East Galt Heritage Conservation District or Cultural Heritage Landscape Project

Project overview

In December, 2020, Council approved the commencement of a Heritage Conservation District or Cultural Heritage Landscape Project for the East Galt Area in the City of Cambridge. This page is intended to provide information about the ongoing study process, highlight opportunities to get involved, and serve as a resource on heritage conservation districts and cultural heritage landscapes. Updates will be posted to this web page throughout the duration of the project. To receive an email when an update is posted, click subscribe at the bottom of the page.

Heritage Conservation Districts

Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) are areas protected by a by-law passed under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. HCDs are usually groups of buildings or structures, such as neighbourhoods, which have a unique historic character. District designations are put in place to help conserve and enhance historic areas, guide future development so that it has a positive impact on local areas, and help maintain a sense of place and pride in our unique communities.

There are two steps required to designate an HCD in Ontario. The first is a heritage conservation district study which examines the history of the area and its buildings and structures. The study makes recommendations as to whether the area should be designated as a district and what its boundaries should be. If the study recommends designating the area as a district, the second step is a heritage conservation district plan. The plan is developed, in consultation with the local community, and includes design guidelines, policies for growth and development, and recommendations about heritage permits.

Cultural Heritage Landscapes in the Region of Waterloo

The Province has identified the conservation of cultural heritage resources including Cultural Heritage Landscapes (CHLs), as an area of Provincial Interest to be considered under the Planning Act and through the Provincial Policy Statement (2020) (PPS). Under the guidance of the Planning Act, municipalities make local planning decisions and prepare planning documents including Official Plans. A municipal Official Plan sets out the municipality's general planning goals and policies that will guide future land use, including the conservation of cultural heritage resources. These planning decisions and planning documents determine the future of their community and must be consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement and applicable provincial legislation. The PPS, policy 2.6.1 states that “Significant built heritage resources and significant cultural heritage landscapes shall be conserved.” Conserved is defined as "the identification, protection, use and/or management of cultural heritage and archaeological resources in such a way that their heritage values, attributes and integrity are retained. This may be addressed through a conservation plan or heritage impact assessment (HIA)". The initial process in conserving cultural heritage landscapes take places through a Technical Study. This phase identifies the area and studies the merit for protection under the Official Plan as a cultural heritage landscape. The second phase of protecting a cultural heritage landscape is a CHL Plan which is an extension of the Technical Study. The Technical Study works in much the same way as an HCD Plan, but the protection of the cultural heritage landscape comes through the Official Plan, not the Ontario Heritage Act.

The East Galt Area is currently in the study phase of the project.

 Background

 
  • East Galt has been identified as an important heritage area within the City of Cambridge since at least the early 1980s. In 1981, heritage consultant Paul Dilse studied many neighbourhoods in Galt to identify areas of significant cultural heritage value. The Oak Street neighbourhood was once of those areas.
  • In 2008, The City of Cambridge Heritage Master Plan recognized the neighbourhood of Oak Street as a heritage “character area” and recommended further evaluation.
  • In 2012, the City initiated a study of East Galt in partnership with the School of Architecture and the Heritage Resources Centre at the University of Waterloo. The boundary from this 2012 study is the basis for the preliminary boundary area for the current study.
  • In December 2020 Cambridge City Council approved funding for the commencement of the East Galt Heritage Conservation District or Cultural Heritage Landscape Project in 2020.
  • In September 2021, the East Galt Heritage Conservation District or Cultural Heritage Landscape Project officially began the Study Phase.

Timeline

The East Galt Heritage Conservation District or Cultural Heritage Landscape Project will be divided into two Phases: A Study Phase (Phase 1) and a Plan Phase (Phase 2). The Study Phase is scheduled to be completed in early 2022, and if Council proceeds to the Plan Phase, this phase is scheduled to be completed in Spring 2022. The purpose of the Study Phase will be to document and evaluate the Cultural Heritage Value or Interest of the Study Area shown below. The Plan phase will only occur if approved by Council based upon the recommendations of the Study Phase. The purpose of the Plan Phase is to create a document outlining objectives and detailed guidelines to help promote development that conserves the heritage values identified during the Study Phase. 

Progress to date

  • The East Galt Heritage Conservation District or Cultural Heritage Landscape Project was initiated in September 2021
  • Consultants, ASI, Fotenn Planning and Design, and Stevens Burgess Architects were retained in September 2021 to undertake the Study and, if approved, prepare a District plan. 

Upcoming work 

  • The Project Team is currently thoroughly researching the history of East Galt to help understand its heritage interest or value.
  • Beginning in October 2021, the Project Team is scheduled to begin surveying the study area to identify important elements that may contribute to its cultural heritage value or interest.

Study area

 The Study Area boundaries include the lands located south of Cumming Avenue, west of Chalmers Street North, north of Concession Street, and east of Spruce Street in the City of Cambridge as seen from the map below.

 Image of map with red doted line around proposed study area

 

The study area includes the lands studied in 2012 and includes the Oak Street neighbourhood mentioned in the Heritage Master Plan. East Galt is notable

for its eclectic mix of residential building styles, mature street trees, globe lights around the Oak Street neighbourhood, and well kept private gardens. The study area is characterized by a high concentration of nineteenth and early twentieth-century residential structures. 

Get involved 

Public engagement is an important part of the designation of a heritage district because it help answers questions you might have about designation and allows you to identify and protect the things about your area that are important to your community. You are encouraged to get involved in the study process. 

Please be aware that in an effort to continue physical distancing and keep our community safe, we will be holding many of our community engagement activities online. If you are not able to access online materials, please contact us for alternate formats. Information about our public engagement sessions, resources, surveys and more will be posted below for you to access. Check back often as this page will be updated regularly as the study progresses. 

We will conduct Public information Centres throughout the study process. All residents, property owners, business owners, developers, and any other interested parties are invited to attend and participate in open houses to ask questions, share information, and provide feedback on the study. Public information centres are your opportunity to help shape the future development of your area. Information about the time, date, and location of public meetings will be posted here as they are scheduled.

 

 Current Opportunities

Public Information Centre 

Please check back here often for dates and times of public information centres. 

Public Council Meeting 

Please check back here often for dates and times of public council meetings pertaining to the East Galt Heritage Conservation District Study.

 

Documents, reports and updates

Project Description

Galt’s Eastern Hill was identified as a heritage conservation recognition area in A Remarkable Heritage (Dilse 1981). The report described this area as a large, residential neighbourhood located mostly above the hill overlooking the core’s east side which extends from Dundas Street in the north, Elgin Street North in the east, and Concession Street in the south but excludes an early twentieth century section east of Oak Street and west of Lincoln Avenue. The Neighbourhood of Oak Street was identified as an area of cultural opportunity in the Cambridge Heritage Master Plan (Bray et al 2008) and included early twentieth century houses in its understanding of the area. Characteristics of the neighbourhood as described in previous reporting include the nineteenth and early twentieth century, one or two storey, middle and upper middle class houses, the granite or yellow brick construction, Edwardian globe street lamps on Oak and Lincoln, the mature tree canopy, common setbacks with front lawns, and the unique laneway of cottage style houses among generally formal and regular lot patterns. 

The City of Cambridge has retained Archaeological Services Inc. (ASI), in collaboration with Fotenn Planning + Design and SBA Architects, to undertake a heritage study of the East Galt area. This heritage study will build on the prior work completed in the area and will determine the most appropriate means of protection for the area and the boundary for the area to be protected. 

We need your help!

Please help us highlight the special places that contribute to the ever-evolving story of East Galt by identifying sites and features that are special to you. Further opportunities for engagement in the project will be happening as the project progresses.

Survey Question

Tell us what gives East Galt its special character and makes it unique in the City of Cambridge. What do you see as being the boundary of East Galt that tells the story of its past?

 

Contact information

Laura Waldie, CAHP, Senior Planner - Heritage

City of Cambridge, Community Development Department,
50 Dickson Street, 3rd Floor, P.O. Box 669
Cambridge, ON, N1R 5W8 
(519) 623-1340  ext. 4788 Fax(519) 740-9545
Email:  waldiel@cambridge.ca