Heritage Properties

Changes to the Ontario Heritage Act in 2006 allow municipalities to list properties that are not designated on a Municipal Heritage Register.

In 2008, Council endorsed the creation of a register for non-designated properties of cultural heritage value or interest. Owners of listed properties must give the council of the municipality at least 60 days' notice of their intention to demolish or remove a building or structure on the property. This allows for the municipality to decide whether to begin a designation process to give long-term protection to the property.

In 1996, Council endorsed the Rating System for Built Heritage Resources. The purpose of this numerical system is to provide a means of assessing and comparing the heritage significance of properties based on standardized criteria: for example, historical, architectural, and contextual value.

A Priority 1 heritage resource is considered to be of major significance. In those cases, the St. Catharines Heritage Advisory Committee (SCHAC) will focus on designation while a Priority 2 heritage resource is of some significance.

The significant difference between a Priority 1 and Priority 2 heritage resource is that the SCHAC will actively pursue designation for the former but will generally react to requests to designate the latter. However, both priority types are considered supportable for designation in most cases, pending further research.

How do heritage properties get designated?

Properties are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. The process for designation is as follows:

  • Property owner approaches the Heritage Advisory Committee through Planning and Building Services with a request to designate the property
  • Request should be made in writing, providing owner's consent to proceed
  • Heritage Advisory Committee evaluates owner's request based on "Rating System for Built Heritage Resources" and makes recommendations through Planning and Building Services staff, if the evaluation results warrant
  • A report is then prepared by Planning and Building Services staff to City Council based upon recommendations made by Heritage Advisory Committee
  • If the recommendation is approved by City Council, a Notice of Intent to Designate is published in the newspaper (St. Catharines Standard), on the City website, and served to the owner of the property and the Ontario Heritage Trust
  • If, after 30 days, no notices of objection to the designation are filed with the City Clerk, a by-law designating the property is passed by City Council
  • Once the by-law is passed, a Notice of Passing of the By-law is published in the newspaper (St. Catharines Standard) on the City's website, and served to the owner and Ontario Heritage Trust. The by-law then takes effect.

The designation process takes approximately three to four months. 

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