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Heritage Policies

A variety of City and provincial policy documents govern heritage planning in Owen Sound.

The key initiative in the City’s Strategic Plan states: The City should advocate preservation of significant buildings, structures and natural heritage, preserving and celebrating its unique history through architectural preservation and historical interpretation.

Proposed actions include:

  • Develop a systematic and comprehensive ‘storytelling’ experience as part of the City’s interpretive programs.
  • Celebrate Marine and Rail heritage.
  • Enhance, promote and expand the Façade & Structural Improvement Program.
  • Interpret local connection to Women’s Rights Movement.
  • Continue the development of the Black Heritage theme in Owen Sound and area.
  • Promote local history connection to Tom Thomson.
  • Support and promote local military/aviation heritage.
  • Celebrate First Nations’ heritage and multicultural events.

The City’s Official Plan policies, goals and objectives to guide the development and redevelopment of lands within the City, including policies relevant to cultural heritage.

One of the goals of the City’s Cultural Master Plan (pdf) is to promote and preserve Owen Sound’s built, natural and community heritage and to ensure heritage remains a vital consideration. Objectives include an inventory of heritage resources and policies for the sharing, protection, promotion and celebration of these resources.

The City’s Economic Development Action Plan suggests “Distinguish Our Authentic Sense Of Place - Identify, develop and celebrate those qualities, including built heritage, landscapes, people, and events that are distinct to Owen Sound, and are a significant source of community pride and character.”

The Ontario Heritage Act governs matters such as the Heritage Register, Designated Properties, Conservation Districts and establishes the role of the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee in advising Council on heritage matters.

The Provincial Policy Statement states that significant built heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes shall be conserved. ‘Significant’ under the PPS applies not only to properties that are designated under the Act but also to those properties which are listed on the municipal register of cultural heritage value or interest. Development on lands adjacent to protected heritage property must demonstrate that it will not adversely affect the heritage attributes of the protected heritage property.

Other provincial policies include:

  • Cemeteries Act
  • Environmental Assessment Act
  • Building Code Act & Ontario Building Code
  • Fire Protection & Prevention Act
  • Municipal Act (authority for Heritage Property Tax Relief Program)

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