St. Catharines will spend $250,000 to study designating downtown buildings as heritage

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Published April 20, 2023 at 12:37 pm

Is the Ford government’s Bill 23 (More Homes Built Faster Act) making municipalities nervous about protecting their heritage buildings?

In St. Catharines case, the answer is yes as City Council okayed spending $250,000 on a study to see how their downtown buildings can be protected from the bill by creating it as heritage district.

Most of the buildings on St. Paul St. in the downtown core were built in the early to mid 1800s and while all have be refitted with modern interior fixtures since then, the exterior facades of many original buildings remain intact.

While Bill 23 was  notably created to over-ride environmental protection in the Greenbelt lands north of Highway 401, it also gives the provincial government sweeping powers over long-established municipal heritage designations.

However, attempting to bulldoze over heritage structures would, no doubt, cause alarm and protests within municipalities.

At Monday’s (April 17), council voted 11-2 to fund the study creating a downtown heritage district in order to protect more than 100 buildings.

 

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