Making alterations to Trust easement properties

The owners of Ontario Heritage Trust easement properties must obtain the written approval of the Trust prior to undertaking any activity that would materially affect the appearance or construction of the heritage elements/features identified in the easement agreement. The Trust works with property owners to assist them in meeting their objectives while ensuring that any alterations comply with the terms of the heritage conservation easement agreement and that the heritage features of the property are protected. The purpose of the approval process is not to prohibit change but to ensure that it is carefully managed with sound conservation principles in mind.

To initiate the alteration request process, an easement property owner will need to submit an alteration request form to the Trust. There is no cost associated with the alteration request process. Prior to submitting an alteration request, it is recommended that you discuss your project with Trust staff who can provide advice and guidance on how to proceed, and advise on what supporting documentation (e.g., drawings, specifications, condition reports, photographs, etc.) will be required to ensure that a complete alteration request is submitted. Submission of an incomplete request can result in delays when processing an application.

Once an alteration request form is received, staff will review the proposal alongside the terms of the easement agreement – as well as the Eight guiding principles in the conservation of historical properties, and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. Trust staff will contact property owners if more information is required or if a site visit needs to be scheduled. Once the completed alteration request has been processed, the Trust will notify the owner in writing of its decision. Although each easement agreement is different, most allow for 60 days from receipt of a complete, written alteration request for the Trust to respond. The responses, however, are typically faster than this. It is recommended that owners involve the Trust as early as possible to avoid delays.