by Anita Mackey and Catherine Hurley
In the fall of 2021, the Town of Oakville announced plans to update the Old Oakville Heritage District Plan. Established in 1981, the Old Oakville Heritage District is one of the first established in Ontario. With changes to the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005 and 2021, the Plan requires updating to meet legislation requirements and to reflect heritage best practices.
OLRA is very supportive of this initiative and has formed a Working Group comprised of members of the Board and member volunteers to review and provide input into the materials being prepared by the Town. The objective is to ensure that appropriate conservation principles and guidelines are being proposed to strengthen the protection, conservation, and management of change to the buildings, and character of the neighbourhood streetscape, including the cultural, landscape and natural heritage elements.
While the Town’s process has been delayed, the Working Group has developed a comprehensive work plan that will enable OLRA to contribute to the Town’s process in a timely manner.
The key elements of the work plan include the following:
Input to Town’s RFP and Heritage Consultant Selection Process (Completed)
We have provided the Town with a proposed set of interview questions for their consideration to use during the Town’s selection process of the heritage consultant who will be responsible for the development of an updated Old Oakville Heritage Conservation District Plan.
Input to Heritage Conservation Study & District Plan Elements (Underway)
As part of this process, the Ontario Heritage Act requires the completion of a Heritage Conservation Study as well as a District Plan. The Working Group has identified five main areas where we will provide input and comments to the Town process:
Building Inventory Analysis
Streetscape and Overall District Character Elements
Policy and Planning Mechanisms
Best Practices – Heritage Guidelines
Participation in Town’s Public Engagement Process (To Be Determined)
We recognize the importance of engagement by OLRA and our membership in the Town’s outreach and consultation process. While the timing for this process has not been confirmed, the intention is for our Association to actively participate as a key stakeholder. Once timelines have been established, the Working Group will recommend an OLRA engagement and membership outreach process to the Board.
The Working Group is in the process of developing a section on our OLRA website dedicated to this topic. In addition, if you would like to sign up for project updates from the Town, please provide your contact information to email@example.com.
If you are interested in contributing to this effort, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.