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Puslinch prioritizing 18 properties for heritage designation

Changes from Bill 23 mean properties on the heritage register will be delisted if not officially designated by Jan. 1, 2025

PUSLINCH – With changes to the Heritage Act from Bill 23 looming , Puslinch staff have a recommended action plan prioritizing properties for designation.

A report going forward at a Puslinch council meeting Wednesday has a list of 18 properties from the Puslinch heritage register staff are recommending be prioritized for official heritage designation.

These properties mainly consist of churches, school houses, cemeteries and commercial buildings and are being prioritized based on previous heritage advisory committee discussions, the report stated. 

Staff have also prepared draft statements of cultural heritage value or interest based on township records.

The properties recommended to be a priority are:

  • 6705 Ellis Rd.
  • 6690 Wellington Rd. 34
  • 4614 Wellington Rd. 32
  • Puslinch Lake Hotel (McClintock Drive)
  • 7156 Concession 1
  • 42 Queen St.
  • 46 Queen St.
  • 22 Victoria St.
  • 80 Brock Rd. S.
  • 319 Brock Rd. S.
  • 32 Brock Rd. N.
  • 4217-4223 Watson Rd. S.
  • 4492 Watson Rd. S.
  • 843 Watson Rd. S. 
  • 600 Arkell Rd.
  • 78 Queen St. 
  • 80 Queen St.
  • 84 Queen St. 

This move is a response to a motion passed by council stating its concerns regarding Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, which changes the Heritage Act. 

The act has introduced a time limit for how long a property can remain on the register without being designated. Any properties on a heritage register as of Jan. 1 must be reviewed and a decision made whether to designate the property by Jan. 1, 2025. 

A heritage committee report stated the township’s heritage register includes 109 properties and all will be delisted if not designated by council. Delisted properties are not allowed to be re-added to the registry until Jan. 1, 2030. 

Being listed on a heritage registry provides interim protection from demolition, the report said, because the owner of a listed property is required to provide the township with 60 days written notice of intention to demolish or remove a building or structure on the property.

“This allows the Township an opportunity to evaluate whether the property merits designation, to work with the owner to investigate opportunities for preserving the property’s heritage value, and to consult with the heritage committee before council makes a decision on the proposed demolition,” the heritage committee report said. 

The action plan recommends forming three sub-committees to review the draft statements of cultural, contact the local historical society and county archives for additional information and collaboration and for staff to send a letter to each property owner on the prioritized list to see if they support or object to the designation. 

“In addition, staff will engage with the property owners to ensure there is adequate understanding of the designation process and seek assistance from the property owner in documenting the historical value of the property,” the staff report stated. 

“Collaboration with the property owners will be essential as designations are subject to appeal through the Ontario Land Tribunal.”