Why the Trust acquires property - Ontario Heritage Trust

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Why the Trust acquires property

The objects of the Trust, as they relate to property, are established in Section 7 of the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA), specifically:

  • to receive, acquire and hold property in trust for the people of Ontario
  • to support, encourage and facilitate the conservation, protection and preservation of the heritage of Ontario
  • to preserve, maintain, reconstruct, restore and manage property of historical, architectural, archaeological, recreational, esthetic, natural and scenic interest.

The powers of the Trust (per the OHA, Section 10) include the authority to:

  • receive and acquire by purchase, donation, lease, public subscription, grant, bequest or otherwise property of historical, architectural, archaeological, recreational, esthetic, natural and scenic interest for the use, enjoyment and benefit of the people of Ontario
  • enter into agreements, covenants and easements with owners of real property or interests in real property for the conservation, protection and preservation of the heritage of Ontario.

Properties acquired by the Trust are screened by a multidisciplinary team against a defined methodology. Research on the potential acquisitions is conducted, and the site is visited, recorded and evaluated against the acquisition criteria. Trust staff also consult with stakeholders and property owners, define the property’s natural or cultural heritage values, and determine the financial resources required for the ongoing administration and protection of the property. Acquisitions are subject to approval by the Trust’s Board of Directors and must meet the following criteria:

  • possess provincial heritage significance
  • contribute to broader ecological systems, linkages and associated heritage context
  • contribute to the Trust’s representation of Ontario’s diversity
  • demonstrate short- and long-term financial and operational sustainability
  • provide opportunities for public access, education and interpretation
  • satisfy one or more of the following advisory criteria:
    • align with provincial government priorities
    • connect the Trust with new audiences, partnerships and communities
    • align with the Trust’s corporate priorities.