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Heritage Conservation District

At its meeting of September 12, 2016, City Council passed By-law 16-099 enabling the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District. The links below lead to the Plan which outlines the guidelines for alterations to buildings and the Permit Guide which details the process for applying for approval to alter a building. The District Study provides the background and rationale for creating the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District. 

The Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District Plan

Heritage Permit Guide for Heritage Conservation District Properties 

The Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District Study

Appendix 4: Building Photo Inventory

A matching grant program was approved by Council in 2017 for owners of properties in the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District. Grants of up to $5,000 are available for eligible heritage conservation and restoration work. The application package is available here: HCD Grant Application

HCD Study Boundaries


HCD Study Purpose

The purpose of the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District Study is to:

  • assess the heritage characteristics of the Study Area;

  • identify significant cultural heritage resources within it, and;

  • recommend whether an area, or areas should be considered for Heritage Conservation District (HCD) designation under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

HCD designation enables the Council of a municipality to manage and guide future change in the District through policies and guidelines for the conservation, protection and enhancement of the area's special character.


Studies of Heritage Conservation District designations in other municipalities have highlighted numerous benefits including:

  • Conservation and enhancement of a place's unique character

  • Increased cultural/historical tourism

  • Attraction and retention of stable businesses

  • Property values which are more resilient to economic downturn

Establishment of an HCD entails two distinct phases - the Study phase and the Plan phase

It is important to note that The current HCD Study phase does not result in the designation of a Heritage Conservation District. As noted above, this HCD Study phase simply evaluates the Study Area and, if merited, proposes an HCD boundary for Council’s consideration.

Designation of an HCD is the intended outcome of the HCD Plan phase. During this phase the HCD boundary is finalized and a Plan developed to manage and guide future change in the HCD, through policies and guidelines for conservation, protection and enhancement of the area’s special character. The HCD Plan is developed in close consultation with the community. Once finalized, Council may proceed to designate the HCD and adopt the HCD Plan through a by-law.

Project Background

In April 2012, Peterborough City Council adopted a Municipal Cultural Plan. One key recommendation was the creation of the City’s first Heritage Conservation District (HCD). An HCD is a defined area of the city where the heritage features are protected by the municipality through designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The purpose of district designations is to ensure the preservation of areas in the community that are considered historically or culturally significant. More information on HCDs in Ontario can be found in the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Sport's Heritage Toolkit guide to Heritage Conservation Districts.  

In May of 2013 the City held a city-wide public information session and workshop to seek community input into neighbourhoods that might be suitable for designation as an HCD. Many neighbourhoods were identified by the participants and based on this input three areas were chosen for further consideration: The Avenues, Dickson Mills, and The Old West End. A presentation outlining the benefits of Heritage Conservation Districts given by heritage consultant Catherine Nasmith can be found here. On June 18, 2013, a second public workshop was held for residents of the three neighbourhoods. In the facilitated discussions Staff collected input from residents about their hopes and concerns for an HCD and what they would most like to protect in their neighbourhood.

Through this process the Avenues neighbourhood was selected to move forward for study as a Heritage Conservation District. ERA Architects was hired through a competitive bidding process to facilitate the completion of the Heritage Conservation District Study.

Progress to Date

September 2016

In accordance with the Ontario Heritage Act, a Notice of Designation was published in the Peterborough Examiner on Thursday, September 15, 2016 and is available for review online by clicking on the link above.  A map illustrating the boundaries of the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District is also available by clicking on the  Boundary Map for the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District.

 June 2016

At its meeting of May 5, 2016 ERA Architects presented the draft HCD Plan to the Peterborough Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (PACAC). As required by the Ontario Heritage Act, the committee passed a motion to endorse the Plan and recommend its adoption by Council. The Plan was further endorsed by the Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee at its meeting of May 12, 2016. 

The HCD Plan was presented to Committee of the Whole for adoption on Monday, June 20, 2016. The report to Committee of the Whole also recommended the creation of a Preservation Incentive Program for the Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District.  The Report and its related appendices are available by clicking on Report CSACH16-004

The By-law enabling the HCD Plan is expected to be in place by September.  The Plan is available online by clicking on the link below. A hard-copy is available for viewing in the Heritage Preservation Office.

March 2016

ERA Architects has completed a draft Heritage Conservation District Plan for the Avenues and Neighbourhood.  A public meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the McDonnel Street Activity Centre at 577 McDonnel Street for the community to review and provide comment on the Plan. Draft Heritage Conservation District Plan

A hard-copy of the proposed Plan will also available for viewing in the City Clerk’s Office. Everyone is welcome to provide written or verbal comment on the Plan. 

December 2015

Project Update Newsletter is now available online and has been circulated in hard-copy to all property owners within the boundaries of the proposed Heritage Conservation District.  

Please stay tuned for more information about the next public meeting to be held early in 2016. 

Fall 2015

The Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District Plan is well underway. With the adoption of the HCD Study by Council, ERA Architects is beginning the process of creating the District Plan which will be the guidelines for managing change in the District. 

During this phase, guidelines will be developed in partnership with the community to ensure the area’s heritage character is conserved and to guide future change and enhancements in the District. The final HCD Plan will detail objectives, policies, design guidelines and procedures to conserve the cultural heritage values identified in the Study

Community consultation will be central to the development of the HCD Plan to ensure that the Plan reflects community values and priorities. The project Steering Committee met on September 15, 2015 to review the plan development process.  This meeting was followed by the circulation of a Community Briefing and Questionnaire to all property owners in the plan area.  

The first Community Workshop was held on Thursday, October 15, 2015 at the Knights of Columbus Hall.  Thank you to all community members who attended and participated in the discussion.  Please click on the Heritage Conservation District Community Workshop Presentation to view the presentation delivered by ERA Architects as a part of the workshop on October 15th.

Spring 2015

The Peterborough Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (PACAC) will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 7th at 7:00 pm at City Hall where it will receive the draft of the Heritage Conservation District Study. This meeting is open to the public. The committee's recommendation will be forwarded to the June 1st Committee of the Whole meeting and the decision of that committee will be ratified at the City Council meeting on June 8th.

The Draft Heritage Conservation District Study is now available for review and comment. The third Public Consultation Meeting for The Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District Study Area was held on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 from 7:00 - 9:00pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 317 Hunter Street West, Peterborough. The presentation is available here.  

At this meeting, ERA Architects will be presenting the Draft Avenues and Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study, and there will be an opportunity for discussion, and feedback.

The Draft Avenues and Neighbourhood HCD Study identifies, describes and evaluates the cultural heritage value of the Study Area, assesses whether the Study Area, or a portion of it , merits designation under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, and recommends an HCD boundary. A map illustrating the current proposed HCD boundary is shown below.

Following this final community consultation meeting, The Avenues and Neighbourhood HCD Study report will be finalized and presented to the Peterborough Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (PACAC) and the Arts, Cultural and Heritage Advisory Committee (ACHAC).  It will then proceed, as a Staff report, to Committee of the Whole in late spring 2015. At this meeting, Council will decide whether to approve the report’s recommendations and direct Staff to move forward with The Avenues and Neighbourhood HCD Plan.

January 2015 

The HCD Study consultants have completed detailed analysis of the Avenues area that includes historical research on the history and development of the neighbourhood, individual buildings and streetscape analysis, as well as interviews with local historians and residents.

The research on the 450+ houses in the Study Area was a collaborative effort by ERA Architects, community members, City staff and students from the Fleming College Museum Management and Curatorship Program. The Study results were also informed by community input including the HCD Study questionnaire, the Project Steering Committee and feedback from the first public meeting.

The research has identified the area as an early 20th century suburb reflecting dominant design trends of the time. The development of the Avenues and Neighbourhood is closely connected with the establishment and growth of Canadian General Electric Co. and the expansion of Peterborough’s streetcar system. Today the area displays a visual coherence that distinguishes it from the surrounding neighbourhoods.

A second public consultation meeting was held on January 15, 2015 at 7:00pm at the Peterborough Lawn Bowling Club, 577 McDonnel Street. Take a look at the presentation by the consultants to learn more about the HCD Study findings and recommendations.

Fall 2014

ERA Architects spent the summer completing the research on the houses in the Avenues neighbourhood in preparation for presentation of a draft report to the community. Research has been conducted by the consultants, community members, City staff and students from the Fleming College Museum Management and Curatorship Program on nearly 400 buildings in the study area.

Fall 2013

The Avenues Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study begins. In early November, a Community Briefing and The Avenues Heritage Conservation District Study Questionnaire were mailed to all property owners and residents in the HCD Study Area. About 40 residents responded and this information was incorporated into the research process.

ERA Architects also produced a Background and Issues Identification Report which provides a brief introduction to the HCD Study, including a brief overview of the Study Area, the HCD Study process as well as a high level policy review. 

The Community Consultation Meeting #1 was held on November 14, 2013. The meeting included a presentation by ERA Architects, a community mapping exercise as well as a constructive and rigorous discussion about HCD designation and community values. 

At this meeting, we invited the community to assist with individual building research in the Study Area. This research includes archival research, building documentation and / or gathering local stories about life in the Avenues. We had several responses and hope there may be other individuals who would like to be part of this community building opportunity. If you are interested but have more questions about how you could be involved, please contact Lindsay Reid at We would like to thank everyone who expressed an interest in helping with the individual building research and took the time to fill out the individual property Inventory form.

Over the next months research and analysis of the Avenues continued. This included historical and documentary research, analyzing the questionnaires and mapping exercise, meeting with a Project Steering Committee, carrying out individual interviews with community members and developing an evaluation of cultural heritage resources within the Study Area. 

Future updates regarding the Heritage Conservation District Study will be posted on this webpage.

For more information, please contact:

Erik Hanson
Heritage Resources Coordinator
City of Peterborough 
Phone: 705-742-7777 ext. 1489