Condo Living

December 21, 2022 Published by North Alberta Chapter - By Larry Payne

Exploring Truth & Reconciliation in Condos

As a member of the Board of Directors, I recently tabled the suggestion and possibility of renaming our building.

As a member of the Board of Directors, I recently tabled the suggestion and possibility of renaming our building.

For thirty years, Grandin House was the tradename of our condominium. We are a close knit community with only ten units and are located on a prominent street in the heart of Edmonton’s downtown core.

As the realities of residential schools unfolded, the Board became more and more apparent of the harm and trauma caused by the building’s namesake. Working in a public school system, myself, I was heavily involved in dialogues and teaching on a daily basis regarding truth and reconciliation including the Calls to Action within the Commission.

I tabled with the Board that any branding of buildings or businesses speaks to character and core values inherent within; therefore, I raised the topic with our Board and the possible perceptions of our building if we continued with a name largely
associated with Vital Grandin. I provided the following historical account to assist with the Board’s dialogue and deliberations about the possibility. As a member of the Board of Directors, I recently tabled the suggestion and possibility of renaming our building.

“Volume one of The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, which provides a historical account of Canada’s residential schools system from its 19thcentury origins up until 1939, contains background information about Grandin’s motivations for championing residential schools. According to the report, Grandin was “convinced that Aboriginal people faced extinction, and doubtful that adult hunters and trappers could be transformed successfully into farmers.” The report states Grandin implored Langevin that for Indigenous children “to become civilized they should be taken with the consent of their parents and made to lead a life different from their parents and cause them to forget the customs, habits and language of their ancestors.”

Subsequent to the Board’s agreement to pursue a name change, the following pursue a name change, the following survey was sent to all owners to gauge the level of support to move forward. The following communication as sent to all owners:

Dear Owners,

The Board has its next meeting on June 22nd. One of the agenda items we will be discussing is the renaming of Grandin House. This is not our legal corporate number but rather a trademark name associated with our building. Given recent events respecting residential school deaths and to do our part for Truth and Reconciliation, and in light of the current direction the City of Edmonton is taking in renaming of the LRT station, the Board is looking for input from all owners on whether a name change is desirable. Before the Board makes a final decision, we would like to canvas all owners on the following:

  • Do you support renaming the building?
  • Do you have any suggestions for a new name?

General consensus was received from the owners to proceed. A list of possible names was generated. The Board pursued two avenues 1) at nominal cost reserve any names we were considering for 90 days and 2) provincial and federal name searches were conducted for results of incorporated entities, partnerships and trade names.

Once the Board narrowed it down to three potential names, another survey was sent to all owners with the top vote being that Grandin House be rebranded with the registered trade name of Riverview House. Afterwards, a legal office filed documents on behalf of our Condominium Plan with Alberta Corporate Registry as follows:

  • Ceasing the registration of our trade name “Grandin House”; and
  • Registering the trade name “Riverview House” for use by our condo.

It was a successful process for our Board; however, it was important to not rush the dialogue or push the topic through without thorough consultation. We needed to educate ourselves as a collective building of owners as to the historical knowledge and realities of Canada’s past actions.

Once all ten owners fully understood the rationale for the name rebranding they became empowered to act on one small part of the Commission's Call to Action. And we did.

Larry Payne
President, Board of Directors
Riverview House


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