The next meeting of the Heritage Committee is scheduled for Thursday,  April 1, 2021 in the Council Chambers and by electronic participation. The agenda for this meeting is published on the CivicWeb portal.   Members of the public who wish to attend "virtually" must register to do so in advance. 

Heritage Planning

The Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1993, c O.18

The Ontario Heritage Act was passed in 1975 and provides municipalities with the tools to identify, evaluate and conserve the heritage assets. It also provides municipalities with the power to designate heritage resources.

Heritage resources include:

  • Buildings (of all types)
  • Cultural landscapes
  • Archaeological resources

Designation can apply to both individual properties and entire neighbourhoods. Designated neighbourhoods are known as Heritage Conservation Districts. Designation allows conservation of these places and is a way to publicly acknowledge heritage value to the community. The Township of South Frontenac is rich in history with a large variety of historic buildings and landscapes that tell unique stories and are an essential part of the  community. Heritage designation is aimed at protecting these important heritage resources to help preserve and celebrate our community. 

The Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee

The Township of South Frontenac has a Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee that has been in place since 2018. The Heritage Committee consists of volunteers appointed by Council for the purpose of advising on matters pertaining to the Ontario Heritage Act in the Township of South Frontenac.

The Committee’s primary objectives include designation of heritage properties, development and maintenance of a list of heritage properties of interest, and to provide Council with the necessary information need to make heritage related decisions. 

The Heritage Committee aims to support heritage conservation by offering a number of services to the community: including support for education about local heritage, review of Applications, support for local heritage conservation initiatives and researching heritage properties.

The Heritage Committee typically meets once every two months. Its work is supported by the Township of South Frontenac Planning Department who is the principal point of contact for the Committee.

Agendas and minutes of past and upcoming meetings can be found on the CivicWeb Portal

Municipal Heritage Register


Under the Ontario Heritage Act, the Township Clerk is required to maintain a public register which includes designated heritage buildings and landscapes. The Municipal Heritage Register is a list of Council identified heritage resources within the Township. 

The Township of South Frontenac has six (6) properties designated under Part IV (individual property) of the Ontario Heritage Act. This register is known as the Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Resources Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. 

What is a Heritage Property?

A ‘Heritage Property’ is a property that has been formally identified by a municipality to have cultural heritage value or interest.  The formal designation is supported by a municipal by-law, passed by a municipal council under the authority of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Formal designation of heritage properties is one way of publicly acknowledging a property’s heritage value to a community. It also helps to ensure the conservation of these important sites for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Properties protected under the Ontario Heritage Act, can fall under different categories, such as designated, listed, and Heritage Conservation District.

Heritage Resources & Related Links

Heritage Designation

What is Heritage Designation?


The Township can designate properties under the Ontario Heritage Act. Heritage designation aims to ensure properties retain their important historic characteristics and does not restrict an owner’s use of the property. Designated properties are protected from demolition and change to the property is managed through a permitting process. 

Types of Designation 
 

The Ontario Heritage Act describes two broad designation types:

  • Individual properties (Part IV)
  • Heritage Conservation Districts (Part V)

Individual properties may also be ‘Listed’ as a property of cultural heritage value. An owner of a ‘Listed’ property must give Council at least 60 days’ notice of their intention to demolish or remove a structure on the property. 

Cost of Heritage Designation 
 

It is FREE! There is no cost to the property owner to apply for designation under the Ontario Heritage Act

How to Designate a Property
 

The Ontario Heritage Act sets out criteria for determining cultural heritage value of a property. At least one of three broad criteria types must be identified in order for a property to be considered for designation:

  1. Design/physical value (for example, architectural style)
  2. Historical/associative value (for example, previously owned by a historical figure or or culturally significant community event)
  3. Contextual value (for example, contributes to the area’s character or is a landmark)

Most designated properties fulfil more than one criteria. Anyone can nominate a property for designation, however, most designations are requested by the owner of the property. 

Should you wish to apply for designation, please contact the Planning Department for more information. 

Heritage Designation Process 

 

An application for heritage designation can be submitted in-person at 4432 George St., Sydenham, to the Township Planning Department or via e-mail at heritage@southfrontenac.net. Staff will review the application and make a recommendation to the Municipal Heritage Committee based on the application’s consistency with the Ontario Heritage Act.

Applicants that are determined to have an eligible property will be required to submit a report that consists of research and information about the architectural, historical and contextual value of the property. The Heritage Committee will review the property characteristics and and make a recommendation to Council as to whether the property should be designated.

If Council accepts the recommendation for designation, a notice of intention to designate will be published in the local newspaper and on the Township’s website. If there are no objections, a designation by-law is prepared and considered by Council. Once the by-law has been passed, it is registered on title and included in the Township’s Heritage Register. While decisions are appealable, Council ultimately makes the final decision. 

Implications for Heritage Designation 
 

A heritage designation does:

  • Recognize heritage value of the property.
  • Provide protection against demolition and changes to heritage characteristics - the purpose of the designation is to have a conversation about requested changes to ensure that heritage attributes listed in the by-law are able to be maintained.
  • Provide qualification for government programs for financial assistance (if available).
  • Guide alterations so that cultural integrity and authenticity of property can be maintained.

A heritage designation does not:

  • Restrict the use of a property.
  • Restrict the use of paint colours.
  • Restrict changes to parts that are not included in the designation by-law (for example, if the interior is not designated, then there are no restrictions to changing the interior).
  • Restrict modern features such as swimming pools.
  • Prohibit alterations or additions.

  • Restrict the sale of the property. 
  • Negatively impact the property values.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can owners make changes to designated properties?  
 

Yes, changes can be made to designated properties, but owners are required to apply for a heritage permit when making certain types of changes to their properties.

Most minor alterations do not require heritage permits (i.e. painting, window caulking, light landscaping, basic repairs). An application is only required if the proposed alterations affect the property’s “reason for designation” or designation attributes laid out in the designation by-law. The application process for a heritage permit is similar to the designation process above, in that the applicant seeks Council’s approval by way of recommendation from the Heritage Committee.

The goal of the permitting process is to ensure that any changes made are compatible with a property’s heritage character.

There is NO cost for a heritage permit, however, any costs associated with a building permit will still apply. For more information please contact the Planning Department to ensure any work you are planning to carry out is in compliance with the Ontario Heritage Act

Does designation affect how a property can be used? 

 

Designation only regulates physical changes to a property. Any changes to the use of the property, such as changing a residential property to a commercial property may be subject to approvals under the Planning Act.  

What is a Heritage Conservation District?
 

A Heritage Conservation District (HCD) is defined by;

  • a concentration of heritage buildings that are contextually linked, or
  • a sense of visual consistency that conveys a direct sense of place.

The Ontario Heritage Act enables municipalities to designate defined areas of special cultural heritage value or interest as Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs). District designation allows the council of a municipality to manage and guide future change in the district through adoption of a district plan with policies and guidelines for conservation, protection and enhancement of the area’s special character. 

How does one research a property?

 

Researching the history a property helps evaluate its cultural significance and is the first step in seeing if the property qualifies for heritage designation. 

The South Frontenac Heritage Advisory Committee is in the process of developing a "How to Research Your Property" guide that will assist applicants with researching their property. 

Does heritage designation give any additional obligations to the homeowner?

 

Designation requires a property owner to consult with Township Staff and Heritage Committee Members for any property alteration that may affect the property’s cultural heritage attributes. Routine maintenance does not require approval or consultation.

What happens if alterations are made without a heritage permit? 
 

Under the Ontario Heritage Act, alterations to a designated property without a heritage permit is considered an offence and can carry a fine. The Act allows the Township Council the option of restoring the property to its previous condition at owner’s cost. 

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