2019 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards recognize heritage excellence in Ontario

TORONTO – The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and the Ontario Heritage Trust celebrated projects and individuals who made exceptional contributions to heritage conservation in Ontario yesterday evening at the annual Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards ceremony at Queen’s Park.

These awards, now in their 14th year, encompass a wide range of unique and fascinating achievements in the conservation of Ontario’s heritage. The recipients included one exceptional individual, two communities, three groups of students, three young heritage leaders, six dedicated lifelong volunteers and 10 heritage projects.

Each recipient has helped Ontarians to experience heritage in new and profound ways that speak to its diversity and dynamic character. Examples include: the Home Made Visible project (that collected, digitized and shared home videos in Toronto and across Canada from Indigenous and historically marginalized communities), a heritage courthouse in Thunder Bay that was converted into a boutique hotel, the reconstruction of the greenhouses at Oshawa’s Parkwood National Historic Site to become a new tourism attraction and space for learning, and a new Indigenous-focused permanent museum exhibition in Bruce County that attracted over 20,000 visits in its first year.

2019 recipients
Photo: Ian Crysler
The Thomas Symons Award for Commitment to Conservation was presented for the first time this year to Rick Hill, honouring his exceptional and lifelong commitment to nurturing deeper understandings and explorations of traditional Haudenosaunee knowledge and worldviews within the Six Nations of the Grand River community, and more broadly. This new award recognizes individuals who have, throughout their professional careers, made exceptional contributions to conservation.

This year’s recipients also included three exceptional Young Heritage Leaders: Ashley Harper from Ottawa, Deon Singh from Brampton, and Grace Gong from Mississauga. Each received the Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship, worth $3,500 for their post-secondary education, sponsored by Canada Life.

“We’re inspired by the leadership and contributions of this year’s youth recipients as they work to conserve Ontario’s heritage. We celebrate them, and all young Ontarians who are committed to improving the well-being of our communities,” said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Canada Life. “Canada Life believes these conservation efforts not only help build the next generation of leaders, but help our communities reach their full potential.”

“These recipients have all demonstrated a profound dedication to preserving the heritage of Ontario,” said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell. “Thank you for your contributions to protecting our past and shaping our shared future.”

“The Ontario Heritage Trust is proud to join the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario to recognize these remarkable individuals, organizations and communities for the outstanding heritage contributions they have made,” said Harvey McCue, Chair of the Trust. “These achievements will endure for many years into the future and leave a positive mark on the province.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards are annual juried awards administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust that recognize important work in heritage conservation. The awards are part of the Trust’s Heritage Week celebrations.

Learn more:

  • For a full list of recipients and more information on the projects
  • Get more information on submitting a nomination for the 2020 awards
  • Watch our video about the Young Heritage Leaders program and scholarship


Edward Dodd, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, Ontario Heritage Trust., or 416-325-5074.

Liz Kulyk, Director, Media and Public Affairs, Canada Life., or 204-926-5012.

Alex Tichinoff, Senior Advisor, Communications and Events, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario,, or 416-325-7793.

About the Ontario Heritage Trust:

The Ontario Heritage Trust (OHT) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust identifies, protects, promotes and conserves Ontario’s heritage. The Trust conserves provincially significant cultural and natural heritage, interprets Ontario’s history, educates Ontarians of its importance in our society, and celebrates the province’s diversity. The Trust envisions an Ontario where the places, landscapes, traditions and stories that embody our heritage are reflected, valued and conserved for future generations.