Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Study
A heritage conservation district is a geographically defined area with distinct heritage character that is protected by a municipal bylaw under the Ontario Heritage Act. District designation allows the City to manage and guide future change in the district, through the conservation, protection and enhancement of the area’s special character.
The district applies to 160 properties within the approved district boundary.
All properties within the district are designated under the Ontario Heritage Act and are governed by the Brooklyn and College Hill HCD Plan and Guidelines.
Key aspects of the Brooklyn and College Hill HCD plan are as follows:
- Property owners within the district must obtain a heritage permit to change, erect or demolish any building or structure on their property. Minor changes to property may be carried out without a heritage permit.
- Damage or removal of trees greater than 20 centimetres in diameter requires a heritage permit if the trees are located within the front or side yard and contribute to the neighbourhood’s cultural heritage value, for example, a tree whose canopy overhangs the street.
Own property within the HCD?
The HCD Plan and Guidelines applies to:
- Owners of heritage properties within the HCD
- Owners of non-heritage properties within the HCD
- Owners of vacant lots or land within the HCD
- Municipal staff responsible for undertaking public work projects
- Municipal staff and Heritage Guelph in providing advice when Council makes decisions on heritage permits under the Ontario Heritage Act.
If you are any of the above and plan to change, erect or demolish any building, structure or mature tree on your property, you must follow the Brooklyn and College Hill HCD Plan and Guidelines. In most cases you will need to get a heritage permit, but minor changes can be made without a permit.
The plan and guidelines are organized into seven key subsections that relate to potential changes to property within the HCD.
- Alterations to heritage properties
- Alterations to non-heritage properties
- New building construction
- Demolition of heritage properties
- Demolition of non-heritage properties
- Landscape conservation and design guidelines for the private realm
- Landscape conservation and design guidelines for the public realm
If you plan to make any change to your property, please consult the appropriate section of the plan and guidelines. Not sure where to begin? Give us a call, we can help.
Lands bordering the HCD
Properties that border the HCD, also known as adjacent lands, are not subject to the HCD Plan and Guidelines. Adjacent properties must comply with the Provincial Policy Statement (2014) and the City’s Official Plan to conserve cultural heritage.
Adjacent land refers to any piece of land that:
- shares a boundary with land containing a designated or protected heritage property;
- is separated from a designated or protected heritage property by a right–of-way (e.g., road) and within the span of the extended lot lines of the lot containing a designated or protected heritage property;
- is located at a corner opposite a corner property that is a designated or protected heritage property; or
- is within 30 metres of a designated or protected heritage property where the designated or protected heritage property is within a right-of-way (e.g. bridge) or located on a lot 2.5 hectares in area or greater;
- is larger than 2.5 hectares, the portion of the property that is within 30 metres of the HCD boundary is considered adjacent.
According to the Provincial Policy Statement, development and site changes on lands adjacent to the HCD are not permitted unless the proposed change is evaluated and it has been confirmed that the heritage characteristics of the property will be conserved.
In order to make sure the above has taken place, a property owner adjacent to the HCD boundary may be required to prepare a scoped Cultural Heritage Resource Impact Assessment (CHRIA).
Council approved the district designation By-law (2014)-19812 and the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Plan and Guidelines on September 8, 2014. Three appeals were heard by the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) at a hearing held on October 26-28, 2015. The OMB issued its decision on November 30, 2015, which dismissed all appeals and brought the HCD bylaw, plan and guidelines into force.
November 30, 2015 – Ontario Municipal Board decision
September 8, 2014 – Council Meeting materials
- Heritage Conservation District Decision Meeting Notice
- September 8, 2014 Decision Report (including attachments)
- Attachment 1 – Plan and Guidelines
June 24, 2014 – Community Meeting
The City held a Community Meeting to provide information and continue discussion of the draft Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Plan and Guidelines.
June 9, 2014 – Draft Brooklyn and College Hill HCD Plan and Guidelines
The HCD plan serves as a detailed guidance document for property owners and tenants who wish to develop or renovate properties within the conservation district. The plan will determine the types of changes requiring a heritage permit, as well as allowable types of new development within the district.
Heritage district newsletters
October 2, 2013 – Community Focus Workshop
Feedback gathered at the community focus workshop and through an online feedback form was used by the City to develop a draft heritage conservation district plan.
December 10, 2012 – Final recommendation regarding HCD boundary
The Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment Committee considered the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Boundary – Final Recommendation Report on December 10, 2012.
- Two alternative HCD boundary options proposed by staff
- Report 12-102 Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Boundary – Final Recommendation
April 23, 2012 – Designation process
- Committee Report – Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Designation Process (Phase 2)
February 27, 2012 – Heritage Assessment Report
Council considered the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Study – Heritage Assessment report during the Council meeting on February 27, 2012. The Planning, Building, Engineering and Environment Committee previously considered the report at its meeting on February 21, 2012.
November 2011 and January 2012 – Public meetings
The City held two public meetings as part of Phase 1 of the Heritage Conservation District study. The first public meeting was held on November 15, 2011, and the second public meeting took place on January 17, 2012.
- Presentation from January 17, 2012 Public Meeting
- Minutes of November 15, 2011 Public Meeting
- Presentation from November 15, 2011 Public Meeting
- Heritage Conservation District newsletter (Phase 1)
March 28, 2011 – Initiation of the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District designation process
On March 28, 2011, Council approved a direction to initiate the Brooklyn and College Hill Heritage Conservation District Designation Process. Staffs were directed to retain the services of a consultant to undertake the HCD Designation Process.
January 27, 2011 – Open House
An open house was held as an opportunity for City staff and Heritage Guelph to provide information about the conservation of cultural heritage resources through the establishment of a heritage conservation district (HCD). One of the significant outcomes of the Old University and Centennial Neighbourhood Community Improvement Plan, received by Council in 2006, was a recommendation that a study be undertaken to determine the feasibility of a heritage district designation in the Brooklyn and College Hill area.
Additional reference materials
- About Heritage Conservation Districts (Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport)
- Heritage Conservation Districts: A Guide to District Designation under the Ontario Heritage Act (a booklet from the Ontario Heritage Toolkit)
- Heritage Resource Centre – University of Waterloo
- Heritage designation and property values: Is there an effect? – a research paper by Prof. Robert Shipley
For more information
Senior Heritage Planner
519-837-5616 extension 2496