City of Winnipeg won’t strip church of historical designation
A local Muslim group wants to convert a historic North End church into a mosque.
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The city’s Downtown Development Committee has denied a request to have the heritage designation of a North End church stripped.
A Muslim group wants to convert the St. Giles United Church at 294 Burrows Avenue into a mosque, but the conversion of the building would require a number of changes to the interior, which would currently not be allowed because of its historic designation.
Mohammad Tariq is representing a group that has a tentative deal to purchase the church, but said earlier this year the deal would not go through unless interior changes to the building could be made.
On Monday the city’s Downtown Development Committee denied the request to have heritage designation lifted because they believe the group can still make the changes they want to make, while keeping heritage status.
City Director of Planning, Property & Development John Kiernan said the group would be able to make changes to the inside of the building by taking out permits, and said the city would work with them as they work to make those changes.
Tariq said as long as city administration gives assurance the needed changes could be made, the group will go ahead with the purchase of the building.