Edmonton & Area News

Edmonton home of early Jewish leaders designated historic resource

EDMONTON – A Strathcona home that has been in the possession of one family for over 85 years has been designated a Municipal Historic Resource by Edmonton city council.

The Bugis Residence was built in 1913 and had a host of owners until 1935 when Sonal and Sesal Bugis moved into the house with their son Joseph. The Bugis’ emigrated to Canada in 1921 and owned a general store at 10135 82 Avenue which they operated until 1960. 

Joseph attended medical school at the University of Alberta and later became a noted Obstetrician and Gynecologist in Edmonton. In 1952, he married Frieda Homnick. The two became leaders in Edmonton’s Jewish community with Joseph serving as president of the Jewish Community Council and Beth Israel Synagogue, and Frieda as local president of Hadassah-WIZO, and as a member of the organization’s national executive.

After Dr. Bugis’ death in 2007, ownership of the house passed to the couple’s two children. The home remains in the hands of the Bugis family to this day.

The Bugis Residence is an early example of a two-storey, Foursquare design house. The home still has many of the original windows and the front facade is characterized by an open front porch with columns and decorative trim at the roofline. The house still features its original wood siding and a central brick chimney.

The current owners of the Bugis Residence will receive a grant of up to $75,000 from the city’s Heritage Resources Reserve fund to assist in rehabilitation costs to the building.

The city’s Historic Resource Management Plan outlines the city’s mission to identify, protect and promote the preservation and use of historic resources. The plan contains 24 policies and 88 action items that direct how Edmonton’s heritage should be preserved and celebrated. Since the plan was initiated in 1985,165 properties have been designated, with more designations planned in the future.