Rossdale Regeneration community group to make its case to City Council’s Executive Committee on the preservation of Rossdale Power Plant (Monday, August 19th, 10:30 am)

18 Aug

Edmonton- Rossdale Regeneration is a diverse group of Edmontonians who have come together to advocate for the protection and preservation of the Rossdale Power Plant as an important part of our city’s architectural history.

The Executive Committee of Edmonton City Council was scheduled to receive a report from City Administration relating to the Rossdale Power Plant site at its July 8 meeting. A motion was made at the July 8 meeting to postpone the report until Executive Committee’s August 19, 2013 meeting, where the report from Administration is expected to be presented.

In addition to the presentation of City Administration’s report to Executive Committee at the August 19 meeting, Rossdale Regeneration is scheduled to present its report and recommendations for the Rossdale Power Plant site. Rossdale Regeneration’s recommendations are:

1.     We recommend that the City of Edmonton protect and preserve the Rossdale Power Plant for a minimum of one year. This means that the owner would commit the required funds to keep the buildings stable and secure, to allow time for the best ideas for a repurposing project to emerge and develop.

2.     We recommend that the City of Edmonton initiate repurposing of the Rossdale Power Plant in a creative, appropriate and sustainable way.

“The Rossdale Power Plant is an important part of our city’s architectural history,” said former City Councillor and Rossdale Regeneration member Michael Phair. “Too many times we’ve been quick to tear down beautiful old buildings in Edmonton, and this time we have the chance to get it right and ensure that the building is preserved for the enjoyment and use of Edmontonians and visitors long into the future.”

Phair will be at the Executive Committee meeting on August 19 and available for comment. The meeting will take place starting at 9:30 a.m. in the River Valley Room at City Hall. Rossdale Regeneration is scheduled to make its presentation at 10:30 a.m.


Rossdale Regeneration website:

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Michael Phair



You call it Rossdale, we call it Pehonan

12 Jul

Something important from Zoe Todd, Edmonton architect studying away for a bit.  From Rossdale Regeneration’s perspective, the storied complexity of the site is all of importance in preservation and in its community public significance.  We recommend reading Zoe’s piece on this  You call it Rossdale, we call it Pehonan.  And here’s an audio version, from Zoe’s spot on CBC Edmonton’s Radioactive

CBC News: Local group campaigns for Rossdale renovation

8 Jul

Here’s the news spot from CBC Edmonton TV taken during the guided walking tour provided by Catherine C. Cole and Alan Partridge on Saturday, July 6.   A good turnout for the walk, with 25 – 30 people as well as connections made by Philip Coutu and Duane Goodstriker regarding the burial grounds.  On yes, and an Edmonton Police Service cruiser standing by for good measure.

Thinking Rossdale, thinking Kansas City?

7 Jul

Many of you probably don’t subscribe to the Concrete Repair Bulletin.  Nor do we– yet.  But our attention has been directed to the CRB’s November-December 2012 edition and an example of power station re-use in Kansas City.  This, after 40 years sitting abandoned and unused…

The new Kansas City Ballet facility defines an adaptive reuse of an abandoned, severely distressed 100-year-old former power plant into an historic restoration and preservation achievement dedicated to the performance art of ballet by the following:

• A unique architectural period building was saved and restored to its original façade and principal interior appearances and spaces;

• Extensive structural condition surveys in advance of the selective demolition and construction phases identified critical structural deficiencies and material properties that allowed the designteam to work with the contractors early on in stabilizing and restoring the exterior and interior building structure;

• Adaptation of the Kansas City Ballet to the Power House saved millions of dollars in new construction costs and enabled a sustainable reuse of a historic building; and

• The historical restoration included significant, almost-daily challenges to repairing the corrosion and moisture damage to all of the concrete, masonry, and steel while ensuring compliance with the design restoration and program

Report to City Council, Rossdale Power Plant: Postponed to August 19

7 Jul

Tomorrow (okay, on August 19th), City Council’s Executive Committee will be discussing a report from City of Edmonton staff (not publicly available on the City’s website) on the Rossdale Power Plant.

Rossdale Regeneration also anticipates making a presentation on its work and recommendations for the future of the Rossdale plant.  You can find our full report here.  If you’re planning on coming to City Hall to watch the proceedings, that’s great.  We’re not sure of what time this will proceed– that will be determined at the beginning of the committee meeting beginning at 9:30 am.  But we think it will be around 10:45 or 11 am.  We’ll provide an update on this site and our Facebook page when we know.  And of course, we’ll let you know how it goes.  You can also watch and listen to the proceedings via livestream connecting through the Office of the City Clerk’s webpage.

Seeing Rossdale again for the first time

7 Jul

You’ll have noticed the marvelous images that form the masthead and shape the pages of this FB site (as well as that of Rossdale ReGeneration’s website).  Many of us drive, bicycle and walk by the Rossdale plants on a regular basis and the mass and features of the building catch the eye.

But K. Jack Clark’s images have helped us see the structure again and really appreciate and understand its place and position along the banks of the North Saskatchewan and in the foreground of our urban landscape.

Not only is that a gift to all Edmontonians and those who appreciate this building’s design and significance, but the images were donated to Rossdale ReGeneration to support this work.  It’s a thrill to see this iconic Edmonton structure through your composition and art.

You’ll find the whole set of Mr. Clark’s Rossdale images posted here on Rossdale ReGeneration’s Facebook page.  And you can find more about his work on his website at

Edmonton’s Lost Heritage: a troubling decade

7 Jul

This post on Spacing Edmonton by Paul Giang poses the core question for Edmontonians about their connection (or lack thereof) with their built heritage and one could add that it goes beyond the built to almost all approaches to city memory.

Shirley Lowe, Edmonton Historian Laureate has eloquently spoken of “all the buildings we wish we could have back” (and here’s an example of a streetscape we’ve just lost) and  Lawrence Herzog has recently written at set of articles on Edmonton’s “lost” buildings and places.   We’d like to believe that the Rossdale plant’s provincial historic designation will lead to a good short and long term result for the plant and the larger site.  But it won’t matter if we don’t collectively understand that this and other buildings are significant in their own right as the the key anchors of civic memory and experience.

So, with tomorrow’s reports to Edmonton City Council Executive Committee, we’ll see how this moves ahead and look for a good result.

Preserve Rossdale power plant while its future is planned, group urges

5 Jul

EDMONTON – The city should preserve the historic Rossdale power plant for at least a year so a plan for the structure’s future can be developed, a citizen group says.City councillors balked last winter at the estimated $80-million cost to maintain the five-storey building and upgrade it for some… (continue article link)

Guided Walk: Rossdale Generating Station area, Saturday July 6, 2 pm

4 Jul

A great opportunity to walk the area around the Rossdale Power Plants and understand the significance of the area in and around the plants.

This guided walking tour meets in front of the Rossdale Community League Building (historic Little Flower School) at 10135-96 Avenue  It will consider the Traditional Burial Ground and Fort Edmonton Cemetery Commemorative Site, which provides a good view of the historic Rossdale Generating Station. The tour will provide information about the significance of the area with a special focus on the Rossdale Generating Station (Maxwell Dewar Building / Low Pressure power plant), which was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 2001.

Parking is available behind the Community League Building. For more on this, contact information and other events of the Historic Festival, visit

Rossdale Visioning Session: Notes

4 Jul

From a  visioning session for the Rossdale power plants and adjacent, reflecting the discussions, ideas and renderings of Edmonton’s architecture and design talent: Rossdale Visioning Session Notes April 13 2013

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