Future Heritage Designations in Ontario

Future Heritage Designations in Ontario are on the 2019 Top 10 Endangered Places List.

Published with permission from the National Trust for Canada

Posted June 18, 2019


Province of Ontario

Why it matters

The Ontario Heritage Act (OHA) was brought into law in 1975 “to give municipalities and the provincial government powers to preserve the heritage of Ontario.”

A core principal of the OHA was that local people, through their city councillors, best knew which heritage was important to be identified, protected, and preserved in their communities.

When the OHA was updated and amended in subsequent decades, this core principal of local control was consistently reaffirmed.

Why it’s endangered

Introduced on May 2nd, Bill 108, More Homes, More Choice Act, proposed sweeping changes to 13 Acts governing municipalities and land use planning processes including the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA).

Bill 108 stripped final authority over heritage designation away from municipal councils, committees, and planners, and instead entrusted it to appointed provincial tribunals (LPATs) to decide which heritage properties are important and worth of protection in Ontario communities.

The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), municipal heritage organizations, and municipal governments voiced their opposition to these changes to the OHA.

After an inadequate consultation period and limited debate in the Ontario Legislature, the More Homes, More Choice Act was passed into law on June 6th.

The Government of Ontario now needs to genuinely consult with the province’s heritage sector as it draws up the regulations for this flawed legislation, to ensure its negative impacts are mitigated as much as possible.

This article is also available in French.

Canada's Top 10 Endangered Places List 2019

Glenora Neighbourhood

This Edmonton neighbourhood boasts the city’s highest concentration of historic resources with many detached houses designed by prominent architects in revival and Modern styles.

St. Vital Roman Catholic Church

Built in 1883, St. Vital is the oldest Catholic church in Saskatchewan.

Birtle Residential School

One of the last three remaining residential schools in Manitoba. Operating from 1889 to 1972, this brick building was completed in 1931.

Rubin Block

Opened in 1914, the building was designed by prominent Winnipeg architect Max Zev Blankstein.

Former St. Paul’s Anglican Rectory

Together with three different churches occupying the other corners, the Rectory is a key part of an historic ensemble leading to the heart of town.

Ile d’Orleans

The cultural landscape of Ile d’Orleans still bears the physical imprint of the first families that settled the island in the seventeenth century and that went on to populate large sections of the new country.

Cyclorama of Jerusalem

The 120-year-old Cyclorama of Jerusalem is the only Canadian example of a painted circular panorama — an art form popularized in the nineteenth century.

United Memorial Church

The church was erected in memory of those who lost their lives in the Halifax explosion on December 6, 1917, and housed both Methodist and Presbyterian congregations.

Grand Bank Downtown and Waterfront

More than any other community in Newfoundland, Grand Bank’s collection of buildings calls to mind the character of New England and Maritime seaside towns.

Every year, the National Trust publishes its Top 10 Endangered Places List as part of its mission to raise awareness of the value that historic places bring to quality of life, local identity and cultural vitality.

The Top 10 Endangered Places List is compiled from nominations received as well as from reports and news items the National Trust has been following throughout the year. First published in 2005, the Top 10 Endangered Places List has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill.

The National Trust believes that historic places are cornerstones of identity, community and sense of place, yet every year, more are lost due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. By shining a spotlight on places at risk, the Top 10 Endangered Places List raises awareness about their plight and bolsters the efforts of local advocates working to save them.

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