Download the Cultural Heritage Policy Paper.
Culture and heritage contribute to quality of life, sense of place, and an understanding of our history. Heritage is not just old buildings. Long before European settlement began in southern Ontario, Indigenous communities have left behind archaeological remnants and cultural heritage landscapes. Indigenous communities continue to contribute to the rich cultural landscape in Ontario. Heritage also has a role to play in boosting local economies. Municipal cultural planning and culture-led economic development recognize the roles of creativity, culture, and quality of place in supporting local economies and attracting talent. The economic benefits of heritage conservation also include: investment opportunities, increased property values, and tourism growth.
The Planning Act and Ontario Heritage Act each provide a variety of tools to identify, protect, and promote heritage resources and conservation. Under the Planning Act, municipalities can adopt official plan objectives, policies, and approval processes to support heritage conservation, and employ planning tools including: demolition control by-laws, interim control by-laws, subdivision development agreements, and financial incentives (e.g. community improvement plans). Under the Ontario Heritage Act, tools are available to municipalities, including: heritage property or district listing and designation, heritage conservation easements, heritage conservation district plans, architectural design guidelines, enabling establishment of a municipal heritage committee, and provision of grants/loans to private property owners for heritage conservation. Conservation of heritage resources is not optional; however, the use of planning tools to promote conservation of heritage resources is at the discretion of the municipality.
The PPS requires that significant built heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes shall be conserved. Under the Proposed Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, heritage resources “will be conserved” to meet new objectives regarding sense of place and community benefit. The County Official Plan provides policies for conservation of heritage resources in accordance with provincial plans and the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA). The county’s official plan policies require implementation of cultural heritage policies in local official plans, including policies for development and maintenance of municipal heritage registers.
In 2005, the OHA was strengthened to provide municipalities with enhanced tools for conserving cultural heritage and archaeological resources. Identification, protection, and promotion are the underlying principles of the OHA. The OHA provides a framework for conservation of built heritage resources, cultural heritage landscapes, and archaeological resources/areas of archaeological potential, as well as direction regarding lands adjacent to protected heritage properties. Under the OHA, O.Reg. 9/06 provides criteria for determining cultural heritage value or interest according to the resource’s physical/design value, its historical/associative value, and its contextual value.
The following objectives are those which are being considered for the new Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Official Plan. They have been developed through an examination of existing Official Plan objectives and principles, review of the Adjala-Tosorontio Community-Based Strategic Plan, and input received from council, the public, agencies, and Tonwship staff.
- To conserve and promote significant built heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes
- To create and maintain an inventory of local and significant cultural features, including but not limited to heritage resources designated under Part IV and/or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act
The following policies are those which are being considered for the new Township of Adjala-Tosorontio Official Plan. They have been developed through:
- Reviewing existing Official Plan policies and updating them to comply with new provincial and county policy requirements
- Input received from council, the public, agencies, and Tonwship staff
Policies that have been strictly mandated by the province or county appear in bold whereas those that have been municipally derived appear in plain text.
Built and Cultural Heritage
Cultural heritage resources shall be conserved in accordance with the policies in the PPS, to foster a sense of place and benefit communities, particularly in strategic growth areas. (Proposed Growth Plan 188.8.131.52)
The Township will evaluate cultural heritage value or interest of heritage resources in accordance with the criteria set out in O.Reg. 9/06 under the Ontario Heritage Act (County OP 4.6.11)
Development and site alteration shall not be permitted on lands containing archaeological resources or areas of archaeological potential unless significant archaeological resources have been conserved. (PPS 2.6.2)
Development and site alteration shall not be permitted on lands adjacent to protected heritage property except where the proposed development and site alteration has been evaluated and it has been demonstrated that the heritage attributes of the protected heritage property will be conserved. (PPS 2.6.3)
The interests of First Nations and Métis communities shall be considered in conserving cultural heritage and archaeological resources (PPS 2.6.5)
The Township encourages preparation and consideration of archaeological management plans and municipal cultural plans in their decision-making. (PPS 2.6.4) & (Proposed Growth Plan 184.108.40.206)
Where feasible and desirable, incentives may be provided by the township to land developers in exchange for preservation of significant cultural features. This can be accomplished by permitting increased densities, density transfers, and other means considered appropriate, in exchange for resource preservation, through the application of the relevant provisions of the Planning Act. (County OP 4.6.10)
The Clerk of the Township shall keep a register of property situated in the municipality that is of cultural heritage value or interest.(OHA Part IV s.27(1))
The register kept by the Clerk shall list all property situated in the municipality that has been designated by the Township or by the Minister under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and shall contain, with respect to each property, (a) a legal description of the property; (b) the name and address of the owner; and (c) a statement explaining the cultural heritage value or interest of the property and a description of the heritage attributes of the property. (OHA Part IV s.27(1.1))
The register kept by the clerk may include property that has not been designated under Part IV but the township believes to be of cultural heritage value or interest (OHA Part IV s.27 (1.2))
The Clerk of the Township shall keep a register of all heritage conservation districts designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act that are situated in the municipality and shall ensure that the register contains a map or description of the area of each such heritage conservation district (OHA Part V s.39.2(1))
Municipal Heritage Committee
The Township may, by by-law, establish a municipal heritage committee to advise and assist council on matters relating to Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, matters relating to Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act and such other heritage matters as council may specify by by-law (OHA Part IV s.28)
Designation of Individual Properties
The Township may, by by-law, designate a property within the township to be of cultural heritage value or interest if, (a) where property meets the prescribed criteria for determining whether property is of cultural heritage value or interest, and (b) the designation is made in accordance with the process set out in the Ontario Heritage Act. (OHA Part IV s.29)
Designation of Heritage Conservation Districts
The Township may undertake a study of any area of the township for the purpose of designating one or more heritage conservation districts. The scope of the study shall:
(a) examine the character and appearance of the area that is the subject of the study, including buildings, structures and other property features of the area, to determine if the area should be preserved as a heritage conservation district;
(b) examine and make recommendations as to the geographic boundaries of the area to be designated;
(c) consider and make recommendations as to the objectives of the designation and the content of the heritage conservation district plan required under section 41.1 of the Ontario Heritage Act; and
(d) make recommendations as to any changes that will be required to the Township’s Official Plan and to any municipal by-laws, including any zoning by-laws. (OHA Part V s.40(1) & (2))
The Township may, by by-law, designate the municipality or any defined area or areas thereof as a heritage conservation district. (OHA Part V s.41(1))
A by-law passed to designate one or more heritage conservation districts shall adopt a heritage conservation district plan for each district that is designated. A heritage conservation district plan shall include:
(a) a statement of the objectives to be achieved in designating the area as a heritage conservation district;
(b) a statement explaining the cultural heritage value or interest of the heritage conservation district;
(c) a description of the heritage attributes of the heritage conservation district and of properties in the district;
(d) policy statements, guidelines and procedures for achieving the stated objectives and managing change in the heritage conservation district; and
(e) a description of the alterations or classes of alterations that are minor in nature and that the owner of property in the heritage conservation district may carry out or permit to be carried out on any part of the property, other than the interior of any structure or building on the property, without obtaining a permit under section 42 of the Ontario Heritage Act. (OHA Part V s.41.1(1) & (5))
Archaeological Resources and Burial Places
The Township shall determine the need for archaeological assessment for applications where they are the approval authority in accordance with the County’s Cultural Heritage Guidelines, once developed and approved, and notify the County of any significant archaeological resources. (County OP 4.6.8)
When burial places are identified during the development process or are encountered during any excavation activity, the provisions of the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, Ontario Heritage Act and the relevant regulations must be followed. Licensed archaeologists may be involved in heritage burial
assessments for delineation of boundaries and excavations if required. Appropriate Provincial Ministries and authorities will be notified. (County OP 4.6.12)
Should aboriginal archaeological resources or burial places be found through assessment or during the development process, then the township shall provide notification to the appropriate aboriginal community(s). (County OP 4.6.13)
Adjacent lands: for purposes of cultural heritage and archaeology means those lands contiguous to a protected heritage property or as otherwise defined in the municipal official plan. (County OP)
Archaeological resources: includes artifacts, archaeological sites, marine archaeological sites, as defined under the Ontario Heritage Act. The identification and evaluation of such resources are based upon archaeological fieldwork undertaken in accordance with the Ontario Heritage Act. (PPS, 2014)
Areas of archaeological potential: means areas with the likelihood to contain archaeological resources. Methods to identify archaeological potential are established by the Province, but municipal approaches which achieve the same objectives may also be used. The Ontario Heritage Act requires archaeological potential to be confirmed through archaeological fieldwork. (PPS, 2014)
Built heritage resource: means a building, structure, monument, installation or any manufactured remnant that contributes to a property’s cultural heritage value or interest as identified by a community, including an Aboriginal community. Built heritage resources are generally located on property that has been designated under Parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act, or included on local, provincial and/or federal registers. (PPS, 2014)
Conserved: means the identification, protection, management and use of built heritage resources, cultural heritage landscapes and archaeological resources in a manner that ensures their cultural heritage value or interest is retained under the Ontario Heritage Act. This may be achieved by the implementation of recommendations set out in a conservation plan, archaeological assessment, and/or heritage impact assessment. Mitigative measures and/or alternative development approaches can be included in these plans and assessments. (PPS, 2014)
Cultural features: refer to historical, architectural, archaeological, recreational, and aesthetic built and natural features of cultural significance including significant built heritage resources, significant cultural heritage landscapes, and archaeological resources. (County OP)
Cultural heritage landscape: means a defined geographical area that may have been modified by human activity and is identified as having cultural heritage value or interest by a community, including an Aboriginal community. The area may involve features such as structures, spaces, archaeological sites or natural elements that are valued together for their interrelationship, meaning or association. Examples may include, but are not limited to, heritage conservation districts designated under the Ontario Heritage Act; villages, parks, gardens, battlefields, mainstreets and neighbourhoods, cemeteries, trailways, viewsheds, natural areas and industrial complexes of heritage significance; and areas recognized by federal or international designation authorities (e.g. a National Historic Site or District designation, or a UNESCO World Heritage Site). (PPS, 2014)
Heritage attributes: means the principal features or elements that contribute to a protected heritage property’s cultural heritage value or interest, and may include the property’s built or manufactured elements, as well as natural landforms, vegetation, water features, and its visual setting (including significant views or vistas to or from a protected heritage property). (County OP)
Protected heritage property: means property designated under Parts IV, V or VI of the Ontario Heritage Act; property subject to a heritage conservation easement under Parts II or IV of the Ontario Heritage Act; property identified by the Province and prescribed public bodies as provincial heritage property under the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties; property protected under federal legislation, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (PPS, 2014)
Significant archaeological resources: means the remains of any building, structure, activity, place or cultural feature, which because of the passage of time is on or below the surface of the land or water, and which has been identified and evaluated and determined to be significant to the understanding of the history of people or place. The identification and evaluation of this resource is based upon an archaeological assessment. (County OP)
Significant: means: e) in regard to cultural heritage and archaeology, resources that have been determined to have cultural heritage value or interest for the important contribution they make to our understanding of the history of a place, an event, or a people.(PPS, 2014)