Heritage Halton Hills Committee
A Role for All of Us
Our heritage buildings are limited in number. They are also irreplaceable, as we are reminded with the loss of the Dominion Seed House and the severe deterioration of the Barber Paper Mill.
The structures we have protected, such as Devereaux House and the Georgetown Public Library, enrich us as a community, enhance Halton Hills’ distinctiveness and make our streetscapes memorable.
This is an important time in the development of Halton Hills, with newer developments altering our landscape. This new growth must take our past into consideration. What we choose to value and preserve will be part of our future landscape. Heritage Halton Hills may advise Council on heritage matters, but we can’t do it alone. We need the support of the community, property owners and developers in order to preserve what we cherish about living in Halton Hills.
All Halton Hills Heritage Committee meetings are open to the public.
Who We Are
Heritage Halton Hills is an advisory committee to Town Council, comprised of members of the public appointed by Council to advise on identifying, protecting and preserving the Town's historic assets for the benefit of all residents. The committee is chaired by a member of Council. Members have diverse interests and skills who share an enthusiasm for preserving our Town’s heritage.
Councillor T. Brown
Staff Contact: Ashley Mancuso, Records/FOI Coordinator 905-873-2601 Ext. 2356
To advise Council with regard to the designation of properties under the Ontario Heritage Act.
What We Do
Heritage Halton Hills assists Town Council in making decisions on matters that relate to properties that have historic or architectural value. In addition, we promote heritage conservation awareness within the community and advise property owners on appropriate conservation and maintenance practices. A property can be significant because of its age, originality, architecture or association with a person or event of historical importance. Such a property can be residential, public or commercial.
Our committee evaluates and rates potential heritage properties on specific criteria, using guidelines from the Ontario Heritage Act, usually at the request of a homeowner. Occasionally, the committee will reach out to the owner of a suitable property to see if they would be interested in designation.
Preserving our Heritage
Heritage is what is left to us by previous generations, helping us identify ourselves as a community and foster a sense of place. We preserve because we value Halton Hills’ strong heritage presence. We cherish our park system, Civic Centre, Acton Town Hall Centre, Glen Williams Town Hall, and the dozens of commercial and residential properties that make us unique.
Heritage designation publicly identifies properties that are historically, architecturally or aesthetically significant. It empowers the Town to conserve and safeguard these properties for the benefit and enjoyment of present and future generations. Heritage designation is registered on title and can ensure that a property is protected well into the future.
- are of cultural heritage value or interest, but not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.
- must give the Town a notice of sixty days of any intention to demolish the property in order for the Town to consider conservation options.
- do not require Council's consent for any alterations to the property providing they adhere to Property Standard By-Law.
- are of cultural heritage value or interest and are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act through the enactment of a municipal by-law.
- require the consent of Council for any alteration or removal of the heritage features of the property as listed on the designation.
The Ontario Heritage Act requires all municipal heritage registries to identify properties designated under Parts IV (individually designated properties) and V (Heritage Conservation Districts) of the Act.
Myths and Misconceptions
- Heritage designation does not restrict owners from making alterations to their property. Changes may be necessary for economic or structural viability. Our mandate requires us, without fee, to advise owners on appropriate conservation and maintenance practices so that any changes respect the heritage value of the building.
- As a rule, only outside features of a designated property are listed. Interior features are not usually designated, although property owners can designate interior heritage features if they so choose.
- Designation does not make a property less attractive in the marketplace. In fact, studies have shown that residential heritage properties may increase in value faster than other properties, and better retain their value when the real estate market is down.
- Listed properties do not automatically result in future designation, nor do they need to be listed first in order to be designated.
Benefits of Designation
- Tax refund: Designated properties are eligible for a Heritage Property Tax Refund (20% refund of the local, school board and regional taxes, subject to eligibility).
- Grant program: Designated properties are eligible for a matching grant of up to $3,000 per year to help with property improvements related to a home’s heritage features (subject to eligibility and funding available through the Heritage Foundation of Halton Hills).
- Bronze plaque: The Town will provide owners of designated properties with a bronze plaque to publicly recognize the heritage value of their property.
- Potential for increased property value: Studies have shown residential heritage properties may increase in value faster than other properties and better retain value when the market is down.
- Civic pride: By designating a property, you are helping to preserve the heritage and culture of Halton Hills.
Applying for Heritage Designation
Heritage Designation is a free process that is open to all property owners.
Many factors are taken into consideration when a property is evaluated for designation, not just its age. Unique architectural features or materials may also give your property special character. It may have been the site of an important historical event or owned by a prominent local or national individual or family.
Once your request has been received by Heritage Halton Hills, a Committee member will contact you to discuss the process and arrange a time to evaluate your property.
Heritage Halton Hills will then decide whether or not to recommend your property for designation to Town Council. If approved by Council, your property is given a Heritage Designation through a by-law.
Owners are expected to maintain the historic character of the property as identified under the designation.
For further information on designating your property, call 905-873-2601 ext. 2900.