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A Preservation Checklist
Things you can do for yourself if faced with a threat to a local heritage site:

  1. Confirm the historical significance of the building or site.
    • Ask the local heritage committee or councillor if it’s listed or designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
    • Check if there are any official city plans for the building or the area.
    • Read the Ontario Heritage Tool Kit, containing five useful publications:
      1. Heritage Property Evaluation
      2. Designating Heritage Properties
      3. Heritage Conservation Districts
      4. Your Community, Your Heritage, Your Committee
      5. Heritage Resources in the Land Use Planning Process
      6. (Available, with the new Ontario Heritage Act at www.culture.gov.on.ca)
    • Read PPS 2005, Sec.2.6 (available at www.mah.gov.on.ca) which requires that Planning Act decisions involving heritage “shall be consistent with” PPS 2005.
  2. If the property is not listed, start the following process:
    • Follow the steps in “Designating Heritage Properties” (in the Ontario Heritage Tool Kit).
    • Research – use your local historical society, library and archives.
    • Document the site with photographs.
    • Get opinions and assessments from any available professional (scholar, architect, planner or historian) regarding the value of the site (historical, architectural, and/or contextual).
    • Contact the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario for information about your local chapter and expert advice available through the PreservationWorks! Program (aco@on.aibn.com).
  3. Organize
    • Organize a citizens’ group, consisting of well-known local names, for example in politics, law, planning and culture.
    • Get supporting letters from heritage organizations (local and provincial).
    • If you don’t have a local preservation group, form one.
    • Send your dossier to the local heritage committee and/or your councilor
    • Get publicity, e.g. press coverage, by meeting the editor, writing letters to the editor, or holding a demonstration
    • Get information about grants, from the local heritage committee or Ministry of Culture. Grants are usually available only for designated buildings.
    • Raise money (many grants are on a matching basis).
    • Have a feasibility study made, which shows how the property can be restored and become useful and self-supporting.

    Persevere. “There is no second chance for the past” (Ada Louise Huxtable).