Butchardt House (detail), Owen Sound.
The Ontario Heritage Trust has a statutory role outlined in the Ontario Heritage Act, ensuring that the Register is a resource for municipalities and First Nations, land-use planners, heritage organizations, property owners, the general public and other heritage stakeholders (e.g., local, provincial and federal heritage organizations, professional associations and academics).
The Trust has a public service role to play, focusing on municipalities and other stakeholders – making the data available and helping municipalities with the development of designation programs.
The Trust is responsible for maintaining the Register by receiving and maintaining records respecting all heritage property designations throughout Ontario. In its role as an information resource, the Trust provides analysis of data, shares information, monitors trends in heritage conservation (e.g., the number of demolition permit applications, the number of repeals, and the number of new designation bylaws).
Progress to date on the Ontario Heritage Act Register program
Since acquiring the Register from the then-Ministry of Tourism and Culture in 2010, the Trust has been busy managing the records and new designations.
All existing records have now been consolidated into a single repository. The collection of bylaws and documents has also been entirely digitized. When requests from the public are received, the Trust is able to send digital copies of these bylaws and pertinent documents to fill these requests. An inventory has been created to capture the documentation on each designated property, with plans underway to make this information more readily accessible. Our inventory has also helped us identify gaps in our data holdings. The Trust continues to work with municipalities to complete documentation, as required. Heritage conservation districts, too, have been analyzed further, thanks to the data held within the Register. And the Trust has hired its first official Ontario Heritage Act Registrar to manage and expand the program.