Section 2.5.5 of the existing Official Plan allows for recognition of core areas of villages, older residential neighbourhoods, cultural landscapes or other areas as cultural heritage character areas. Section 4.5.13 of the Council-approved New Official Plan allows the City to identify areas of cultural heritage value that may benefit from design guidelines that will assist in the conservation and understanding of these areas. In these areas, design guidelines help private and public landowners construct new buildings, or additions or renovations to existing buildings, to reflect the identified cultural heritage features of the community.
Cultural heritage character areas are not designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. There is no related by-law and no requirement for heritage permits.
Although each character area is different, they share common characteristics. Cultural heritage character areas have a concentration of heritage buildings, sites, structures, and cultural landscapes that convey a sense of time and place.
Is my property part of a cultural heritage character area?
There are several ways you can find out if your property is part of a cultural heritage character area:
Alterations, additions and demolition
Council adopted a set of guidelines for each cultural heritage character area to encourage the conservation of heritage resources in the character area and to provide guidelines to manage change. The guidelines should be consulted when considering proposals for alteration, addition, demolition and development in a character area.
How are cultural heritage character areas established?
The process to establish a cultural heritage character area typically begins with background research and an examination of buildings and landscapes in the area. The geographic boundaries are reviewed, and heritage conservation objectives are determined. Consultation occurs with the local community. Staff prepare a report for the consideration of the Built Heritage Sub-Committee, Planning Committee and Council. Council votes to establish the cultural heritage character area under the Official Plan.
The Sandy Hill Cultural Heritage Character Area
The Sandy Hill Cultural Heritage Character Area was established by Council in 2015 through report ACS2015-PAI-PGM-0088.
The Sandy Hill Cultural Heritage Character Area is an important historic urban landscape in Ottawa associated with the early development of the city in the 19th and 20th centuries and the growth of Ottawa as the national capital. The goal of the Sandy Hill Cultural Heritage Character Area is to recognize the rich history of Sandy Hill, encourage the retention of historic fabric and to guide new development that is appropriate to the character of the neighbourhood.
Veterans’ Housing Character Area
The Veterans’ Housing Character Area was established by Council in 2022 through report ACS2022-PIE-RHU-0009.
Wartime Housing Limited, a federal Crown corporation, built and managed houses for war workers and veterans during a nation-wide housing shortage during and immediately following the Second World War. In Ottawa, two subdivisions were built by Wartime Housing Limited in Carlington North. These subdivisions are recognized as the Veterans’ Housing Character Area.
The placement of each house on its lot and the pattern of each street within the plans of subdivision creates a distinct and recognizable spatial arrangement that includes cul-de-sacs, ellipses, median islands, and curved streets. In total, 400 one and one-and-a-half-storey houses were constructed for returning veterans and their families. The Veterans’ Housing Character Area survives as a legacy of the Second World War and serves as a marker in the growth and development of postwar Ottawa.
Village of Richmond Cultural Heritage Character Area
The Village of Richmond Cultural Heritage Character Area was enabled through the adoption of the Village of Richmond Community Design Plan in 2010. Section 5 recognizes the area as the Village of Richmond Cultural Heritage Character Area and Section 7 contains design guidelines. Design guidelines are supported in the Council-approved New Official Plan as part of the Village of Richmond Secondary Plan.
The Village of Richmond was established by the British Government in 1818 and immediately became the most important centre in Carleton County west of the Rideau River. The village was laid out in military grid fashion, with smaller lots in the middle and larger estate lots around the edge. The population originally consisted of soldiers from the 99th British Regiment and their families. After the building of the Rideau Canal and the emergence of Bytown, Richmond gradually declined in influence and instead became the commercial centre for the surrounding farming community.