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Heritage Conservation Districts

Overview

Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA) allows municipalities to recognize and protect neighbourhoods, rural landscapes, main streets, or other areas of special cultural heritage value that have a cohesive sense of time and place. Designated heritage districts often enjoy a renewed cultural and economic vitality not only because district designation highlights their special values but also because they are protected from decay and the intrusion of incompatible structures.

Although each district is different, many share common characteristics. Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) may have:

  • A concentration of heritage buildings, sites, structures, and cultural landscapes
  • Visual coherence through the use of building scale, mass, height, material, proportion, colour that convey a sense of time and place
  • A distinctive character that allows them to be distinguished from neighbouring areas

Is my property designated as part of a heritage conservation district?

There are several ways you can confirm the status of your property under the Ontario Heritage Act:

  • Look up the address using geoOttawa. From the Layer List, select Planning, Heritage and Heritage Conservation Districts (Part V). Heritage Conservation Districts are indicated with yellow shading and the district name.
  • Send an email to heritage@ottawa.ca
  • Phone Heritage Planning at 613-580-2463 and leave us a message
  • Request a heritage confirmation letter
  • Review a title search. Since 2005, properties in new heritage conservation districts must have by-laws registered on title at the local Land Registry Office.

Alterations, additions and demolition

Under the Ontario Heritage Act, alterations to properties located within a Heritage Conservation District require the approval of the City of Ottawa. Alterations that require approval include, but are not limited to: construction of additions, window replacement, partial demolition, and porch replacement or restoration.

If Council refuses an alteration or imposes conditions on its approval, the owner of the property may appeal the decision to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) within 30 days of a decision. Only the property owner may appeal a decision of City Council.

For more information, please refer to Changes to heritage properties.

How districts are designated

Community associations, the Built Heritage Sub-Committee (BHS-C), historical societies or any individual may request that an area be considered for designation as a heritage conservation district (HCD).

As HCDs are more complex than individual designations, requests to study an area for potential designation as an HCD should be discussed with staff in the Heritage Section prior to the submission of a request. Heritage staff can provide information on the implications of designation, the timelines and the amount of work involved in designating a heritage conservation district.

The process to designate a heritage conservation district under Part V of the OHA is outlined in detail below.

  1. Pre-consultation and Background Research
  • Interested parties should contact the Heritage Section to discuss the proposed designation. Background research will indicate if the area merits consideration as a heritage conservation district.
  1. Heritage Conservation District Study
  • The Heritage Conservation District Study phase includes the research and evaluation of properties and streetscapes within the proposed district and research of the history of the area. The study helps to inform the Heritage Conservation District Plan.
  1. Heritage Conservation District Plan
  • The Ontario Heritage Act requires that a Heritage Conservation District Plan must be drafted prior to the designation of a new district. The plan must include a statement of heritage value and attributes as well as policies and guidelines for the management of the District.
  • A public meeting is held to present the draft plan and receive comments.
  • A report is prepared for the consideration of BHS-C and City Council.

Process to designate a property under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act

  • Council votes to establish a Heritage Conservation District Study area as recommended by Staff and BHSC
  • Heritage Staff undertakes a study of the established area.
  • The Heritage Conservation District Study must include:
    • An examination of buildings and other landscape features to determine if the area should be preserved as a heritage conservation district.
    • Recommendations regarding geographic boundaries of the study area
    • Make recommendations regarding the objectives and content of the heritage conservation district plan
    • Make recommendations regarding any required changes to the Official Plan or Zoning By-law.
  • Staff consults with the local community and the public regarding the proposed geographic boundaries and the design guidelines in the Study and Plan. Staff revises the Study and Plan as necessary after public consultation.
  • Staff prepares a report and documents for BHSC and City Council review
  • Staff consults with BHSC who makes a recommendation to Council regarding the designation
  • City Council votes to designate or refuse the Heritage Conservation District. If approved the Heritage Conservation District Plan is adopted.
  • City Clerk provides Notice of By-law to the Owners, Ontario Heritage Trust and published in the newspaper.

30 Day Appeal Period

If no appeals are received the by-law comes into effect following the last day of the appeal period and the by-law is registered on title for the affected properties.

If appeals are received, the matter is referred to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) .

The LPAT holds a hearing and renders a final decision. The LPAT may:

  1. Repeal the By-law
  2. Amend the By-law
  3. Dismiss the Appeal

Bank Street (By-law 175-2000)

Two- and three-storey commercial buildings fronting on Bank Street.

The Bank Street Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 2000.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

Bank Street is the historic commercial spine of central Ottawa linking Uppertown and Parliament Hill to the early 20th century residential neighbourhoods of Centretown to the south. The HCD has a strong “main street” character and features excellent examples of late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings. These buildings are generally three to four storeys in height characterized by ground floor storefronts with large windows, bulkheads and recessed entryways with a decorative cornice separating the ground floor. The upper storeys were usually brick with decorative detailing including brick, terra cotta, and stone with metal or wooden cornices.

Besserer-Wurtemburg (By-law 2018-339)

Two representative buildings from the HCD: A red brick walk-up apartment and a residence clad in stucco with central entrance.

The Besserer-Wurtemburg Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 2018 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The Besserer-Wurtemburg HCD includes a representative sample of housing in Sandy Hill and is an anomaly in the rest of the former Besserer Estate, where larger lots predominate. The low-rise apartments on Charlotte Street and the multiple unit dwellings along the north side of Daly Avenue east of Charlotte Street are one building type, while the smaller scale brick terraces on the north side of Besserer Street east of Charlotte are another. Single family detached houses on small lots with shallow setbacks characterize this District.

The Besserer-Wurtemburg HCD has physical/design value for its well-conserved, tree-lined streetscapes that contain highly ranked examples of small scale apartment buildings, row houses and detached single family dwellings, showing the influence of a variety of architectural styles. Most of the smaller houses show vernacular interpretations of predominant Gothic Revival or Queen Anne Revival architectural styles, while the low-rise apartments are representative examples of early 20th century apartment design.

The Besserer-Wurtemburg HCD has associative value as a variant of the predominant development pattern of the former Besserer Estate, which is characterized by large lots.

Briarcliffe (By-law 2013-65)

Modern Briarcliffe houses with minimalist designs, simple forms, and little decoration.

The Briarcliffe Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 2013 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Briarcliffe is a rare, intact, example of Modern planning and architecture. It is the first HCD in Ontario designated for its value as a mid-20th century neighbourhood.

The Briarcliffe neighbourhood was primarily built between 1961 and 1969. Its natural setting on a rocky escarpment along the Ottawa River and its experimental Modern architecture and neighbourhood design create a compelling and unique sense of place. The cultural heritage value of the neighbourhood lies in its history as a building co-operative, its association with Ottawa's postwar expansion, and its design value as an excellent example of a Modern suburb built in harmony with the natural environment.

The Briarcliffe Partnership was founded by Walter Schreier, Thaddeus Duncan, Ellen Douglas Webber, and David Yuille who purchased a 20-acre parcel of rocky and topographically challenging land in 1959 which the Township of Gloucester approved the subdivision in 1961. As part of the Partnership's vision of a residential neighbourhood in harmony with nature, the lots in Briarcliffe were deliberately sited among largely undisturbed natural features and the founding members established a restrictive covenant with design guidelines to ensure that their shared vision was implemented.

Briarcliffe is associated with the expansion of the National Capital Region in the postwar period. The post-war growth of the federal public service resulted in the development of a number of government campuses outside of the downtown core. Located near the Montreal Road campus of the National Research Council (NRC), and the headquarters of the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), Briarcliffe has been home to a number of NRC and CMHC employees, as well as other public sector employees and several educators. Briarcliffe is also associated with the influx of professionals (such as scientists and architects) to the capital during and after the Second World War.

Briarcliffe is an excellent example of a mid-20th century Modern neighbourhood and displays innovative concepts of site development and neighbourhood planning. The minimalist aesthetic of the Modern Movement was a 20th century reaction to the ornate styles of the 19th century and was most prevalent in Canada from the 1950s until the 1970s. The houses in Briarcliffe share characteristics typical of the Modern Movement in architecture including a simplification of form and the elimination of decoration. The neighbourhood is comprised of custom designed houses and a few designs from the CMHC Small House Scheme.

The houses in Briarcliffe have cultural heritage value as a collection of the works of leading architects of the day. Several notable Modernist architects were commissioned to design houses in Briarcliffe, including James Strutt, Matthew Stankiewicz, Paul Schoeler and founding partner and CMHC architect Walter Schreier. These architects and others in Briarcliffe shared a common Modernist vision which is reflected in the architectural character of the houses and the incorporation of the houses into the natural landscape.

ByWard Market (By-law 60-91)

Low rise commercial and residential buildings in the ByWard Market HCD.

The ByWard Market Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1991.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

The ByWard Market has been the heart of Ottawa’s commercial activities since the early 19th century. Throughout its history it has been a market for farmers in the Ottawa region and associated with wholesale and retail purchase of natural products and trade of manufactured goods and supplies. It has provided the services and sometimes the industrial support to consolidate the markets role as the centre of Ottawa commerce.

The heart of the market is characterized by low profile buildings typical of the nineteenth century interspersed with succeeding commercial development until the 1970s. Its development pattern is extremely dense, covering full and sometimes multiple lots in many areas. Much of the land has been developed and redeveloped to provide services and support to its vital commerce. Secondary space in this area has traditionally been used for a variety of residential, storage and office facilities. In form, the architecture is diverse and layered, having been renovated, renewed, and reformed frequently to adjust to changing commercial needs and priorities.

Cathedral Hill (By-law 286-89)

Several red brick houses and Christ Church Cathedral.

The Cathedral Hill Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1989.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

Located high on a ridge in the north-western edge of Centretown, the HCD has cultural heritage value as a grouping of architecturally significant buildings including Christ Church Anglican Cathedral and the Roper House. The buildings of the HCD are an important landmark in Ottawa that is visible from the nearby Garden of the Provinces, LeBreton Flats and Confederation Boulevard.

In 2011, a partnership between a developer and the Anglican Church resulted in the extensive redevelopment of the vacant lands within the HCD including an office tower, a residential condominium tower and townhouses flanking the Cathedral.

Centretown (By-law 269-97)

Several red brick houses with elaborate wood trim located in the HCD.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

The Centretown Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1997 and includes much of the downtown core between Elgin and Kent Streets. Centretown was designated for its association with the early development of Ottawa as the national capital. The area was historically a predominantly residential area linked to Parliament Hill to the north by Bank Street, its commercial centre. The architectural character of Centretown is dominated by residential buildings built between 1890-1914 and features excellent examples of single detached houses, row houses and low rise apartment buildings from the early 20th century. Red brick is the dominant building material.

Clemow Estate East (By-law 2011-346)

A yellow brick Spanish Colonial Revival home. View of Patterson Creek and the O’Connor Street bridge. Red brick residence with gambrel roof.

The Clemow Estate East Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 2011 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The HCD is located in the Glebe neighbourhood, just south of the downtown core. Centred on Central Park, Clemow Estate East is an excellent example of an early 20th century upper-middle-class neighbourhood. Clemow Estate was developed by Henrietta Clemow and her cousin William Powell in the early years of the 20th century and the HCD comprises a portion of the Clemora Park development. The HCD features the largest concentration of houses designed by renowned Ottawa architect, Werner F. Noffke and represents his work in a number of styles including Tudor Revival and Spanish Colonial Revival.

Clemow-Monkland Driveway and Linden Terrace (By-law 2020-287)

Several large houses with landscaped front yards in the HCD.

The Clemow-Monkland Driveway and Linden Terrace Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 2020 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The cultural heritage value of the Clemow-Monkland Driveway and Linden Terrace HCD lies in its design value as an intact example of an early 20th century streetcar suburb, its historical association with a number of key individuals and trends in Ottawa’s history of suburban development, and its history and context as part of Ottawa’s parkway and driveway network. Clemow and Monkland Avenues and Linden Terrace form one of the only residential extensions of the Ottawa Improvement Commission’s (OIC) driveway. Together with Patterson Creek and its surrounding park lands, this area is significant for its association with early Canadian landscape architect Frederick Todd’s 1903 plan for Ottawa’s parks and driveways, but also of the beautification of the national capital by the OIC. The area is identifiable by its visual coherence created by the symmetrical tree-lined boulevards with the distinctive cement light standards with globe bulbs, as well as the impressive historic houses and their shared relationship to the street, all of which contribute to the area’s special sense of place.

Daly Avenue (By-law 308-82)

A large stone building, a red brick building and a streetscape with trees.

The Daly Avenue Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 1982 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2016-90.

The Daly Avenue HCD was originally part of the lands granted by Colonel John By to Lieutenant René-Leonard Besserer in 1828. Besserer died suddenly after the land grant and the estate was inherited by his brother, Louis Besserer, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a businessman in Québec City. Louis Besserer relocated to Ottawa in the 1830s to develop his estate, and his own house was constructed in 1844 and is prominently located at 149 Daly Avenue.

The land was first subdivided beginning in 1834 by Besserer’s agent, William Stewart, who laid out the street plan for the estate. Development was slow until Ottawa was named the capital of Canada in 1857. The influx of politicians and civil servants after the completion of the Parliament Buildings in1865 triggered the transformation of Sandy Hill from a sparsely populated neighbourhood at the edge of the city to a sought-after upper-middle class residential neighbourhood. Some of the most significant early residents of the Daly Avenue HCD include Sir Sandford Fleming, Louis Besserer and Confederation poet Archibald Lampman.

The Daly Avenue HCD is an excellent example of a late 19th century residential neighbourhood including its historic street pattern, consistent house to lot ratios, generous front yard setbacks and tree-lined streets. The HCD features a mix of architectural styles including Queen Anne Revival, Second Empire, Edwardian Classicism and Tudor Revival, all popular styles during the period of development from the 1870s until the 1920s. The architectural character of the Daly Avenue Heritage Conservation District includes grand houses such as Besserer House and Winterholme, smaller Victorian houses, large semi-detached houses, and elaborate row houses such as Philomene Terrace.

King Edward Avenue (By-law 310-82)

Red brick residences located in the HCD.

The King Edward Avenue Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 1982 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2016-91.

The King Edward Avenue HCD was originally part of the lands granted by Colonel John By to Lieutenant René-Leonard Besserer in 1828. Besserer died suddenly after the land grant and the estate was inherited by his brother, Louis Besserer, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a businessman in Quebec City. Louis Besserer relocated to Ottawa in the 1830s to develop his estate. The land was subdivided beginning in 1834 by Besserer’s agent, William Stewart, who laid out the street plan for the estate. Development was slow until after Ottawa was named the capital of Canada in 1857. The influx of politicians and civil servants after the completion of the Parliament Buildings in 1865 resulted in the transformation of Sandy Hill from a sparsely populated neighbourhood at the edge of the city to an upper-middle class residential neighbourhood.

The King Edward Avenue HCD has architectural value for the quality of its buildings and the streetscape. The four buildings in the King Edward HCD represent different types and styles, including a three door row at 503-507 King Edward Avenue, a semi-detached house at 515-517 King Edward, the elaborate Queen Anne Revival Martin Terrace, and the substantial stone Panet House at 189 Laurier Avenue. These buildings are representative of the eclectic mix of housing constructed in Sandy Hill in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The King Edward HCD is significant for its association with the development of Sandy Hill as an upper-middle-class neighbourhood that was home to many politicians and senior civil servants including Colonel Charles Panet and Colonel Francis Pinault, both of whom served as the Deputy Minister of Militia and Defence and resided at Panet House. Other notable civil servants from the time period include John Chisholm (Department of Justice), Lt. Colonel J. Biggar (Customs Department) and John O’Connor, Postmaster General and President of the Privy Council.

Lorne Avenue (By-law 2005-13)

Red brick residences located in the HCD.

The Lorne Avenue Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act in 2005.

Lower Lorne Avenue (between Albert Street and Primrose Avenue) is a homogeneous, well-preserved street, typical of the type of housing built in Ottawa for the working class from 1900 – 1907. The history of lower Lorne Avenue, located directly adjacent to LeBreton Flats, is associated with the development of LeBreton Flats as an industrial centre and as a residential area for the mill and railway workers who worked there. In the early 1850s, only a handful of labourers lived in the LeBreton Flats area, however, the sawn lumber industry expanded in the 1860s and new lands were subdivided and houses were built for workers within walking distance of the mills and railway yards.

The fire of Thursday, April 26, 1900 is a pivotal event in the history of Ottawa. It destroyed 400 acres of the west end of Ottawa, including all of the buildings on lower Lorne Avenue. Within a short period of time of the fire the residential and industrial buildings in the LeBreton Flats area were rebuilt. The rapid rebuilding that followed the fire resulted in the construction of the architecturally homogeneous houses on lower Lorne Avenue. These modest, brick, two-storey houses were an affordable replacement for the wood frame buildings that were destroyed by the fire.

The streets adjacent to lower Lorne Avenue present streetscapes that have a different development history, as they are composed of buildings constructed before and after the fire of 1900. Lorne Avenue’s cultural heritage significance is enhanced by the fact that its character is representative of the type of streetscape that was eliminated when the LeBreton Flats community was levelled in the early 1960s, leaving lower Lorne Avenue as a significant working class streetscape to be conserved.

Lowertown West (By-law 192-94)

Several low-rise buildings clad in wood, brick, and stone.

The Lowertown West Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1994.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

Lowertown West comprises the City’s oldest residential area. It was the civilian centre of Ottawa from the British survey of the town site in 1826 until the turn of the 20th century. From about 1890 to the mid-1970s growth occurred in other areas of the city at the expense of Lowertown and much of the urban fabric east of King Edward and north of Boteler was demolished during urban renewal. Urban renewal commenced with zoning changes in the 1950s and demolitions throughout the 1960s and 1970s.

The Lowertown West HCD roughly encompasses the area of Lowertown west of King Edward Avenue and east of Sussex Avenue between Bolton and St. Patrick Streets. It includes a number of significant early institutional buildings, including the Basilica and the Elizabeth Bruyére Centre, and a rich collection of residential buildings that demonstrate the early history of Lowertown and its gradual evolution. This evolution is a crucial characteristic of the area, and it recognizes the heritage value of buildings constructed over a long period of time. The history of Lowertown West is also the history of generations of Ottawa’s working people, both French and English speaking, and the physical record of that social history, represented by both the institutions and the residential buildings, is a major cultural resource for the City of Ottawa.

Minto Park (By-law 142-88)

View of Minto Park looking north. Red brick houses in the distance.

The Minto Park Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1988 and is comprised of 24 residential properties and a church that surround Minto Park.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

Minto Park was created following a petition from residents of Lewis and Gilmour Street to the City of Ottawa Board of Park Management. The City purchased the vacant land in 1898 from J.R. Booth and created Minto Square, which was named after the newly arrived Governor General Lord Minto. Minto Square was designed as an ornamental park with interlacing half circles, trees, and flower beds. The buildings facing Minto Park, constructed between 1892 and 1906, form a coherent streetscape representing the changing architectural styles and building craftsmanship popular in Ottawa at the turn of the century. Alexander Garvock, a builder, was one of the first residents of Minto Park. He built two of the houses facing the park. The Church of Our Father, now Eglise Unie St-Marc, at the southwest corner of the park, was designed in 1900 for the Unitarian church by the architectural firm of Arnoldi and Ewart. Minto Park’s significant grouping of low scale residential buildings, exhibiting compatible stylistic attributes and surrounding a planned square, form a special place in the historic development of Ottawa.

New Edinburgh (By-law 2001-44)

Front gable cottages with verandas, bargeboard, and wood cladding.

The New Edinburgh Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act in 2001. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted in 2016 under by-law 2016-95.

New Edinburgh began as a small hamlet initially laid out by Thomas MacKay and settled primarily by the employees at his mills at Rideau Falls. The Village of New Edinburgh was incorporated in 1867 and annexed to the City of Ottawa in 1887. The village’s proximity to Rideau Hall, a large country house built by MacKay in the 1830s and leased to the Governor General in 1867 contributed to the social prominence of the adjacent areas of New Edinburgh while other areas of the Village are dominated by more modest houses.

Vestiges of New Edinburgh’s status as a self-sufficient village still exist and contribute to is special character. Former storefronts, churches, and a public school (now closed) attest that this was once a thriving community. Early inhabitants who worked for local businesses had little reason ever to leave the area. By the late 1800s better transportation links to downtown Ottawa encouraged the middle classes to move here and commute downtown for work and the vibrant commercial core persisted into the 1950s.

A lively mix of building types dating from as early as the 1840s until the present characterizes New Edinburgh. Building types range from large Queen Anne-style structures, row-house, single family, and semi-detached houses to small apartment buildings. The one-or two-and-a-half-storey, front gable-roofed structure is the most common housing type in the HCD.

Rockcliffe Park (By-law 97-10)

Two storey houses with landscaped gardens. Streetscape with trees.

The Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District was designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1997 by the former municipality of Rockcliffe Park. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2016-89.

Rockcliffe Park was subdivided by Thomas Keefer in 1864. The land was originally part of the estate of his father-in-law, Thomas MacKay. Early buildings in Rockcliffe Park were used as summer cottages but by 1908 a police village had been established and in 1926 the Village of Rockcliffe Park was incorporated. Today, the former Village of Rockcliffe Park is part of the city of Ottawa but retains its distinct village character.

Rockcliffe Park is an excellent example of the picturesque landscape movement that was popular in the 19th century. The original village included curving roads, street trees and a focus on the natural elements that created a rural village setting. Rockcliffe Park’s unique landscape character continues to define the HCD.

Russell-Range (By-law 2018-338)

A red brick residence with half timbering. A red brick residence with decorative brickwork, turned posts and ornate wood trim.

The Russell-Range Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 2018. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2018-338.

The Russell Avenue-Range Road HCD contains a representative sample of building types in Sandy Hill dating from the late 19th to the late 20th century. It is significant for its large number of built heritage resources and for its historic associations with the development of the By Estate, of which it is small section.

The Russell Avenue-Range Road HCD has design value for its well-conserved, tree-lined streetscapes that contain a variety of single family dwellings and apartments in a variety of architectural styles. The mix of Queen Anne Revival, Gothic Revival, and early-mid-20th century apartment design, as well as several buildings in eclectic styles, distinguishes this area from other parts of Sandy Hill.

The Russell Avenue-Range Road HCD is associated with the development of Sandy Hill over the century between the late 19th and late 20th century, during which time it evolved from being home to civil servants and business people to a more mixed neighbourhood associated with both the wider city and the nearby University of Ottawa. Several significant persons resided or worshipped in the District, including former Prime Ministers, clergy, musicians, war heroes and professional athletes.

Sandy Hill West (By-law 255-94)

Several buildings in the HCD including St Paul’s Eastern United Church and Tabaret Hall.

The Sandy Hill West Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated in 1994 under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

The district includes the residential neighbourhood west of King Edward Avenue and a portion of the University of Ottawa campus.

The built form of Sandy Hill West is valued for its high proportion of early buildings, most which were constructed between 1880-1920, with some from the 1840-1880 period. The HCD is primarily residential in character and its buildings vary widely in style and scale ranging from one and one half storey working-class houses to architect-designed large villa houses and multi-unit row houses designed for the upper middle class.

The south end of the HCD is distinguished by the presence of key University of Ottawa buildings including Tabaret Hall. The university is historically significant for its association with the Oblate Order in Ottawa and the history of French education in Ontario and the contribution of bilingualism to the development of Canada and these themes are evident in the HCD. The HCD also features several churches within its boundaries.

Finally, as with the broader Sandy Hill neighbourhood, the Sandy Hill West HCD is associated with the development of Ottawa as the national capital the HCD was home to many political and bureaucratic figures in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Sparks Street (By-law 174-2000)

Several buildings in the HCD including the Ottawa Electric Building and the Central Post Office.

The Sparks Street Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 2000 for its importance as an historic commercial street in the core of Ottawa.

  • This plan is not available online but can be provided upon request by emailing heritage@ottawa.ca

The HCD includes both sides of Sparks Street and the north side of Queen Street between Elgin and Bank Streets. Originally part of the estate of Nicholas Sparks, Sparks Street was a busy commercial thoroughfare in the 19th and early 20th century with banks, department stores, hotels, and theatres. The HCD features several monumental buildings include the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Ottawa Electric Building and W.E. Noffke’s Central Post Office, which anchors the corner of Elgin and Sparks Streets.

Stewart-Wilbrod (By-law 311-82)

Red brick houses featuring design elements such as gardens, stained glass windows, carved doors and pointed arch openings.

The Stewart-Wilbrod Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1982. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2016-92.

The cultural heritage value of the Stewart-Wilbrod HCD lies in its association with the development of Sandy Hill in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is significant for its association with the early development of Ottawa as the national capital, its architectural character and for its historic associations with prominent Ottawa residents.

The Stewart-Wilbrod HCD was originally part of the lands granted by Colonel John By to Lieutenant René-Leonard Besserer in 1828. Besserer died suddenly after the land grant and the estate was inherited by his brother, Louis Besserer, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a businessman in Quebec City. Louis Besserer relocated to Ottawa in the 1830s to develop his estate.

The land was first subdivided beginning in 1834 by Besserer’s agent, William Stewart. Development was slow until after Ottawa was named the capital of Canada in 1857. The influx of politicians and civil servants after the completion of the Parliament Buildings in 1865 triggered the transformation of Sandy Hill from a sparsely populated neighbourhood at the edge of the city to a sought-after upper-middle class residential neighbourhood. Early residents of the Stewart-Wilbrod HCD include Colonel Frederick White who was comptroller of the Royal Northwest Mounted Police, private secretary to Sir John A. Macdonald and Commissioner to the North West Territories.

The seven buildings in the Stewart-Wilbrod HCD characterize the early residential development of the Besserer Estate in the last quarter of the 19th century to accommodate growing numbers of civil servants seeking housing close to Parliament Hill. The houses in the HCD include a range of simplified vernacular versions of the era’s popular eclectic architectural styles including the Gothic Revival, Second Empire, and Queen Anne Revival.

Sweetland Avenue (By-law 309-82)

A mix of houses in the HCD, including Simard House, a Second Empire wooden house.

The Sweetland Avenue Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1982. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2016-93.

The Sweetland Avenue HCD is a cohesive well-preserved streetscape featuring a variety of houses constructed for the middle class at the end of the 19th century. It is significant for its architectural character and historic. It Sweetland Avenue HCD was originally part of the By Estate, owned by Colonel John By, the engineer responsible for the construction of the Rideau Canal. In 1832, By purchased 800 acres bounded by Laurier Avenue on the North, the Rideau River at the East, Gladstone Avenue at the south and Bronson Avenue at the west. By died in 1836 and the land was willed to his descendants and developed by agents in the 19th century. The Sweetland Avenue HCD is a very small section of By’s original estate.

The Sweetland Avenue HCD is associated with the development of Sandy Hill in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, after the completion of the Parliament Buildings in 1865. The early residents of the Sweetland Avenue HCD were mainly civil servants and business people, typical of the neighbourhood.

The Sweetland Avenue HCD has architectural value as a well-preserved streetscape featuring row houses and single family dwellings in a variety of styles. The part of the By Estate that is now the Sweetland Avenue HCD has a denser character than the Besserer Estate, which was located north of Laurier Avenue. This character is representative of the development of the By Estate. The Simard House at 31 Sweetland Avenue, built in 1885 is the oldest house in the HCD and is a rare example of a Second Empire wooden house. There are several examples of the Gothic and Queen Anne Revival styles featuring steeply pitched roofed with intricate bargeboard and porches including 58 and 62 Sweetland Avenue. The row houses at 24-34 Sweetland and 38-48 Sweetland are excellent examples of the Italianate style.

Wilbrod-Laurier (By-law 307-82)

Several large residences in the HCD including Laurier House National Historic Site.

The Wilbrod-Laurier Heritage Conservation District (HCD) was designated by the City of Ottawa in 1982. The Heritage Conservation District Plan was adopted under by-law 2016-94.

The cultural heritage value of the Wilbrod-Laurier HCD lies in its association with the development of Sandy Hill in the 19th and 20th centuries. It is significant for its association with the early development of Ottawa as the national capital, its rich architectural character and for its association with many prominent residents of Ottawa.

The Wilbrod-Laurier HCD was originally part of the lands granted by Colonel John By to Lieutenant René-Leonard Besserer in 1828. Besserer died suddenly after the land grant and the estate was inherited by his brother, Louis Besserer, a veteran of the War of 1812 and a businessman in Quebec City. Louis Besserer relocated to Ottawa in the 1830s to develop his estate. The land was first subdivided beginning in 1834 by Besserer’s agent, William Stewart. Development was slow until after Ottawa was named the capital of Canada in 1857. The influx of politicians and civil servants upon the completion of the Parliament Buildings in1865 triggered the transformation of Sandy Hill from a sparsely populated neighbourhood at the edge of the city to a sought-after upper-middle class residential neighbourhood.

The Wilbrod-Laurier HCD is an excellent example of a late 19th century upper-middle class residential neighbourhood including its historic street pattern, consistent house to lot ratios, generous front yard setbacks and tree lined streets. The HCD features a mix of architectural styles popular during the period of development from the 1870s until the 1920s including examples of Gothic Revival, Second Empire, Queen Anne Revival, Edwardian Classicism and Tudor Revival. Some of the largest, most elaborate buildings in Sandy Hill are located in the HCD, including Stadacona Hall which represents the provision of large lots for “villa residences” at the time of subdivision and illustrate the early character of the neighbourhood in the 19th century.

The Wilbrod-Laurier HCD is significant for its association with the development of Sandy Hill as an upper-middle class neighbourhood that was home to many politicians and senior civil servants. In particular, the HCD has been the home of several prime minister over the years including Sir John A. Macdonald, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, William Lyon Mackenzie King and Lester B. Pearson.