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Deadline to protect heritage properties extended

Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO) is pleased with the government’s introduction of legislation late last month to extend the deadline for municipalities to protect listed heritage properties by an additional two years to Jan. 1, 2027.

“We asked for this at our meetings at Queen’s Park in February,” said Diane Chin, ACO Provincial Board Chair. “We then expanded our campaign to soliciting motions and asking municipalities across Ontario to write Premier Ford to ask for a deadline extension from Jan. 1, 2025 to Jan. 1, 2030. We’re glad to see some movement on this, and pleased that the government has given itself the power to extend the deadline further via regulation.”

The challenge, she notes, is huge: there are at least 36,000 listed (non-designated) heritage properties in more than100 municipalities across the province, according to the Ministry
of Citizenship and Multiculturalism. Listed properties have limited, 60-day protection. On Jan. 1, 2025 these properties stood to lose all protection unless they were first designated and given full protection by municipal councils.

In Prince Edward County, there are more than 200 properties considered to have enough historical interest to be worth of designation, but need their owners to engage before they are removed from the list making them vulnerable to demolition, should someone choose to do so.

In passing Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, the provincial government gave municipalities until the end of this year to finalize which properties would get higher protection under the OHA. Those that do not can be demolished without question under the new legislation. Further, those who don’t meet the year-end deadline are prohibited from being re-listed for five years, and are expected to be faced with a more difficult designation criteria.

The County has 95 properties with full heritage designation, which, among other things, requires owners to notify the municipality if they ever have intentions to demolish them.

“Surveys undertaken by ACO and Community Heritage Ontario found that no municipality believed it could write and pass all the needed by-laws by the end of the year,” said Chin.

“ACO was and remains opposed to the degrading of municipalities’ listing power into a mere stop-gap step towards heritage designation,” noted Chin, “since it has been such an important planning and short-term protection tool on its own.

“As the ACO warned in December 2022, forcing municipalities to designate all listed properties within two years or drop them from the register was draconian and totally unrealistic. ACO still opposes deadlines and expiry dates, but is glad that the government has recognized the magnitude of the task imposed on municipalities and given them more time to pursue protection options.”

Click here to see the County’s non-designated “Heritage Inventory Listing” 

Click here to see the County’s Heritage Registry of Designated Properties 

New ACO group focuses on the future of the County’s past

 

Filed Under: Local News

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