Lowertown West and ByWard Market Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Update

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Project status
Underway

Update

The Heritage Planning Branch has retained a consultant to undertake the evaluation of properties and to draft new HCD plans for the existing Lowertown West and ByWard Market Heritage Conservation Districts. A virtual public meeting was held on Tuesday November 30, 2021 at 6:30 pm. Additional engagement opportunities will be held as this project proceeds. Check back here for more information.

Introduction

Lowertown is the oldest urban neighbourhood in Ottawa and has strong historical and social associations with the early development of ByTown, the construction of the Rideau Canal and Ottawa’s role as the national capital. It is a primarily residential neighbourhood with a mixed-use centre around the historic ByWard Market. The area contains two heritage conservation districts: the ByWard Market (designated in 1991) and Lowertown West (designated in 1994). The area was developed between 1820 and the early 20th century as a commercial hub in the city and residential sections to the north and east. It is one of Ottawa’s oldest neighbourhoods that has strong historical and social associations with Ottawa’s role as the national capital.

Street view of buildings in the ByWard Market
Street view of buildings in the Lowertown West

Today, Lowertown’s built form continues to be mainly low density residential but uses are varied. There is a rich fabric of historic buildings throughout the neighbourhood both within the existing Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD) and beyond. Over the past 20 years, there has been some redevelopment in Lowertown as the neighbourhood is desirable for its central location, amenities and character.

York Street in the Byward Market, circa 1911.
St. Patrick and Dalhousie Streets.

Why is the City undertaking the Lowertown West and ByWard Market Heritage Conservation District Update?

Both HCDs were designated in the early 1990s and the building inventory and studies developed at the time of designation need review and updating to better align with current heritage planning practices and other City policies.

Further, the Ontario Heritage Act was amended in 2005 to require the adoption of a Heritage Conservation District Plan for all new HCDs. In addition, municipalities may adopt HCD Plans by by-law for districts designated prior to 2005. The City of Ottawa has been working to adopt HCD Plans for all districts designated before 2005. This project will fulfill this priority for two pre-2005 HCDs.

Map of the ByWard Market Heritage Conservation District
Map of the Lowertown West Heritage Conservation District

What are the goals of the project?

The goals of the Lowertown West and ByWard Market HCD Update are to:

  • Update the heritage inventory of properties located within the Lowertown West and ByWard Market HCDs
  • Develop a Heritage Conservation District Plan for the existing Lowertown West and ByWard Market HCDs
  • Analyze the properties located outside the ByWard Market HCD, between Dalhousie Street, Rideau Street, King Edward Avenue and Murray Street to determine candidacy for Part IV designation 

Phases 1 and 2

Initiating Phase I in January 2021, heritage staff began conducting background information on each district and gathering data on each property. In August 2021, photos of each property were taken. Phase II, which includes drafting new HCD plans has just begun and will proceed into 2022. Heritage staff, together with their heritage consultant, with feedback from the community association will review and evaluate the properties located within the two HCDs.

Get involved

A virtual public meeting was held Tuesday, November 30, 2021, 6:30 pm

The purpose of this meeting was to outline the process for updating the Lowertown West and ByWard Market Heritage Conservation Districts with new hcd plans, provide property owners and residents the opportunity to comment on the cultural heritage value of the area, and to answer any questions the community may have about this project. There was a brief presentation by heritage planning staff on Zoom.

Online Survey- ByWard Market HCD

Help heritage planning staff and our consultant ensure we’ve captured the cultural heritage values, attributes and objectives for the ByWard Market HCD accurately for the new Plan by sharing information in this survey. Let us know what features or elements you think help to tell the two areas’ histories. Information collected will form part of the study record and will be used to inform the draft plan and make recommendations to City Council.

ByWard Market HCD Survey

Online Survey - Lowertown West HCD

Help heritage planning staff and our consultant ensure we’ve captured the cultural heritage values, attributes, and objectives for the Lowertown West HCD accurately for the new Plan by sharing information in this survey. Let us know what features or elements you think help to tell the two areas’ histories. Information collected will form part of the study record and will be used to inform the draft plan and make recommendations to City Council.

Lowertown West HCD Survey

Next Steps

Heritage Planning staff are reviewing the preliminary data collected and will be undertaking evaluation of the area over the coming months . A heritage consultant has been retained to begin the process of writing the HCD plans. There will be a number of opportunities for public engagement throughout this process beginning in the new year.

For more information or to be added to the project mailing list to receive updates, please contact:

MacKenzie Kimm 
Heritage Planner
613-580-2424 ext. 15203