News / Calgary

Calgary councillors to debate motion to revive sandstone quarries

Ward 9 councillor sees business and historical incentives

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra thinks the city could revive small-scale sandstone quarrying to the benefit of both historic buildings and businesses.

Metro File

Ward 9 Coun. Gian-Carlo Carra thinks the city could revive small-scale sandstone quarrying to the benefit of both historic buildings and businesses.

It dates back to the Calgary Fire of 1886.

That’s the year when city officials drafted a bylaw that all buildings had to be made out of non-flammable materials, and locally sourced Paskapoo sandstone became the choice for building historic City Hall.

So when Gian-Carlo Carra, councillor for Ward 9, saw the City of Calgary was purchasing foreign sandstone to refurbish City Hall, he signed a motion to revive a couple of historic sandstone properties inside the city boundaries; one at Edworthy Park, and the other at the J.A. Lewis Quarry site in Nose Hill.

“This is sandstone city,” he said.

While also providing historical value, Carra said that putting forward the motion was a matter of removing barriers and potentially diversifying our economy.  He hopes that if the motion is passed, investors will jump at the business opportunity.

While the sites won’t necessarily be ready within a four-year timeline to provide sandstone for the City Hall project, Carra hopes the ability will be there to buy locally in the future; something that is especially important as the city looks for more ways to encourage local industry.

According to Josh Traptow, executive director of the Calgary Heritage Authority, using materials from the same site would have historical value.

“I think anything to do with historic preservation is a priority.  Obviously it would be great to use local materials. The source of the building materials, if it was the same – I think there is great value in that,” he said.

The motion will be debated at the next regular council meeting, which starts Monday.

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