A city-wide heritage survey is a pro-active, systematic study of properties within a municipality in order to identify sites with potential cultural heritage value according to a defined list of criteria. Currently, heritage surveys are completed as part of Heritage Conservation District studies or area planning studies. City Planning’s City-wide Heritage Survey Feasibility Study will take advantage of established international best practices, and make recommendations on how a city-wide heritage survey could be done in Toronto.

Beneficial outcomes of a city-wide heritage survey include

  • community and civic pride and engagement
  • pro-active planning
  • geographic equity
  • a diverse lens of community values
  • city-building
  • informed policy and decision-making
  • increased awareness of heritage
  • encourage a culture of conservation

City Council identified the following key deliverables for the study:

  • a jurisdictional scan of best practices in other jurisdictions such as Hamilton and Ottawa
  • a system of prioritization for buildings and areas under threat of development
  • an engagement plan to recruit and train local volunteers to assist in the survey, and to conduct public consultation
  • an identification of costs associated with the survey, which would include an initial sweep of properties, list management, and ongoing operational costs

Planning:  May-June 2018

  • Research and development of a plan to conduct the feasibility study.

Research:  July-September 2018

  • This phase will be research driven, including internal consultation within City Planning to determine the full range of needs that a city-wide survey could fulfill, and identification of external stakeholders.  This phase will also include fact gathering on methodologies, data management tools, timelines, and budgets for recently completed or underway City-wide surveys.

Analysis and Testing Options:  October-January 2018

  • This phase will include consultation with key external stakeholders, as well as consultation on the technical matter of heritage survey methodologies with a Heritage Survey Technical Advisory Panel composed of external heritage professionals.

Reporting: January-February 2019

  • Staff will prepare a report with recommendations to Planning and Growth Management Committee.