The Provincial Plaque Program is a cost-sharing activity of the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Every fall, the Trust conducts an approvals process for plaques to be erected in the following calendar year. Proposals are reviewed and considered by the Board of Directors according to criteria set out below.
Provincial interest is the major criterion by which applications for provincial plaques are assessed. The onus for making the case for the provincial interest of a subject rests with the applicant. Judgments about provincial interest are made within the context of a balanced and comprehensive view of Ontario's past.
The following criteria are considered when evaluating provincial interest:
- the extent to which a particular subject serves as a good representative example of an important theme in Ontario's heritage; this factor is most significant when few plaques to similar subjects exist within the program
- the degree to which the proposed plaque subject is a rare, unique or early example of its type; claims of this sort must be verified by the Trust's research
- the contribution that a plaque will make to the promotion and preservation of public awareness of its subject
- knowledge of the subject, including the availability and reliability of documentary proof and scholarly opinion that supports the claim of provincial interest
- the extent to which a subject is particular to Ontario or exclusively Ontarian; when all other factors are equal, subjects that are unique to Ontario take precedence over those that are more widespread
- the suitability of the subject for interpretation by means of a plaque
- the availability of a site for the plaque that is historically appropriate
- applicants should consult with Trust staff before submitting their applications
Applicants are expected to contribute to the costs of the provincial plaque for which they are applying. Please consult with Trust staff to discuss cost-sharing.
A commitment to contribute funds should be made by the applicant at the time of application. Actual payment should be withheld until after the approval of the application by the Trust. The applicant does not acquire any ownership rights to the plaque by making a contribution to its cost. The plaque remains provincial property. While the contributions of applicants and other sponsors are appreciated and will be acknowledged, only the Ontario Heritage Trust's name appears on the credit line of provincial plaques.
Successful applicants are also expected to assist in the coordination of a public unveiling event at the local level.
In the interest of promoting Ontario's heritage of diverse linguistic groups, the Ontario Heritage Trust may provide the plaque text in English, French and an additional language. The Trust will consider an additional language in response to a request that meets the following criteria:
- the subject of the plaque deals directly with a central experience of that linguistic group, or
- the plaque is located in an area where a substantial part of the community speaks the additional language
- the third language is requested by the applicant or a local heritage organization, and
- the Trust is satisfied that there is interest in the additional language from the larger language group it will serve
- it is possible to accommodate the extra language within a format used in the Provincial Plaque Program
- the applicant is willing to pay for the additional costs associated with producing the plaque in an additional language (translation, manufacturing, installation, etc.)
The Trust will assess requests for texts in an additional language according to the above criteria during its annual adjudication of plaque applications.