Heritage Conservation District Designation

Last updated October 2015.
This page is updated frequently as details become available.  Please check back often

In the spring of 2015, we received an update from Heritage Preservation Services.  City Planning on the state of the Nomination of our neighbourhood moving to the Study phase.

Michael Vidori, Heritage Planner, advises that what remains to be done is the completion of their prioritization report to council which will indicate which 3 of 16 nominated districts will be given first priority for study.  (Our neighbourhood is one of the 16).  This will be determined based on a number of criteria including development pressure, existing heritage protections in the district, fragility (neglect, fires, etc.), planning priorities, and other considerations.  HPS is undertaking this priorization exercise because HCD's exert pressure on their budget and on staff resources to lead the projects and administer the districts once they are designated.  They intend to bring their recommendations to Council for consideration at the earliest opportunity in 2015. With the 7 districts currently under study, and at least 3 starting up in 2015 (with more to follow), the will have 10 under study next year.

Members of our association and the Heritage Advisory Committee conducted a walkabout with Heritage Preservation Services on March 18th, 2014 to evaluate the suggested boundaries of the area.  A follow-up public meeting was to have been scheduled in the weeks following. However, we have since learned that the Southwest district will be considered as part of a prioritization study due to commence late in the year.  Also there have been personal changes at HPS.  Scott Barret has gone and our new contact is Tamara Anson-Cartwright who can be contacted at tansonc@toronto.ca .  We will follow up in the months to come and keep area residents advised of any progress or change.

A Quick Back-grounder….

In the general area known as Cabbagetown, there are already 4 neighbourhoods designated as Heritage Conservation Districts.  Our neighbourhood is one of just two remaining pieces. The other is the Parliament Street shopping area.

And just to get one confusing thing out of the way first, we have a naming problem. We call our neighbourhood - the area bounded by Parliament, Sherbourne, Carlton and Shuter - Cabbagetown South.  However, Heritage Preservation Services calls that area Cabbagetown South West.  Ah well.

Not everyone agrees about designation. Some people want designation so as to benefit from the protection from change that the very powerful Ontario Heritage Act provides. Others do not want designation, resenting the restrictions that designation will place on what property owners can do to the outside of their property. Some people are purists; some are pragmatic; some don't care; some care deeply.

Becoming designated is a 3 part process: The Nomination, The Study and The District Plan. It is the District Plan that will contain the policies about what property owners will and will not be able to do to the outside of their property.

To be clear, there are 6 situations where property owners are "deemed" to have been granted the necessary Heritage permits. To see them, click here and be taken to the Municipal code, then do a search on "deemed" to see the list in section 103-21.

One last thing. The City has re-written the policies it uses to create and manage HCDs so it is not a given that the District Plan for our neighbourhood will look the same as the District Plans for the existing Cabbagetown HCDs.


We always welcome your comments and questions. Please email info@cabbagetownsouth.ca

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