The City of Toronto is proposing to list 258 new properties on its Heritage Register. The properties are located in the area known as the Midtown in Focus Planning Area, along the commercial main streets of Bayview Avenue, Eglinton Avenue East and West, Mount Pleasant Road and Yonge Street (see map).
The Toronto Preservation Board (TPS), the local body dedicated to heritage matters in the City, will consider staff’s recommendations on this matter at its meeting on Thursday, August 24, 2017 at 9:30am. The TPS agenda and report are available here. It is anticipated that the staff’s recommendations will then go to City Council in October 2017.
What does being “listed” in the Heritage Register mean?
The Ontario Heritage Act (the “Heritage Act”) requires that municipalities keep a register of properties that are of cultural heritage value or interest. The register includes properties that are “listed”, as well as properties that have been formally “designated” under the Heritage Act. The proposal before the TPS is to “list” the above-noted properties.
Once “listed”, the Heritage Act requires that an owner provide the City with at least 60 days notice prior to the demolishing or removing any building or structure on the property. By requiring this notice, the municipality is allowed time to take steps to designate the property, if appropriate.
Even absent a notice or demolition, however, the City may bring forward a proposal to “designate” a property that is “listed” in the Heritage Register.
Although the Heritage Act distinguishes between ”listed” and “designated” properties, many of the heritage conservation policies contained in the Toronto Official Plan apply equally to both. As such, the policy implications of being “listed”, particularly where a redevelopment of the property is being proposed, can be significant.
I’m concerned. What can I do?
If you have concerns with the listing of any of the 258 properties in the Heritage Register, you can make written submission to or request to speak at the TPS meeting this Thursday by going to the agenda and selecting the “submit comments” or “request to speak” box at the top of the agenda page. Alternatively, you may submit comments at firstname.lastname@example.org . Requests to speak at the TPS meeting should be made by noon on August 23, 2017.
UPDATE (August 25, 2017): The TPS has adopted staff recommendations. The TPS recommendations will go the Planning and Growth Management Committee, whose next meeting is scheduled for September 7, 2017 at 9:30am. The Planning and Growth Management Committee's recommendations will then go to City Council.