September 2015

OHA+M is an award-winning blog about the Ontario Heritage Act, heritage policy in Ontario and related topics. New posts monthly. Comments on posts and suggestions for new posts are most welcome! All posts copyright © 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Dan Schneider. To subscribe to OHA+M, on the menu to the left, click on "Subscribe to OHA+M" under "Blog".

What to do about churches? (part three)

Stained glass dome on the ceiling.

There’s something else about churches…

Back to basics for a minute. Built heritage conservation is not supposed to be about use (as long as there is a viable one of course!). So whether an old factory is used for its original industrial purpose, adapted for commercial use or turned into chic condos is all the same — right? — provided its heritage features are identified and respected along the way. Heritage is about the fabric or “bricks-and-mortar,” the physical features of the place; while what takes place within/on that fabric/property — the way it is used — is pretty much irrelevant.

What to do about churches? (part two)

Building entrance to Shaar Hashomayim building in Windsor.

We’ve been talking about churches — or more broadly, places of worship of all descriptions — and wondering how public policy should respond to the conservation dilemma they pose. But first we need to better understand their special circumstances.

About Dan Schneider

Dan Schneider Portrait Image

Dan Schneider is a heritage enthusiast, policy wonk, writer and professional heritage consultant. Formerly senior policy advisor with the provincial culture ministry, Dan has much experience with the Ontario Heritage Act and heritage policy issues. A lawyer by training, he was lead policy expert on major changes to the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005 and 2006. His advice is frequently sought on questions related to Ontario's legislative and policy framework for heritage. Based in St. Marys, Ontario, Dan is Principal of Dan Schneider Heritage Consulting. He can be reached at