What a difference a day makes

12 Victoria Terrace in downtown Brampton, one of 17 properties designated by Brampton city council on March 11, 2009 (Photo: by Jim Leonard)

Photo: 12 Victoria Terrace in downtown Brampton, one of 17 properties designated by Brampton city council on March 11, 2009 (Photo: by Jim Leonard)


Jim Leonard

Buildings and architecture

Published Date: May 06, 2010

On March 11, 2009, Brampton City Council designated 17 individual properties under Part IV (Section 29) of the Ontario Heritage Act. The simultaneous passing of so many heritage designation bylaws by a municipal council may be a record in the province.

This group of designated properties includes three pioneer cemeteries, a homestead from the earliest period of European settlement in Brampton, a downtown commercial block and an early 20th-century-period revival house.

As of March 2010, 12 additional properties were being processed for designation, including a factory complex, Brampton’s Memorial Arena, a Queen-Anne-revival landmark house, important early cemeteries and a picturesque Roman Catholic church. Bylaws for these additional properties will be considered by city council shortly. Some 30 other properties are pending designation in the months ahead.

The City of Brampton has been focusing considerable effort on both its heritage listing and designation programs. The number of designated and listed heritage properties has grown steadily since 2004. In 2006, Brampton’s Official Plan was revised to support proactive heritage designation, and heritage evaluation criteria were rewritten.

Further incentives have been steadily adopted by the city in recent years, including a heritage permit system in 2006, a heritage incentive grant for designated heritage properties in 2007, and a redesign of the wall-mounted plaque program.

In 2008, an illustrated heritage designation primer was published. Brampton’s Heritage Registers, along with an interactive GIS mapping tool, were posted online on the city’s website in 2009.

Furthermore, starting in 2009, the city began contributing records to the Canadian Register of Historic Places. Brampton is now exploring the possibility of having some of its most significant heritage properties considered for recognition as National Historic Sites.

The long-established heritage district plan for the village of Churchville (currently Brampton’s only heritage district) has been considerably amended. The Churchville Heritage Conservation District was featured in the University of Waterloo’s recent study, “Heritage Districts Work!”

In 2009, the city completed a Heritage Conservation District feasibility study focusing on the downtown and central area. Council has authorized staff to complete the necessary work required to gradually designate up to seven downtown heritage conservation districts, representing over 900 properties in total.

City staff – including Heritage Coordinators Jim Leonard and Antonietta Minichillo, with the Community Design Division of the Planning Department – and the Brampton Heritage Board are justifiably proud of their successes over the past several years and remain grateful for the ongoing support of both City Council and the community at large.

For more information, visit the City of Brampton's website.