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City moving to designate former Saint-Louis de Gonzague School as a heritage site

Building at 162 Mackenzie St. is the subject of an approved site plan for a retirement living development
St-Louis-de-Gonzague at 162 MacKenzie Street near downtown is on the cusp of being designated a heritage building. Besides being an example of Art Deco architecture, it is the oldest school in the city that’s still standing. (Arron Pickard /

Greater Sudbury city council has taken steps to designate the former Saint-Louis de Gonzague School under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The building located at 162 Mackenzie St. was subject to a cultural heritage evaluation report conducted by a member of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals.

The property is owned by Red Oak Villa and is occupied by the former Saint-Louis de Gonzague School. It is the subject of an approved site plan for a retirement living development. This property is also the subject of a recent rezoning application.

Members of the Uptown Sudbury Community Action Network (CAN) met virtually with city council on Nov. 10 to make their case for giving the building's exterior facade a heritage designation.

"The building is the physical symbol of our community's resistance and defiant action against the discriminatory regulation that did not allow French education in our province when it was opened in 1915," said Cortney St-Jean, chair of the Uptown Sudbury CAN.

"It is culturally and historically significant in our city's history. The building itself is highly decorative and ornamental, this is quite rare for our city and for Northern Ontario. The building has been a key fixture of Uptown for more than 105 years and the importance of this building to the history of our city goes beyond the current owner and any developments that will take place, this is something that needs to be preserved and kept for future generations."

City council voted unanimously in favour of directing staff to issue a Notice of Intent to Designate the building under the Ontario Heritage Act. 

"I would happily support this effort to designate the building as a heritage site and I appreciate all the work that's been done (by the Uptown CAN) and councillor Landry-Altmann to ensure that we have a clear path to follow for buildings to come," said Ward 4 Coun. Geoff McCausland.

"Thank you so much for being here and for all of your work."

The Uptown Sudbury CAN returned the thanks after city council voted in favour of taking the next steps toward the heritage designation for 162 Mackenzie St.

"The Uptown Sudbury CAN wishes to thank city council for taking the next step toward the heritage designation for the exterior facade of 162 Mackenzie St. This is another important step in the process," said a news release from the organization.

Once the 30-day Notice of Intent to Designate is through, city council will meet on Dec. 15 to finalize the heritage designation.

"We are happy to see this initiative move forward with the NoID in place and we are excited to work with City staff, the Heritage Advisory Panel and the owner of the property, president and CEO of the Autumnwood Group Inc. Joe DiPietro," said the Uptown Sudbury CAN.

"The Uptown Sudbury CAN members remain committed to seeing this designation a reality."

The school was featured in the most recent Then & Now story from writer Vicki Gilhula.


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