somewhat reminiscent of Notre-Dame (from Paris).
Whether we like it or not, with each destruction of our heritage, it is a part of us that disappears and fades forever. Each time resonates in me “Let us not kill the beauty of the world. Each flower, each tree [read heritage] that we kill comes back to kill us in turn ”.