Lecture 2 Cultural Heritage Conservation in Ontario: Provincial Policy and Laws
Jan 16 2012
Andrew Jean – Guest Speaker
Next Week – he’ll be thee from 5:15 in room 210
Lecture mainly about tangible – buildings
Many forces put cultural heritage at risk – i.e. social, economic, and environmental forces
We need to understand these forces that put cultural heritage at risk
Rural parts of Canada – different pressures than urban
• Worried about the survival of their environment rather than the building of condos
• Different heritage problems in rural vs. city
What is the best conservation approach?
• Three Pillars model (identify – figure out what you want to protect/protect – how to protect it could
be through buying it or through laws/support – ensure the protection usually financial support)
o This model has been followed for at least two generations
• Other models?
o Some tie into sustainable development and how interact with our world
o Maybe we need to think of things in the holistic sense – modify our value system
o Laws don’t’ really lend themselves to sustainable mindset
Should heritage conservation be based on community values or expert opinion?
• The people living within a certain radius?
• Or to those people scattered across the nations with the same interests/values?
• Or experts, who have spent their lives in developing the ability to look at a problem and determine
• There are often situations where the final outcome depends on experts
• We need to reconcile the ideal – embrace the values of the community with legal decisions by
What is the role of government?
• “It may be true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless” – Martin
Luther King Jr. • Laws create consequences – if you want meaningful change, you do it through law (i.e. who gets
the right to vote)
• Example of conflict that was about the government’s involvement:
o A large white oak tree is located in Oakville – it’s the name of the person commemorated by
the tree (White) and also the basis of the name ‘Oakville’
o The tree was donated to the municipal government
o Government wanted to get rid of ti and the community naturally was upset about this
o After much negotiation, a decision was made to keep the tree where the roads built bulge
o Happened in 2006 but it wasn’t until 2010 until a law was passed to protect the tree as part
of the heritage
• Another example: Picton Methodist-Epistopal Church
o Was used as a flea market, owned by a couple but tey wanted to sell it
o Developers said that as long as the church was there, no one was going to buy the land
o so they wanted to tear it down but the community did not want the church to go
o then the government decided not to protect it and demolished it
o it caused great dismay and trauma within the community which lasted over months since it
took that long to demolish it (poor contractor) – many scars left on community and lot still
A Brief History of How we got here Today?
• How did we get to town councils?
• The British North America Act, 1867 – where it started – at confederation
o This legistlation established a federal and provincial government and also the certai