Best practices – Examples of Heritage Conservation District plans
Each Heritage Conservation District is unique. The amended Ontario Heritage Act (2005) requires that an HCD have an accompanying district plan. A good plan begins by clearly identifying the geographical boundary of the area, its overall character, heritage attributes, compatibility with municipal land-use planning. The plan will provide guidelines on how best to conserve and protect heritage attributes within compatible development. Below, you will find links to HCD plans, each with its own character and unique guidelines.
In addition to neighbourhoods, Heritage Conservation Districts may reflect a variety of character areas, such as industrial uses, institutional, recreational or military. Although rare in Ontario, these specific cultural landscapes are candidates for protection.
Parks Canada’s The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada offers practical, useful guidelines to achieve good conservation practice. Adopted by a number of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal authorities, the Standards and Guidelinesis a great resource for the assessment of proposed conservation interventions on historic places. The 2011 edition of the Standards and Guidelines has added new information on cultural landscapes and the importance of heritage districts.
The following Ontario district plans provide a variety of examples of HCD character types, land use and scale:
- Wartime housing (St. Mary’s HCD, City of Kitchener)
- 19th- and early 20th-century character (Northeast Old Aurora HCD, City of Aurora)
- Downtown commercial and residential – West Woodfield HCD, City of London
- Village character – Thornhill HCD, Town of Markham
- Hamlet character in a rural area under development – Gormley HCD, Town of Richmond Hill
- Commercial, residential and natural character – Woodbridge HCD, City of Vaughan
- Updated district plan – Amended 2005 Ontario Heritage Act – Collingwood Downtown Heritage Conservation District Plan