Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube)
Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube)

Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube) Christian and Erica Ward, bottom right, spoke to council on May 25, 2021 about their hopes to save the Hope Station House. (Youtube)

Hope mayor says district still open to hearing proposals as heritage repeal process continues

Hope Station House still facing demolition, as council works on longstanding ‘situation’

The future of the Hope Station House was up for discussion again at Tuesday’s council meeting.

The night included a presentation from Christian and Erica Ward of the Hope Station House Society, a third reading of a bylaw repeal to remove the building’s heritage designation, and a statement from Mayor Peter Robb.

“You are all aware this is a lingering and controversial issue that has taken some 40 years to get to this situation,” he said. “This community needs council to take decisions to finally resolve this longstanding situation.”

He noted there would be unhappy people no matter what they decide to do. Their choices, as laid out by Robb, are to demolish the building and be done with it, to allow a third party to take control of it and move it out of the District of Hope, or to make it more attractive to any First Nations wanting to either accept it or to move it to First Nation land.

He said that repealing the heritage designation of the building is necessary for any of these options.

Robb also noted that the District of Hope does not anticipate any future municipal use for the building, nor does it have the land for it.

But he added that they aren’t done entertaining proposals from the public, including the society.

“There is the possibility that if the District receives a timely, feasible proposal by a third party, to take control of the building and move it to another site within the municipal boundaries (at its expense); that a new heritage designation bylaw could then be enacted to protect the building at its new site and in line with the current Provincial heritage legislation,” he said.

He said that AdvantageHOPE “has made it clear that they now have no interest in the building and feel it could not be renovated in a cost-effective and functionally effective way.”

Following his comments, council voted unanimously on the third reading of the bylaw repeal. They will vote to adopt the bylaw, removing the heritage designation, at a future meeting.

Erica Ward said they appreciated the time to speak at the beginning of the meeting, in which they encouraged the District and council to take part in future meetings and join creative discussion in future plans for the building.

We want to see the Station House saved, and we believe in it as a municipal asset,” Ward told The Standard. “This is why we return to council, to encourage them to engage with us and other supporters of the Station House, to work together to secure a positive future for this important heritage building.”

Council did engage with the Wards after their presentation, and one of the questions raised was why they haven’t raised any money yet.

“Whilst community groups are currently engaged in fundraising – along with a wide range of other activities to support the preservation of the building – fundraising is complicated by the fact that the District owns the Station House, but do not support the community efforts to save the building,” Ward said. “Nobody else currently has any legal status in relation to the Station House, and there are no agreed partnership arrangements that allow anyone else to have any formal involvement with the building. Seeking significant donations on this basis is unrealistic.”

But there is grant money available, as has been mentioned all along, that could offset both capital costs and ongoing expenses, she added.

She also said there is renewed and growing support for saving the building.

“Although the mayor commented that the District does not anticipate any future municipal use for the building, we would strongly urge them to reconsider this stance,” Ward said. “Operating as a Visitor Centre/Museum is the most common adaptive re-use option for historic train stations in our province. It’s a model that works, and would see us become part of a booming network of history and heritage.”

During the third reading, Coun. Scott Medlock said he was still interested in hearing more from those who want to save the building.

“My ears are still open,” he said. “I’m still willing to talk and hear about this.”

The Hope Station House was given its heritage designation on July 8, 1982 by the council of the day. At that time, it was on different land. It now sits on Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure land. It needs to be moved as per an agreement between the ministry and the District of Hope.

READ MORE: ‘Honk for history’ say supporters of Hope Station House


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Heritagemunicipal politics

Just Posted

The theme for this year’s Fraser Valley Regional Library Summer Reading Club is “Crack the Case” and Katie Burns, community librarian at the Chilliwack Library, is encouraging people of all ages to sign up. She is seen here at the Chilliwack Library on Friday, June 18, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Crack the case, read, win prizes with FVRL Summer Reading Club

‘Immerse yourself in other worlds and have a bit of fun while you do it,’ says Chilliwack librarian

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Holger Schwichtenberg and his son Philip talk in the barn of the 150-acre Schwichtenberg farm. This farm is one of many throughout B.C. that support more than 12,500 jobs across the province in the dairy industry. (Contributed Photo/B.C. Dairy Association)
Agassiz dairy farm a model of care for environment, animals, and family

Farm is part of a dairy sector centred in the Fraser Valley, supporting 12,500 jobs province-wide

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

A police pursuit involving Abbotsford Police ended in Langley Saturday night, June 20. (Black Press Media file)
Abbotsford Police pursuit ends in Langley with guns drawn

One person arrested, witnesses say an officer may have been hurt in collision with suspect vehicle

Pedestrian hit by police vehicle in Langley

Injuries described as serious, requiring surgery

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read