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City of Hamilton - Planning & Economic Development

Downtown Built Heritage Inventory Project

Public Meeting

On Monday December 02, 2013 the community was invited to hear the results from the public consultation in a report back meeting. Everyone was welcomed to attend and comment on the status of the project.

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.

Precincts within the Pilot Study Area

To better understand the components of Downtown Hamilton, the Study has identified seven distinct precincts.  These include:  The Gore; The Crossroads; The Durand Neighbourhood; The Corktown Neighbourhood; The Central Neighbourhood; The Beasley Neighbourhood; The Civic Precinct.

The Gore/Precinct One

The Gore precinct runs west from James St. to John St. along King St.

The Crossroads/Precinct Two

The Crossroads precinct runs south from Hunter St. to Cannon St. along James St.

The Durand/Precinct Three

The Durand precinct runs north from Hunter St. to Main St., west from Queen St. to James St.

Corktown/Precinct Four

Corktown precinct runs east from James St. Wellington St., north from Hunter St. to Main St.

Beasly/Precinct Five

Beasly precinct runs north from Main St. to Cannon, east from James St. to Wellington St.

Civic/Precinct Six

The Civic precinct encompasses both the Central and Durand neighbourhoods.  The civic precinct runs north from Hunter St. to York St., east from Bay St. to James St.

Central/Precinct Seven

The Central precinct runs north from Main St. to Cannon St, east from Queen St. to James St.

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.

Contact Information:

Monday - Friday: 8:30am - 4:30pm

Sonia Mrva
905-546-2424 Ext. 4123

Alissa Golden
905-546-2424 Ext.1214

Meghan House
Phone: 905-546-2424 Ext.1202

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