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Heritage Conservation Districts: References and Discussion

Seneca Chief

The founding board members of the newly chartered Baby Point Heritage Foundation are aware of the commitment and the several responsibilities that they have shouldered in undertaking
the incorporation of a "Not for Profit" foundation.

It is clear in having done so, that there is an integral need to meet the needs of the community at large, the requirements of the municipality, while at the same time respecting and being responsive to the needs of individual members of the neighbourhood.

In order to meet these several levels of responsibility, the board members have reviewed the relevant literature and have become acquainted with the large body of research literature that reflects the growing interest in the heritage preservation of our environs. Finally, they have had to acquaint themselves with the growing body of municipal law, including changing municipal zoning bylaws as well the existing municipal codes governing the issuance of building & demolition permits that govern the intricate and very challenging field of heritage preservation.

The following links or references embody a representative sample of the material that has been collectively reviewed. It is presented as source material for those individuals in the neighborhood who may find both the time and the inclination to review this material for their own personal interest and edification.

Before progressing further, one might well ask why is there such a comitted interest in Heritage Preservation; the following quote emanating from the Ministry of Culture should satisfy that query.

Travelling through the downtowns and the back roads of Ontario, you will find remarkable places rich in history and character bustling market squares and commercial areas, picturesque villages in the heart of large cities, residential neighbourhoods that evoke a senseof the past, and landscapes that maintain a strong rural identity. In many cases, these areas have maintained their uniqueness and sense of place because the local municipality has taken the opportunity to designate them as Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs).

Following the designation of the first HCD in 1980, over 75 areas have been designated in recognition of their cultural heritage value and special character. In April 2005, the Ontario Heritage Act was strengthened to provide municipalities and the province with enhanced powers to preserve and promote Ontario's cultural heritage.


The over arching document is that which the Government of Ontario - Ministry of Culture published in 2006, by Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2006; ISBN 1-4249-0052-2

Guide to Heritage Conservation Districts - a 52 page PDF Document
A Guide to HCD's

Other Links:
Heritage Conservation
Designated Heritage Areas

Recent Changes to the Ontario Heritage Act is outlined within the publication hosted at;
Changes to Heritage Act

Current List of Heritage Conservation Districts is found at:
List of Current HCD's

A non governmental summary of Heritage Preservation Information is posted by Wikepedia:
Wikepedia Definition of an HCD

An article regarding the threat to Heritage Designation and Preservation of Ontario's Architectural Heritage is posted at Ontario Heritage Connection:
HCD's under Threat by OMB

This is complimented by an article published by a Collingwood Resident:
HCD under Threat

The City of Toronto has published several artiles on the topic of Heritage Preservation. The most informative is the following:
Heritage Toronto
Heritage map of Toronto

One of the most successful and recently established Heritage Conservation Districts is that of Weston Village. Their 2009 Report of the Annual General Meeting is informative.
Heritage Weston AGM 2009

The references of Professor Robert Shipley's presentation, their guest speaker, is obligatory reading for any and all perons entering the debate on the Pros & Cons of Heritage designation. In 2009, the University of Waterloo's Heritage Resources Centre, in partnership with the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and eleven other organizations, set out to determine if Ontario's heritage conservation districts are living up to their promise, and whether residents are happy with them.

The joint study targeted 32 of Ontario's oldest established HCDs. Researchers looked at 2,500 properties, knocked on 1,733 doors, and evaluated responses from 632 residents.

The results were compiled in twenty-six highly detailed reports, all of which can be viewed at:
Univ. Waterloo HCD's
HCD's Work Summary - PDF

Also referenced is "An Exploration of the Economics of Heritage Development in Ontario"
Latest Shipley HCD ReportThe Lazurus Effect

Professor Shipley's PowerPoint presentation, shown at the Heritage Weston AGM can be viewed at this link: Shipley's PowerPoint presentation

Finally, The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario has published the results of the studies of several HCD's and concluded that "HCD's - They Work"
This is published at ACO: HCD's Work


Taking into account the recent history in the Baby Point neighbourhood regarding demolition and redevelopment on a scale sufficiently large enough to challenge the integrity of the architectural heritage of the area, I think I can safely speak on behalf of the board of The Baby Point Heritage Foundation that we are firmly persuaded the essential step in protecting the "built culture" of the greater Baby Point enclave from the potential ravages of redevelopment is by achieving designation of the neighbourhood as an Heritage Conservation District (HCD).

The Baby Point Heritage Foundation will direct the majority of its efforts to achieve that distant but achievable goal. We ask that you join us in this journey.


Robert Galway

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Seneca Indian Chief - Iroquois Nation -> HCD