Hespeler Heritage Conservation District Study

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The Ontario Heritage Act enables the City of Cambridge to designate properties or areas of significance as a Heritage Conservation District (HCD). This is done through a designation by-law and can apply to individual properties (Part IV) or a neighbourhood or district (Part V). Heritage designation is a way for the community to honour and protect these areas of cultural heritage value.

We want your input on the Hespeler Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study.

What is a Heritage Conservation District (HCD)?

An HCD is a geographically defined area within a municipality that is noted for its distinct heritage character. An HCD may be defined by neighbourhoods or other locations with distinct features, styles, themes, or characteristics. HCDs can include buildings, trees, roads, landscapes and other elements that contribute to their unique character. Under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities can protect districts by designating character-defining elements and their public realm, providing detailed guidance for redevelopment that occurs over time.

Background & Process

In 2020, Council directed staff to begin the Hespeler HCD Study in order to review areas of cultural heritage value within Hespeler and ensure their protection. In 2023, staff identified a portion of downtown Hespeler as a draft Study Area and began the study process under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The designation of an HCD involves two phases: the Study Phase and the Plan Phase. The Study Phase involves reviewing the character of the area and making recommendations on:

  • The geographic boundaries of the area to be designated;
  • The objectives and content of a HCD Plan; and,
  • Any changes that will be required to the City’s Official Plan and municipal by-laws [Section 40(2)].

The Study Phase also includes consultation with the public and Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC) before Council review.

The Plan Phase involves the development of policies, guidelines and procedures to help guide future changes in the District so that the area’s cultural heritage value is conserved.

Public feedback and engagement is important to the Hespeler HCD Study in order to inform the direction of the project. Public feedback will inform areas and properties for inclusion within the future HCD. Thank you to all those who have provided comments on the Study. The survey is now closed as of February 1, 2024, however feel free to contact staff with any additional comments or questions. Contact: Jeremy Parsons, Senior Planner - Heritage, parsonsje@cambridge.ca.

Public Information Centre (PIC) Open House

Thank you to all those who attended the PIC Open House on Monday October 30, 2023 at the Hespeler Legion! We had well over 50 attendees and lots of questions and discussion. Staff have noted all comments and questions shared which will inform the Study results.

Hespeler HCD Community Focus Group

Thank you to all those who participated in our Focus Group meetings on January 10th, February 14th, and March 13th 2024. Thank you for your engagement on this project! Should Council decide for the project continue, Focus Group meetings will recommence in Summer 2024. More information on the Focus Group can be found here: https://www.cambridge.ca/en/your-city/other-committees.aspx.

Next steps:

When the HCD Study is complete, the findings and recommendations will be presented to MHAC for consultation (April 18, 2024) and then to Council (May 28, 2024) in order to decide if the project will move forward to the Plan Phase. If the project does not move on to the Plan Phase, the City of Cambridge will use the recommendations provided to update the City’s Heritage Register and pursue other options, such as cultural heritage landscapes, zoning changes, and/or individual designations under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. If Council does decide to designate an HCD, all residents will be notified and provided a copy of the district designation by-law, HCD Plan & Guidelines, and will be provided with access to staff for any questions on heritage permitting or the HCD.

The Ontario Heritage Act enables the City of Cambridge to designate properties or areas of significance as a Heritage Conservation District (HCD). This is done through a designation by-law and can apply to individual properties (Part IV) or a neighbourhood or district (Part V). Heritage designation is a way for the community to honour and protect these areas of cultural heritage value.

We want your input on the Hespeler Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study.

What is a Heritage Conservation District (HCD)?

An HCD is a geographically defined area within a municipality that is noted for its distinct heritage character. An HCD may be defined by neighbourhoods or other locations with distinct features, styles, themes, or characteristics. HCDs can include buildings, trees, roads, landscapes and other elements that contribute to their unique character. Under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities can protect districts by designating character-defining elements and their public realm, providing detailed guidance for redevelopment that occurs over time.

Background & Process

In 2020, Council directed staff to begin the Hespeler HCD Study in order to review areas of cultural heritage value within Hespeler and ensure their protection. In 2023, staff identified a portion of downtown Hespeler as a draft Study Area and began the study process under the Ontario Heritage Act.

The designation of an HCD involves two phases: the Study Phase and the Plan Phase. The Study Phase involves reviewing the character of the area and making recommendations on:

  • The geographic boundaries of the area to be designated;
  • The objectives and content of a HCD Plan; and,
  • Any changes that will be required to the City’s Official Plan and municipal by-laws [Section 40(2)].

The Study Phase also includes consultation with the public and Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC) before Council review.

The Plan Phase involves the development of policies, guidelines and procedures to help guide future changes in the District so that the area’s cultural heritage value is conserved.

Public feedback and engagement is important to the Hespeler HCD Study in order to inform the direction of the project. Public feedback will inform areas and properties for inclusion within the future HCD. Thank you to all those who have provided comments on the Study. The survey is now closed as of February 1, 2024, however feel free to contact staff with any additional comments or questions. Contact: Jeremy Parsons, Senior Planner - Heritage, parsonsje@cambridge.ca.

Public Information Centre (PIC) Open House

Thank you to all those who attended the PIC Open House on Monday October 30, 2023 at the Hespeler Legion! We had well over 50 attendees and lots of questions and discussion. Staff have noted all comments and questions shared which will inform the Study results.

Hespeler HCD Community Focus Group

Thank you to all those who participated in our Focus Group meetings on January 10th, February 14th, and March 13th 2024. Thank you for your engagement on this project! Should Council decide for the project continue, Focus Group meetings will recommence in Summer 2024. More information on the Focus Group can be found here: https://www.cambridge.ca/en/your-city/other-committees.aspx.

Next steps:

When the HCD Study is complete, the findings and recommendations will be presented to MHAC for consultation (April 18, 2024) and then to Council (May 28, 2024) in order to decide if the project will move forward to the Plan Phase. If the project does not move on to the Plan Phase, the City of Cambridge will use the recommendations provided to update the City’s Heritage Register and pursue other options, such as cultural heritage landscapes, zoning changes, and/or individual designations under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. If Council does decide to designate an HCD, all residents will be notified and provided a copy of the district designation by-law, HCD Plan & Guidelines, and will be provided with access to staff for any questions on heritage permitting or the HCD.

  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded on Feb 1, 2024. Thank you for participating! Please email parsonsje@cambridge.ca if you wish to share your thoughts on the Study.
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Page last updated: 20 Mar 2024, 03:58 PM