Most Yukoners find it difficult to buy a house—for Parks Canada, selling is the challenge.
That’s what the federal organization is realizing about Macaulay House, which “has been determined to be a candidate for disposition or transfer,” according to an emailed statement from Parks Canada.
“This is a complex process governed by federal legislation requiring oversight from multiple federal departments,” reads the statement, sent to the News on Dec. 6.
On Nov. 29, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC) announced its longtime residency at Macaulay House would end in 2025. KIAC and Parks Canada have had a long-standing agreement around the house, which was once home to Dawson City’s first mayor, Henry Macaulay.
KIAC has rented the house for $875 a month, plus utilities, since 2001.
KIAC staff told the News on Nov. 29 that Parks Canada gave the arts organization plenty of notice and is even looking into other Parks Canada-managed buildings to see if one of those can accommodate the residency in another format.
“Everything is still good, there’s no hard feelings around this,” said Capp Larsen, director of operations at KIAC, on Nov. 29. “This is something that’s coming from the national level … they have to deal with their own expenses in Dawson City, which are quite high.”
In its statement to the News, Parks Canada said it is the largest “heritage asset owner” in the Klondike region. The buildings under its management are used for housing, office space, storage space and in historic tours and events.
Parks Canada said it has been developing an asset management model for those buildings since 2018.
The statement noted Macaulay House is not a designated building and has not been used for Parks Canada purposes for decades.
“Parks Canada has been working with Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Government on the potential transfer of Macaulay’s Residence to the First Nation for possible use by Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Community Development Corporation,” the statement says. “As this process is still unfolding, the current lease for the building has been extended until Dec. 31, 2024.”
No one with the development corporation responded to the News’ request for comment before press time.
Contact Amy Kenny at firstname.lastname@example.org