The ivy at the Nelson Courthouse, which for a century has served as one of the city’s iconic visuals, is to be cut down.
The Ministry of Citizen Services’ Real Property Division, which manages the courthouse, announced Wednesday the ivy is causing damage to the facade of the 112-year-old building and must be removed in April. There are no plans to replace it.
An assessment by Fairbanks Architects dated March 10 states the growth is damaging the facade’s marble exterior and mortar, windows, gutters and roof.
Rats and rodents are also nesting in the ivy and using it to access the interior, it is getting in the way of security cameras, and the roots are also compromising the building’s foundation and leading to water damage.
The courthouse is designated a municipal heritage site, and the ivy is described as a “character-defining element.”
The Nelson Courthouse was designed by Francis M. Rattenbury and constructed in 1908. It’s not clear when ivy spread over the building, but a postcard provided by local historian Greg Nesteroff shows it was present as early as 1931.
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