City of Thorold wins
The Prince of Wales Prize for
Municipal Heritage Leadership – 2017

The City of Thorold is located approximately in the centre of the Region of Niagara. Thorold includes Allanburg, Port Robinson, St. Johns and Beaverdams.

This award is delivered through the National Trust for Canada.  The City of Thorold has been informed that the independent awards jury was unanimous in its decision to honour Thorold for its long standing commitment to heritage policies and programs that help preserve and celebrate its rich industrial history.  Prince Charles himself reviewed and endorsed the jury’s recommendation, and wrote the congratulatory message which was read at the Awards event.

Established in 1999 under the generous patronage of His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, this Prize honours a municipal government for exemplary commitment to the preservation of heritage, identity and sense of place within its boundaries.

Previous recipients include: Quebec City, Quebec;  Perth, Ontario;   Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island;   Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia;   Markham, Ontario;   Victoria, British Columbia;   Saint John, New Brunswick;   St. John’s, Newfoundland;   Aurora, Ontario;   Edmonton, Alberta;   Oakville, Ontario;  Saguenay (Arvida) Quebec;  Grimsby, Ontario;   Owen Sound, Ontario;   Bonavista, Newfoundland;   and Richmond, British Columbia.

Thorold’s Municipal Heritage Committee consists of 10 members (including 1 Council representative) who have a full Agenda and concrete plans for the future of the City.  Six of the members have designated homes.  There is a Downtown Streetscape Master Plan in place which includes plans for the designation of the downtown as a Heritage Conservation District. Thorold, having recognized its past industrial history, is now moving ahead and is considered by all to be a “heritage destination”. Thorold has over 50 sites designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, which is considered an excellent number for the population of this city (approximately 19,000).  The City of Thorold’s programs and policies, Mayor and Council,  fully support the efforts of the heritage committee in their work;  they are consulted on many facets of municipal management, and the Planning Department (with whom they work) is helpful and fully aware of the importance of the heritage of the City to its future.  Heritage is one of the three attractions emphasized for the visitation of tourists to the City – i.e. Welland Canal, Cycling and Heritage.  Recent studies show that tourists are seeking out – not world class tourists sites, but a cultural heritage experience.

Education is one of the mandates of the committee, and heritage conservation is now understood to be of prime importance to Thorold by politicians, City staff, residents and visitors to the City

The Prize was formally awarded at the National Heritage Awards Ceremony which took place on Friday, October 13th, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. at the Saint Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 St. Patrick Street, Ottawa, Ontario.  This was held during the National Trust’s annual conference in Ottawa, Ontario – “CAPITALizing on Heritage”, at the Westin Ottawa and Fairmont Chateau Laurier, October 11th to 14th, 2017.

City of Thorold
Awards 2017 – Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO)

1. The Post Office Shannon & Michael Passero
Paul Oberman Award for adaptive re-use

2. Report – Beaverdams –  A Cultural Heritage Landscape
by Sarah King Head – Thorold City Historian
The Margaret & Nicholas Hill Cultural Heritage Landscape Award

These were presented at Osgoode Hall, Toronto, Friday, October 20th, 2017.



We did not inherit this space from our forefathers...we are borrowing it from our descendants.  We are here today as stewards, which means that we need to leave this place in better condition than we found it...and, we cannot do this alone...we need help from the top down.



Bill C-323
Bill C-323 can be viewed on line
Private Member’s Bill C-323 (An Act to amend the Income Tax Act –
rehabilitation of historic property)
-presented to the Federal Gov’t by Peter Van Loan MP York-Simcoe
(Critic for Canadian Heritage & National Historic Sites)

This is an extremely important Bill for those of us who work in heritage preservation at the grass roots.  This is a Bill to create tax incentives for the rehabilitation of historic property, which includes the creation of :  -a 20% tax credit on eligible costs for rehabilitation  work done to designated historic places (commercial and owner-occupied residential) –and- an accelerated Capital Cost Allowance for eligible capitalized costs incurred under the same conditions of the tax credit (commercial only).  These two tax measures alone would transform the economic fundamentals for renewing historic places.  In the process it would create more skilled jobs,  generate less carbon than new construction and prevent demolition and the resulting loading of our landfills.

The tax credits in Bill C-323 are inspired by the success of the U.S. Federal Historic Tax Credit Program which has been in place for 40 years.  Since its creation in 1976,  $23.1 billion in federal credits have generated more than $28.1 billion in additional federal tax revenue and leveraged over $120.8 billion in private investment (a 5 to 1 ratio of private investment to tax credits).  In the process it has created 2.4 million jobs and preserved 41,254 historic properties.  This program has created over 525,000 housing units, 27% of which were affordable for low/moderate income families.  Leverage and multiplier effects data has shown again and again, that the U.S. program is a strategic investment that works ------ and we are 40 years behind them !

Before considering the Bill, the Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development is expected to embark on a study of the “State of Historic Places in Canada” – an important “first” for the Committee, that can help give context to the proposals for financial incentives.

Our volunteers in the field work tirelessly to preserve our built heritage and have very little, if anything, to offer our designated property owners who have restrictions on their properties, bear the high cost of restoration, increased taxes and insurance, and who proudly act as stewards of Canada’s heritage.  Volunteers make all of this happen – they are the foundation upon which preservation is built; without their commitment and passion, the whole “movement” would fall apart.

The Government of Canada has an obligation to make good their promise to be “open to measures that use the tax systems that stimulate private investments in heritage buildings”.

You Can Help

The Federal House of Commons Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development – Report 10 has been produced, containing recommendations as follows:

  1. Policy on Management of Real Property be integrated in new legislation so that custodian departments of designated federal heritage buildings are required to protect the commemorative integrity of these buildings and prevent demolition-by-neglect.

  2. introduce legislation to provide statutory protection for federal heritage buildings.

  3. introduce legislation imposing on Crown corporations the same requirements imposed on federal departments and agencies by the Policy on Management of Real Property regarding the management of federal heritage buildings, in order to protect the commemorative integrity of buildings owned by these Crown corporations and prevent their demolition-by-neglect.

  4. introduce legislation to establish a process to protect, conserve, document and exhibit archaeological resources on federal land and under waters of federal responsibility.

  5. introduce legislation to provide a statutory obligation on federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations to protect the commemorative integrity of all national historic sites of Canada.

  6. introduce legislation to provide a statutory obligation on federal departments, agencies and Crown corporations to protect the integrity of federal heritage buildings owned by the federal government or under its jurisdiction.

  7. Treasury Board Secretariat work with federal departments and agencies to ensure that they invest 2% of the asset replacement value annually towards the maintenance and repair of federal heritage buildings, as recommended in the Treasury Board Secretariat’s Guide to the Management of Real Property.

  8. adopt a policy requiring federal departments and agencies to, when deemed appropriate, give preference to existing heritage buildings when considering leasing or purchasing space.

  9. introduce legislation to:
    1. ensure that federal actions do not adversely impact the commemorative integrity of national historic sites of Canada or the integrity of heritage sites and buildings designated by provinces and municipalities in Canada
    2. provide statutory protection for Canadian World Heritage sites;
    3. ensure that federal actions take into consideration the heritage values of Canada’s historic places; and
    4. give statutory recognition of the Canadian Register of Historic Places and the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.
  1. restore the funding level for the National Cost-Sharing Program for Heritage Places to a minimum of $10 million per year.

  2. establish a tax credit for the restoration and preservation of buildings listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

  3. in co-operation with provincial and territorial governments, work to adapt future versions of Canada’s National Model Building Codes in a manner that will facilitate the restoration and the rehabilitation of existing buildings and the preservation of their heritage characteristics.

  4. Parks Canada review its National Cost-Sharing Program and, if it is determined that rural sites are under-represented in applications for funding or in the awarding of funding, steps should be taken to improve the program.

  5. consider supporting an initiative modelled after the “Main Street America” model, to encourage public and private investment in commercial historic buildings in rural areas and small cities as a catalyst for community sustainability and economic development.

  6. support an Indigenous-led initiative that will be responsible for:

    1. determining how places that are important to Canada’s Indigenous peoples should be protected and preserved;
    2. enhancing the capacity of Indigenous communities to preserve places that are important to them; and
    3. presenting the perspective of Indigenous communities regarding the protection of places that are important to them to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat, Parks Canada and other federal government departments and agencies.

  7. Parks Canada, in cooperation with Indigenous groups, include Indigenous registrars in the Canadian Register of Historic Places to improve the process by which Indigenous places that are important to Indigenous peoples are identified and designated.

  8. in support of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action 79 and 81, and in consultation with Indigenous groups:

    1. introduce legislation amending the Historic Sites and Monuments Act to add First Nations, Inuit, and Métis representation on the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and its Secretariat.
    2. The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada revise the policies, criteria, and practices of the National Program of Historical Commemoration to integrate Indigenous history, heritage values, and memory practices into Canada’s national heritage and history.
    3. Parks Canada develop and implement a national heritage plan and strategy for commemorating and, where appropriate, conserving residential school sites, the history and legacy of residential schools, and the contributions of Indigenous peoples to Canada’s history.
    4. in collaboration with Residential School Survivors, commission and install a publicly accessible, highly visible, Residential Schools National Monument in the city of Ottawa to honour Survivors and all the children who were lost to their families and communities.

We need to demonstrate widespread support for the federal government’s role in conserving Canada’s heritage; this role should be pursued through the implementation of the Standing Committee’s recommendations. Therefore, letters to the federal Minister of Environment, with copies to the Minister of Finance and your members of federal Parliament, supporting the recommendations contained in Report 10, would be helpful; the full report is available for viewing at :

Implementation of the Committee’s recommendations will not only help conserve federally-owned heritage properties but will also assist in the conservation of privately owned heritage properties. Input is being sought by the federal government on these recommendations over the next two months; therefore, letters of support should be received by the federal Ministers no later than February 28th, 2018.”

Pamela J.Minns
January 2018


ONTARIO HERITAGE CONFERENCE NIAGARA 2015 – It has come and gone ….

Architectural Conservancy of Ontario / Community Heritage Ontario / Niagara Heritage Alliance.
There is only one heritage conference held in Ontario each year, so it is a big deal ! It takes more than a full year of concentrated planning. Former recent venues were Cornwall, Midland, Kingston and the one for next year will be in Stratford. Our Niagara conference was held in Niagara on the Lake at their beautiful Community Centre from April 30th – May 3rd, with opening and welcome Thursday night at Navy Hall. About 225 registered for this event, a lot less than I anticipated, given the popularity of Niagara on the Lake and its attention to heritage. A lot happened at this conference – many speakers, bus tours, workshops, displays, networking and visits to various sites in the Region as well as AGMs at RiverBrink Art Museum in Queenston. Niagara is a perfect place for a conference of this type, with its rich history, built heritage and
natural beauty.

Every time I attend one of these conferences, I wonder why we have them at all when the people who should attend, donʼt attend. I have attended many of these events over the 30 years I have been involved in heritage preservation and I have met many wonderful, committed people involved in heritage, many of whom are still attending conferences, BUT we are all "the converted". We all know the importance of saving our built, cultural and natural heritage – we work at it every day. What about those who have no interest in heritage preservation, or are involved in things like real estate, law, development, insurance, Mayors and municipal councillors; they deal with matters of designated heritage properties on a regular basis, and based on many questions I hear from this group, most do not really understand designation; some feel there is no use for an old building and that they should all be demolished to make way for new. They need to think outside the box ! Those are the people who should be at these conferences to gain an understanding and appreciation of the absolute need for preservation; do we need more building materials in our landfills …. and if we have to boil it down to money --- restoration is a huge economic driver!

......Read More


Two Conference Events as Seen on YouTube

Day 1
Navy Hall, Niagara-on-the-Lake
April 30, 2015
War of 1812 Presentation
(42 minutes)

Day 2
Community Centre, Niagara-on-the-Lake
May 1, 2015 msleonmartin
Plenary Speaker - Jennifer Keesmaat
(55 minutes)

As well, copies of the DVDs can be obtained at the following :
DVD Copies available from:
Omni Media Productions, 235 Martindale Road, Suite #6, St. Catharines, ON. L2W 1A5
(905) 684-9455
EM: [email protected]

Cost Per DVD: $5.31 plus $.69 HST = $6.00 - Labelled in a case.

For description and images of other designated properties, please click links below.

Designated Properties

Allanburg Heritage Oak Tree
Allanburg United Church
Allanburg Village Cemetery
Beaverdams Burying Grounds
Beaverdams Methodist Church & Graveyard
Beckett’s Reserve, Duncan McFarland House,
Stephen Beatty House

Calcott-Walker House
Camp House
Carl, Misener, Bald Cemetery
Carnegie Library
Carr-Millar-McMillan Block
Carroll-Tracy House
Carter-Holland House
Chestnut Hall
Constable House
Decew Young House
Decou House Monument

Dobbie House
Dominion Government Building
East Side School Bell
Fire Bell
First Presbyterian Church
Flannery House
Fraser-McMann House
George Bouk House
Grenville House
Griffiths House
Kennedy-Ward House
L.G. Lorriman/Central School
Lynch House
Macartney Drug Store
Memorial Park
Millar House
Millstone - Welland Mills

Moore-Lampman House
Munro House
O'Brien House
Old Firehall
The Parsonage
Port Robinson Brick School
Quebec Bank
Robert Elliot House
Ross House
St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
Sir Edward Beatty House
Stewart House
The Stone Store
Trinity United Church
War Memorial
Welland Canal 2nd River Lock
Welland Mills