A Preservation Checklist
Things you can do for yourself if faced with a threat to a local heritage site:
- 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:
- Heritage Property Evaluation
- Designating Heritage Properties
- Heritage Conservation Districts
- Your Community, Your Heritage, Your Committee
- Heritage Resources in the Land Use Planning Process (Available, with the new Ontario Heritage Act at www.culture.gov.on.ca)
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- 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).