Ontario’s Heritage Places of Worship

Places of Worship are under ongoing threat for demolition and badly need a strategy for protection.

 The Ontario Heritage Trust has begun a major inventory of Ontario’s Places of Worship of 25 years and older. In addition the Ministry of Tourism and Culture is consulting on a draft guide for the conservation and protection of heritage places of worship in Ontario.

The proposed guide will provide information on the heritage conservation process in Ontario and the specific considerations that arise when heritage places of worship are involved. This includes decisions under the Ontario Heritage Act related to listing, designation, alteration, removal and demolition. When finalized, the guide will be a supplement to the Ontario Heritage Toolkit.

The draft guide was posted for public comment on the Environmental Registry at:

http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTEzMzAw&statusId=MTY5ODMy on Friday, May 20, 2011, for 30 days.

You are encouraged to visit the Environmental Registry to review the document and provide your comments to the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.

The Ministry of Tourism and Culture acknowledges, with thanks, the work of the Ontario Heritage Trust with the Religious Heritage Properties Working Group in the development of the guide.

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2 Responses to Ontario’s Heritage Places of Worship

  1. dannydeh3 says:

    Places of worship should not receive any heritage protection, as they don’t contribute property taxes to municipalities or the province, and opportunity cost of underutilized properties, increasing the cost of housing and commercial enterprise. Religious organizations are further subsidized through a wide range of mechanisms which I strongly disagree with: tax deductions for donations, parsonage exemption, favourable HST treatment, and no corporate income taxes.

  2. Alan Bentley says:

    I totally disagree with the above dannydeh3 comment May 31,2012. Churches have formed an integral part of our communites for decades even centuries.Without churches as the centre of community activities many communities would not have survived and developed. All families are connected to churches one way or another and I find that these edifices are deserving of heritage designation.

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