When I moved to Schomberg I was attracted by the heritage character of the village, especially Main Street, and could see all the potential for a healthy vibrant community. The village was unique and charming and seemed like a little oasis in the otherwise urbanising landscape. Heritage character is what makes our communities distinctive and alive, reflecting the traditions, history and life of the people who once lived there.
The villages and hamlets of King have many properties and structures of heritage significance. In fact, places like Main Street Schomberg and Kettleby are defined by their heritage character. So what does it mean to own a heritage property in King Township?
The Township of King has an inventory of properties identified as having heritage value. This list is compiled through the King Heritage Advisory Committee. This Committee makes recommendations to and is responsible to Council.
Under the Ontario Heritage Act the Township maintains another database called the Heritage Register. All properties and structures shown on this register are either “listed” or “designated” under the Act. There are many properties listed in King but there are fewer than 40 that are designated.
A listed property has been recognised as having architectural, historic or cultural features of significance and has value to the community. This recognition does not limit the opportunity to alter or renovate a property or structure, except when it comes to an application for demolition. Through this application process, Council, with support of staff and the Heritage Advisory Committee, has 60 days to assess the heritage value of the property and to work with the owner to examine alternatives to demolition.
A designated property is protected under the Ontario Heritage Act in accordance with a bylaw passed by Council. Normally these properties can be maintained and upgraded but there will be some requirements and restrictions that will act to protect the heritage features of significance. King offers yearly grants up to $6000 for property owners to maintain designated structures and properties.
Typically in King Township, properties are not considered for listing or designation unless a request is received from the property owner; however, the final authority rests with Council. If you are interested in finding out the status of your property I encourage you to contact the Heritage Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a heritage property, consider what steps you can take to protect the significant features. Maintaining our heritage is what will keep our community character unique.