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City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development

Downtown Built Heritage Inventory Project

Project Update

The City of Hamilton invites interested citizens to a Public Open House to be held Tuesday June 3, 2014. The purpose of the Open House is to provide the opportunity for property owners and other residents to learn more about the recommendations of the Downtown Hamilton Built Heritage Inventory project and to ask any questions that they may have.

On March 26, 2014, City Council approved the recommendations contained in the staff report regarding the Downtown Built Heritage Inventory (PED14039). Specifically, the property evaluation framework developed by ERA Architects Inc. was approved to be used to guide future inventory work and staff were directed to consult with the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee and the owners of the properties listed in Appendix “C” of the report by ERA Architects and report back to the Planning Committee.

The properties listed in Appendix “C” are being recommended for addition to the Register of Property of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest and/or for further Cultural Heritage Assessment work for potential designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The list of properties is available as a large PDF

Staff was also directed to prepare a work plan and capital budget submission for completion of the inventory and evaluation of the remaining properties in the City’s Inventory of Buildings of Architectural and/or Historical Interest.

Open House

The Open House is to provide citizens with the opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on the project recommendations

When: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 – 3:00pm to 7:00pm

Where: The Stable at Whitehern, 41 Jackson Street West, Hamilton
Located behind City Hall. Visitor parking in City lot. Fully accessible.

If you have any accessibility requirements, please contact Sonia Mrva in advance of the open house at 905-546-2424 ext. 4123, Advance requests are encouraged to enable us to meet your needs adequately.

What is the Downtown Built Heritage Inventory Project

Hamilton’s Downtown Built Heritage Inventory project is a pilot study to review and update the existing Inventory of Buildings of Architectural and/or Historical Interest.  This project will include field surveys and historical research of approximately 800 properties in downtown Hamilton.  The boundaries of the Pilot Study Area are Wellington to Queen, Hunter to Canon.

Phase 1 of the pilot project is complete. Comprehensive data through field surveys and historical research of the properties has been collected.

Phase 2 of the pilot project is underway. E.R.A. Architects and City staff are in the process of developing a consistent evaluation format and system for nomination of properties for prospective designation or for inclusion in the register as non-designated property under Parts IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Criteria for Part IV Designation

Criteria for Part IV Designation:

Ontario Heritage Act – Regulation 9/06-Criteria for Part IV Designation (2006)

In 2006, the Province issued criteria for determining the cultural heritage value of properties in Ontario.  A property may be designated under Part IV of the Act if it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  1. The property has design value or physical value because it,
    1. is a rare, unique, representative or early example of a style, type, expression, material or construction method
    2. displays a high degree of craftsmanship or artistic merit;
    3. or, demonstrates a high degree of technical or scientific achievement.
  2. The property has historical value or associative value because it,
    1. has direct associations with a theme, event, belief, person, activity, organization or institution that is significant to a community;
    2. yields, or has the potential to yield, information that contributes to an understanding of a community or culture; or,
    3. demonstrates or reflects the work or ideas of an architect, artist, builder, designer or theorist who is significant to a community.
  3. The property has contextual value because it,
    1. is important in defining, maintain or supporting the character of an area;
    2. is physically, functionally, visually or historically linked to its surroundings;
    3. or, is a landmark.

City of Hamilton Built Heritage Evaluation Criteria (2008)

The City of Hamilton heritage evaluation criteria provide a consistent means of examining the cultural heritage value, interest or merit of built heritage resources, features and structures in Hamilton.  They are used, in conjunction with the Regulation 9/06 criteria, to determine whether a property meets the requirements for Part IV designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

In addition to the Built Heritage criteria, the City employs criteria for the evaluation of Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Landscapes, where applicable.

Historical Associations:

  1. Thematic:  how well does the feature or property illustrate a historical theme that is representative of significant patterns of history in the context of the City?
  2. Event:  is the property associated with a specific event that has made a significant contribution to the community, province or nation?
  3. Person and/or Group: is the feature associated with the life or activities of a person or group that has made a significant contribution to the City?

Architecture and design:

  1. Architectural merit:  what is the architectural value of the resource?
  2. Functional merit:  what is the functional quality of the resource?
  3. Designer:  what is the significance of this structure as an illustration of the work of an important designer?
  4. Integrity:  is it all there?

Environmental context:

  1. Landmark:  is it a visually conspicuous feature in the area?
  2. Character:  what is the influence of the structure on the present character of the area?
  3. Setting:  what is the integrity of the historical relationship between the structure and its immediate surroundings?

Social Value:

  1. Public perception:  is the property or feature regarded as important within its area?

Development of the 19th Century City

The city of Hamilton can trace its European roots to the late 18th century, however the first planned settlement dates to 1816.  The town site grew slowly and it was not until the construction of the Burlington Beach canal and the influx of immigrants from the United Kingdom in the 1830s that the once small town quickly expanded.  From the 1840s onwards Hamilton established itself as both a mercantile and industrial centre with much growth in the pilot study area.

Hamilton’s Downtown Built Heritage Inventory project is a pilot study to review and update the existing Inventory of Buildings of Architectural and/or Historical InterestThis project will include field surveys and historical research of approximately 800 properties in downtown Hamilton.

The result of the pilot study in downtown Hamilton will then be used to guide an inventory of heritage properties throughout the entire City of Hamilton. This project will facilitate the development of programs that support the management of Hamilton's built heritage.

Details and background information on the project can be found in staff report PED08053 to the Economic Development and Planning Committee.