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City and Province work together to determine the future of Michener Lands

November 13, 2020 8:44 AM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

The City of Red Deer has been working closely with the Provincial Government regarding the future of the Michener north lands. In August, The City entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Government of Alberta to provide for shared planning and consultation on the future land uses, including existing buildings and infrastructure on the Michener North lands.

After reviewing options and extensive studies on the land, the profound history of the area, the current state of the buildings on site, and the sensitive ecology of the escarpment and wetlands, the Government of Alberta will proceed with the demolition of the remaining Michener North buildings later this year and finalizing The City’s purchase to protect these public lands as a community asset.

“Alberta’s Government is committed to managing the Province’s buildings and facilities in a cost-effective way that best serves Albertans. The demolition of the buildings and reclamation of this provincial surplus site will put The City of Red Deer in the best position to make use of the area,” said Infrastructure Minister Prasad Panda. “Alberta Infrastructure and The City of Red Deer have proven that we can find a solution to benefit all Albertans by working together towards a sale agreement of the Michener North lands.”

The City intends to move forward with the acquisition of the Michener North lands, following demolition and reclamation by the Province, to ensure that these public lands remain public. There is 132.2 acres of land in the area, which would serve as a future Red Deer destination legacy.

“As the Province decides on the future of the existing buildings and site, opportunity exists for The City to mark a significant piece of Red Deer’s history and protect these impeccable public lands for Red Deerians for generations to come,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “The land provides opportunity to commemorate the past, while providing for future public use opportunities our citizens. The Michener lands are public, and should remain a public asset.”

The Michener North lands have deep roots in Red Deer’s history, economy, park space, and natural areas. The centralized location provides a place to reflect history, access the Waskasoo trail system, experience wildlife and enjoy open outdoor space year round.

“After significant heritage assessment and thorough cost analysis, it is evident that it is cost prohibitive to preserve or repurpose any of the buildings. We will, however, find ways to ensure meaningful site commemoration to honour the history of the people who lived there,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

The City also recently purchased the J.J. Gaetz House and the escarpment. Originally a private residence, the house became part of the Michener Centre in 1939 and was renovated for Michener Centre use. The J.J. Gaetz House is currently a Municipal Designated Heritage Site under the Historic Resources Act. This site could potentially offer a future home for an interpretive visual history of the lands.

See attached FAQ Michener Lands (pdf) for more information.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications
The City of Red Deer

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