Three houses in centretown.

Based on our mandate to undertake research, education and extension work in the heritage field, the centre's recent and past projects are included on this website. We strive to make all of our initiatives readily available to provide the public with data and resources.

Identification of Candidate CHLs in Wilmot and North Dumfries

A Cover of Identification of Candidate CHLs in Wilmot and North Dumfries

In 2022, the Heritage Resources Centre in collaboration with various stakeholders, conducted an extensive study to identify candidate cultural heritage landscapes (CHLs) within the political boundaries of the Townships of Wilmot and North Dumfries. The report aims to support the preservation of significant CHLs in the region by utilizing a multifaceted approach that includes public participation, document analysis, field surveys, and stakeholder engagement. The study has pinpointed eight candidate sites worthy of further investigation for conservation as CHLs. To read the full report, click here.

Heritage Planning Colloquium Report

On April 29, 2019, the Heritage Resources Centre held 'The Many Faces of Heritage' - a heritage planning colloquium for academics, practitioners, and laypeople who had a general interest in heritage matters. The colloquium covered the latest heritage research, ideas, opportunities, and challenges in practice. The Colloquium Report outlines the outcomes of the colloquium and identifies next steps. To read the full report, click here.

Identification of Candidate Cultural Heritage Landscapes in the Townships of Wellesley and Woolwich

The cover page of a Cultural Heritage Landscape Study

In 2017/18, the Heritage Resources Centre partnered with several organizations to identify candidate cultural heritage landscapes (CHLs) in the townships of Wellesley and Woolwich. Using four methods of public engagement, Identification of Candidate Cultural Heritage Landscapes in Wellesley and Woolwich Townships takes a participatory approach to CHL identification and evaluation. To read the full report, click here.

Lake Huron Coastline Workshop for Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation

The Coastal Action Plan for the Southeastern Shoreline of Lake Huron is a project intended to lead to a comprehensive action plan for conservation, restoration and stewardship of the coastal area stretching from Tobermory to Sarnia. In this context, the Lake Huron Centre for Coastal Conservation asked the HRC to design and lead the first in a series of three planned workshops. This workshop brought together practitioners and decision-makers with a shared interest in the health of the Lake Huron coastline. The workshop focused on 3 coastal ecosystems (beach & dune systems; cobble beaches; and bluff & gully systems) with the intent to cover the remaining ecosystems in subsequent workshops. Workshop deliverables included: a) an illustration of the coast reflecting discussions of conservation challenges and opportunities; and b) an understanding of the project and how it would tie into and connect the work of numerous other organizations in the region.

Township Cultural Heritage Landscape Project

The HRC in cooperation with the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and the Region of Waterloo has undertaken a study to identify candidate Cultural Heritage Landscapes in the Townships of Woolwich and Wellesley.

City of Stratford Non-Designated Register  

In the fall of 2016 the Stratford Heritage Committee asked the Heritage Resources Centre to help them start a Register of Non-Designated Properties.  Some members of the committee in the 1990s had surveyed the city and listed buildings they thought might be significant enough to be included on a list. This list contained some dates of construction and any history of the building. The Heritage Resources Centre photographed each building and placed the picture of the building, the date of construction and an architectural description on a spread sheet. From this list the Stratford Heritage Committee will choose the properties they feel could be on the Non-Designat4d Register.

Community Engagement Study for Potential Downtown Ayr HCD

The Township of North Dumfries asked the Heritage Resources Centre to conduct a study for them to determine the level of interest of the property owners in the business section of Ayr towards establishing a Heritage Conservation District.

Thirty seven properties owned by twenty eight people were involved in the study. Three people from the Heritage Resources Centre conducted interviews and obtained people’s answers to a number of questions. The results were quite positive. The owners felt Ayr was an historic area and deserved to be preserved. A public meeting and open house will take place in February 2018 to which the citizens will be invited.

Arch, Truss & Beam: Grand River Watershed Heritage Bridge Inventory 

Cover of Arch Truss and Beam reoport

Bridges are an important component of human heritage. Bridges help to demonstrate the role of rivers in the early industrial and cultural development of Canada. Historic bridges represent one of the key themes that support the designation of Heritage Rivers across Canada.

In 2003, Robinson Heritage Consulting developed a heritage bridge inventory for the Grand River watershed: Grand Old Bridges - The Grand River Watershed Heritage Bridge Inventory (2004). Sixty-nine bridges were considered to have heritage significance. However, hundreds of bridges in the watershed were not assessed for their heritage values.

To address this gap, a larger study was published in 2013 called the Arch, Truss, & Beam: The Grand River Watershed Heritage Bridge Inventory. It was sponsored by the GRCA, the Government of Ontario and the Heritage Resources Centre.

The studies:

  • support the designation of the Grand River and its four tributaries,
  • identify and encourage the listing or designation of bridges with significant cultural heritage value under the Ontario Heritage Act, and
  • promote the unique character and tourism potential of the bridges.

In the 2013 study, a total of 678 bridges were assessed against the criteria used to determine heritage value outlined in Ontario Regulation 09/06 under the Ontario Heritage Act. A total of 167 were determined to have heritage value.

Download Arch, Truss & Beam:Bridge-Inventory_Grand-River-Watershed_final.pdf

Heritage Conservation Districts Work!

With funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, branches of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) and Historical Societies will partner with the Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) at the University of Waterloo to undertake a province wide research program to answer the question: Have Heritage Conservation Districts in Ontario been successful heritage planning initiatives over a period of time? This study looked at 64 districts in Ontario in two phases from 2008-2013. 

This information is available to the public for use as reference, but the Heritage Resources Centre is the only organization authorized to use the results in consulting.
Needs alt text.
Needs alt text.

Pilot Study 

Upper Doon Village HCD summary - Pilot study (PDF)

Heritage Conservation District Work! 

Heritage Conservation District study summary report (PDF)

Heritage Conservation Districts: More Stories of Success 

HCD study final report summary phase two (PDF)

New book on Ontario planning

The new book Beyond the Global City: Understanding and Planning for the Diversity of Ontario features an article by Heritage Resources Centre Director Dr. Robert Shipley. It's available through this order form (PDF).

Goderich Harbour Cultural Heritage Landscape study

Factories in Goderich Harbour.

With funding from the Huron Business Development Corporation and under the direction of a local steering committee, the Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) conducted a study of the Goderich Harbour area as a Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) (PDF).

Historic Places Initiative

Alt text needed.
Alt text needed.
Alt text needed.

In January 2007, the HRC organized an action team for the Historic Places Initiative (HPI). The team, consisting of recent graduates, high school anduniversity students, has since been responsible for assisting municipalities in completing nominations for selected heritage sites within and surrounding the Grand Heritage River Corridor. Steady progress has been made in the effort to standardize the methods for recognizing historic places across the country, create a national register and introduce new programs for heritage conservation.

The Lazarus Effect

Cover of Lazarus Effect Report

Dozens and perhaps even hundreds of historic buildings have been demolished in Ontario over the past decades because owners, bankers and developers have argued that the costs of renovating and adapting these buildings for new uses is too high.

This is a comprehensive study on the economics of heritage development in Ontario, commissioned by The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, with additional support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Cultural Heritage Landscapes report

Research papers

Ordering research reports