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Town council asks for five-year extension on Ontario Heritage Act stipulation

Amherstburg Town Hall.

A five-year extension has been requested by the Town of Amherstburg as it relates to stipulations in the Ontario Heritage Act.


Town council has passed a resolution recommended by its heritage committee to send a letter to Premier Doug Ford and Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism Michael Ford requesting a subsection of the Act be amended and the deadline before a non-designated heritage property listed on a municipal register of properties be removed be extended five years.


The motion reads: “Whereas Subsection 27(16) of the Ontario Heritage Act stipulates that any non-designated heritage property listed on the municipal register of properties as of December 31, 2022 shall be removed from the municipal register on or before January 1, 2025, if the Council of the municipality does not give a notice of intention to designate the property under subsection 29(1) of the Ontario Heritage Act on or before January 1, 2025.


“Whereas since January 1, 2023, municipal staff and members of the municipal heritage committee in this municipality have been diligently working to: review the municipal heritage register; research the heritage value and interest of listed (non-designated) properties; review and research the heritage value and interest of non-designated properties; contact owners of such properties; determine which properties should potentially be designated in accordance with the provision of Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act; and take all required steps to designate such properties; and “Whereas the above-noted work involving 125 listed properties in this municipality is extremely time consuming and cannot be completed by December 31, 2024 with the limited municipal resources available.”


“Amherstburg is unique among most municipalities in that we have 125 heritage buildings. Not many municipalities in this province, not even Toronto, has 125 on their roster ready to go,” Mayor Michael Prue said. “We have them and they are unique heritage buildings because they encompass three key periods in the province’s history. The first is the War of 1812 and the buildings that went up when Amherstburg was razed to the ground. The second was the Rebellion of 1837 and the Americans who were captured and deported to Tasmania from Boblo Island and the history all around that. The third, and probably the most important one in terms of our heritage buildings, are the homes that were built by the Quakers and the Abolitionists to house the people from the United States seeking freedom. Many of those homes on George St. and other areas are there.”


Prue said the request is to preserve the history of Amherstburg and the province.

“There is no other town that has the history of the escaping slaves,” he said.


Few have the history of the War of 1812 and the Rebellion of 1837, Prue added.


“Those homes and those properties need to be protected,” the mayor said.

Without an extension, Prue feared “most of the province’s history will be lost.”


Town council asks for five-year extension on Ontario Heritage Act stipulation

By Ron Giofu

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