January 2017

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".

Bill C-323 dies — a sacrificial lamb?

Sacrificial lamb: someone or something that suffers so that someone or something more important can succeed  ~ Macmillan Dictionary

Suffers — or in the case of Bill C-323, An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (rehabilitation of historic property) — dies.

Today, there’s good news and bad news.  Well, I’ve already told you the bad news.

The blog takes a bow!

A snapshot of the OHA+M blog first page beside an image of Daniel Schneider receiving an award from a woman and a man

Today, it’s all about the blog.

I don’t often get to toot my own horn, but… drum roll please. 

Bill C-323 at committee

An image of hands holding a globe and leaves above a field of grass

Ruins in the Ontario landscape, part three

Bridge abutments with a gravel road between them.

The aesthetic value of a ruin is pretty obvious (or, depending on the observer, it isn’t). What about its historical value?

Ruins in the Ontario landscape, part two

Neglected structure

Run-down, collapsed building in field

We’re ruminating on ruins, exploring the meaning and value of Ontario’s ruined structures.

Ruins in the Ontario landscape, part one

Ruined and neglected stone bridge covered in weed growth

Stone bridge

Did I ever tell you about my passion for ruins?

CRB finds old school doesn't pass the test

Neglected Lambeth School building in degraded parking lot, London, Ontario

A recent decision by the Conservation Review Board helps elucidate one of the criteria for heritage designation.

In Lambeth Health Organization Inc. v. London (City), issued on March 1, 2017, the Board had to decide whether a 1925 former school building in the community of Lambeth, now part of the City of London, met the criteria for designation in O. Reg. 9/06. [1]

At 150, looking back to 100

Canada 150 anniversary logo with maple leaf

On the eve of the country’s and province’s 150th anniversary, a look back to two historic achievements associated with our last big national bash.

Changes to the OMB - meh

A stone statue of a woman in front of a stone building with the word "tribunal" in-scripted on it

In case you missed it… on May 30, 2017 Minister of Municipal Affairs Bill Mauro introduced the government’s long-anticipated changes to the Ontario Municipal Board. Bill 139, the Building Better Communities and Conserving Watersheds Act, 2017, combines OMB/planning system-related changes and changes to the Conservation Authorities Act, which has also been under review. [1]

The province says: “If passed, the proposed legislation would overhaul the province’s land use planning appeal system.”

Wish list changes to the OHA, part two … or, two-way demolition appeals?

The arm of a bulldozer tearing down a stone building

Ka-boom! Another heritage building bites the dust.

Wish list changes to the OHA, part one ... or, bands in the OHA

It’s been over ten years now since the last major amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005-06.

I am sometimes asked what new changes should be made to the Act. Well, there are a few...

Let’s start with an easy one.

The OHA should be amended to remove the reference to “[Indian] bands” in the definition of municipality. This reference is outdated and unnecessary — not to mention culturally insensitive, or worse.

Specifically, section 2 of the OHA defines “municipality” as follows:

Farmhouse loophole to be closed

A forest in the winter with a stone farmhouse in the background

Near St. Mary's, Ontario

A bit of good news for those concerned about our rural heritage.

Probing Bill C-323

A hand holding a magnifying glass with the words "Bill C-323" in red placed in the center

The legislation we’ve been following, private member’s Bill C-323, is headed to committee!  But it’s uncertain when that will be. The Environment committee is still busy with a major review of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The committee is off the last two weeks of April and only has five weeks in May and early June before rising for summer break.

So it may not happen until fall. In the meantime, we in the heritage community should be thinking hard about what to say to the committee — and who should say it — when they hold public hearings on the bill.

Bill C-323 clears a hurdle

A building called "Fort Saskatchewan" with words supporting history preservation and Bill C-323

The Speaker:

"I declare the motion carried. Accordingly, the bill stands referred to the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development."

- Hansard, March 23, 2017

By a vote of 150 to 140, Bill C-323, which would create a tax credit for the rehabilitation of historic properties, passed Second Reading in the House of Commons last Thursday.[1] Wow!

Debating Bill C-323

A black and white doodle of the parliament building in Ottawa, Ontario

"Most of those who have grown to know and love our country's history have travelled that path guided by heritage buildings that were the gateways to the stories of the past."

Peter Van Loan, MP (CPC)

The most interesting heritage discussion in Canada right now is going on in Ottawa — in the House of Commons!

Alteration, demolition — and partial demolition?

A rendering of a building facade facing a busy street of pedestrians

2017 Heritage Week plaques and stats

A historic farmhouse used as a hotel in Eden Mills, 1867

The 1867 Eden Mills Hotel, Eden Mills

For Hamilton's Gore it's crunch time

UPDATE: Hamilton Planning Committee met on January 17th and approved the two heritage permits: to retain the facade of 18-22 King Street East and to demolish the neighbouring buildings at 24 & 28. City council gave final approval on January 25th.

The Friends of the Gore have launched a last-ditch campaign to petition the province to intervene to save this fine heritage row. You can can lend your support here: 

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 danschneider@live.ca.