Council Connects - December 5, 2023

Posted on Tuesday December 05, 2023

Council approvals support preservation of the City’s natural and built heritage

Soper Park

Tonight, in alignment with the City’s strategic action to preserve and maintain our natural and built heritage assets, Council issued a notice to designate Soper Park, one of the oldest parks in Cambridge, as a heritage property.

In 2021, Mayor Jan Liggett, who at the time was Councillor for Ward 4, requested that heritage planning staff conduct an analysis of Soper Park, known municipally as 120 Shade Street and 40 Marion Way, to determine its eligibility under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The Act provides municipalities with the ability to designate individual properties shown to have cultural heritage value to the community.

Not currently on the City’s Heritage Register, staff determined that the property contains sufficient cultural heritage value to warrant designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, satisfying several criteria.  These include original stone pillars and date plaques located at the entrance to Marion Way off Dundas Street; paved pathways throughout the park; original stone bridges under Dundas Street; the ship anchor located in the park; and the association to William Jackson, Frederick Todd and Dr. Augustus Soper.

Historical details on this property are available in the Council report.

44-46 Park Hill Road East

Council also issued a notice to designate the property located at 44-46 Park Hill Road East under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Located north of the downtown core and directly east of the Grand River and the Park Hill Road Bridge, the property contains a one-and-a-half storey brick building built between 1867 and 1875 while under the ownership of George Dando (1831-1898). The property was originally a part of a large swath of land owned by Robert Dickson (1796-1846) a son of William Dickson, one of the founders of Galt.

Currently, the property is subject to an active Site Plan application proposing a three-story, mixed-use building with a commercial ground floor and ten residential units. Staff have identified that the property meets sufficient criteria for the City to pursue designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The property owner would be able to apply for a Designated Heritage Property Grant to support the costs of maintaining the heritage attributes of the property if designated.  

415 Water Street South

Council approved the Heritage Permit application for the proposed alterations to 415 Water Street South, a designated heritage property.

Constructed circa 1841 by David Potter in the Georgian architectural style, the property is currently in the process of being redeveloped. There are two phases to the site’s redevelopment: the first phase involved both Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendments to enable the construction of a two-storey mixed-use building at the rear of the property that was the subject of an earlier Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA). The second phase of the redevelopment involves modifications to the existing stone house, a former single-detached residence, to accommodate new uses. Alterations to the property include replacing the existing frame addition, replacing existing windows and doors, and reframing the front vestibule.

Heritage Planning staff have worked with the applicant to submit and update their HIA to support this proposal.

Under the Ontario Heritage Act, no owner of property designated under the Act can alter the property or permit the alteration of the property if the alteration is likely to affect the property’s heritage attributes. The City regulates the demolition, removal or inappropriate alteration of buildings of cultural heritage value.