Heritage and Culture in Ontario
Every day across Ontario, thousands of volunteers work to conserve and celebrate the stories, places and events of the people that shaped our communities. Many of these volunteers are active at the municipal level as members of Municipal Heritage Committees.
Under the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities can establish Municipal Heritage Committees to advise council on identifying, protecting and promoting cultural heritage resources that make our communities unique and sustainable places to live. The fact that so much of Ontario’s rich heritage has been conserved is a testament to the good advice and hard work of Municipal Heritage Committees.
Establishing a Municipal Heritage Committee is often described as a municipality’s first and most important step in engaging its community in heritage conservation. Committee members build strong relationships with property owners to encourage good stewardship of heritage resources. They facilitate the exchange of ideas and expertise that contribute to the economic and cultural development of cities, towns, villages, neighbourhoods and landscapes across the province. They also bring unparalleled passion and dedication to finding solutions towards heritage conservation. Municipal Heritage Committees involve their communities in conserving cultural heritage resources that inspire current and future generations.
The 2005 amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act provide stronger protection for our cultural heritage, and a broader, more important role for Municipal Heritage Committees. Consequently, these committees are now even more crucial to municipal decision-making. For further information on Heritage in Ontario visit the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.