The County of Brant can designate heritage structures that have historical and/ or architectural significance in our community. The Ontario Heritage Act gives municipal council the authority to designate heritage structures.
Our Heritage Committee is an advisory committee to our municipal council that works to research and make recommendations to council. The committee looks at buildings that may be eligible for designation as well as any proposed alterations/ improvements that are planned for properties that are already designated.
The committee promotes heritage matters and provides information and educational opportunities to our community. These include walking and driving tours, online updates and monthly meetings open to the public.
The committee was established in 2000. It has 9 volunteers from the community, plus 1 member of council and 2 County of Brant staff representatives.
Meeting dates and times are posted on our municipal calendar.
Property owners can seek designation of a building. A legal process regulated by the Ontario Heritage Act begins. When the process is complete, council passes a bylaw to give a property special recognition under the act. The owner gets a plaque to display on the building or structure.
During the designation process, property owners keep control of their property. The owner can still sell and use the property. The owner is not obligated because of designation to restore or maintain the structure beyond what is normally expected under the property standards bylaw.
Council's consent must be granted for owners to alter or renovate designated features of a site.
View our new document, What is Heritage Designation?.
View our local heritage designated properties.
Advantages to Designating your Property
Designation only takes place after public consultation and research. Built heritage helps give the community identity and distinctiveness. We can express appreciation of our community's vision and effort of generations past.
Designation also helps protect structures from inappropriate changes or demolition, at least until alternatives and other suggestions are explored.
Designation does not negatively impact property values, and often helps protect values during general downturns in the marketplace.
Designation status is registered on title so the recognition runs with the property, not the owner. This means the property will continue to be recognized for heritage value into the future. The renovation and renewal of heritage buildings provides employment opportunities. Developing existing properties can have less impact on the environment, natural resources and energy consumption.
Characteristics the County of Brant Heritage Committee uses to determine if the property has historic value include:
- Age of building
- Architectural style
- Landscape situation
- Type of materials used in construction
- Whether building is associated with an important historical figure/ event
- Whether building is work of prominent architect or builder
- Uniqueness of building in the community
- Historical integrity preserved/ extent of alterations and additions to this point
The process of evaluation is not a science and members are encouraged not to let their personal taste and preferences affect their decisions.