Heritage Conservation District Consultation Process 

Downtown Revitalization

About the Downtown Heritage Conservation District Consultation Process

In January 2011, Council adopted a resolution that staff work with the Heritage Committee to complete a consultation process to provide information regarding district designation and gauge public interest for the creation of a downtown heritage district.

Heritage designation recognizes the importance of a property in the community, protects the property's cultural value, encourages conservation and promotes knowledge and understanding about the property.

In Brantford, there are currently two heritage districts: The Brant Avenue Heritage Conservation District and the Victoria Park Square Heritage Conservation District. Additionally, approximately 85 properties are designated individually outside of these districts. In Ontario, there are approximately 102 heritage districts in 36 municipalities that include 17,500 properties.

The Purpose of Declaring an Area as a Heritage Conservation District

The purpose of declaring an area as a heritage conservation district is to conserve and enhance the area's character and is not about stopping changes or prohibiting redevelopment. It is a means to guide physical change over time so that changes contribute to the district's historic character.

A heritage conservation district plan sets out policy statements and guidelines to manage changes in the district. The plan would set out the types of work that would require Council approval, the types of work that are minor in nature and exempt from heritage review, and the work that requires approval by delegated municipal staff only.

The Heritage Conservation District Designation Process

The heritage conservation district designation process is lengthy and has a substantial financial implication to the municipality. Before initiating the process, all stakeholders will be given the opportunity to obtain information regarding heritage district designation and be given a forum to discuss the implications of heritage designation and management of the heritage district. As well, the community will be able to voice concerns that they may have regarding heritage districts.

Planning Staff and the Heritage Committee have hosted one public information session regarding this project. In the fall, Staff and the Heritage Committee will submit for Council’s consideration the findings of this public consultation process regarding the level of support for proceeding with a heritage district conservation study and the preparation of a heritage district plan.

For More Information

The following material will be useful to property owners and residents in understanding of the heritage district designation process and provide preliminary information to some of the most common issues involved with the designation of a conservation district.

FAQ's and Reports

For answers to some Frequently Asked Questions, please see the document at the bottom of this page titled "Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)" below. If your question isn't answered there, then please contact us!

Also find some reports and studies on the value and impact of Heritage Districts at the bottom of this page.

Brantford Heritage Inventory

Visit the Brantford Heritage Inventory, a historical property database to learn more about some of Brantford's interesting architecture and history.

Click to view the Brantford Heritage Inventory Website

Ministry of Culture's Ontario Heritage Act

The Ministry of Culture website provides general information regarding the Heritage Conservation District process under the Ontario Heritage Act. http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/heritage/heritage_toolkit.shtml

University of Waterloo Heritage Resource Centre

This includes a database of heritage conservation studies and reports from municipalities across Ontario. http://www.environment.uwaterloo.ca/research/hrc/projects/index.html