MEETING PREVIEW: Heritage Guelph Meeting for April 11, 2023

April’s Heritage Guelph committee meeting will see work continue on key heritage protections, but there are also some matters where heritage protections might be removed. If you’re interested in the OR Lands or old barns in random places around the city, then this might be a good meeting for you to tune in to, or if your interested in the future of 65 Delhi Street, then there might be something for you too.

NOTE #1: If you would like to delegate to one of the items at the meeting, get in touch with the committee liaison before Thursday April 6 at noon at jack.mallon [at] or by calling 519-837-5616, ext 3872. 

NOTE #2: This meeting will take place in-person in Meeting Room A at City Hall, and it will also be available virtually on Cisco Webex.

Consultation: Guelph Private Tree Bylaw Review – You may have heard about the current public consultation that the City is doing around the Private Tree Protection Bylaw, which focuses on ways of retaining and encouraging the growth of Guelph’s tree canopy on land that the City doesn’t own and thus can’t control. Timea Filer, Urban Forestry Field Technologist, will be on hand to get the committee’s feedback, but no materials were provided in the initial release of the agenda.

785 York Rd: Ontario Reformatory Powerhouse and Chimney Cultural Heritage Resource Impact Assessment – The powerhouse is one of the oldest buildings on the Ontario Reformatory Land site, but it’s age might not save it. Infrastructure Ontario has prepared a report for Heritage Guelph about environmental remediation efforts that have to happen on this part of the site, and according to the report, the best, cheapest and most direct way to ensure that all the contamination is cleaned up is to demolish the building and the chimney.

Along with the demolition, Infrastructure Ontario will develop an interpretation and commemoration plan, found-drawings and photo documentation will be prepared before demolition, and a salvage plan will be developed to assess and identify materials for salvage or retention. It’s worth noting that since the property is still technically owned by the Province, they do not need to seek out council’s approval before moving to demolition. They only need the minister’s consent.

No recommendation to the committee is attached to this report.

49 Norfolk Street: Staff Report on Intention to DesignateLast month, the committee received the presentation outlining the reasons to designate this site, one of four that heritage staff are prioritizing. The full report was not made available to committee before the March meeting so they passed a motion to defer the final vote to the April one. The designation is expected to go to council for approval in June.

47 Alice Street: Staff Report on Intention to Designate – Historically speaking this is the old Valeriote Shoe Shop, but currently it’s the location of the Alice Street Clubhouse. (Technically, this building is 49 Alice and was originally an auxiliary building to 47 Alice, but the pairing of the two buildings is one of the selling points here.)

According to the report, this property meets all three criteria for heritage designation, but the specific attributes to be protected include the original window and door openings and hip roof line as well as the original wood window frames and sashes on the front and west sits of the auxiliary building. Staff are recommending that the committee send the designation to council for approval.

20 Cityview Drive: Cultural Heritage Resource Impact Assessment – There are three buildings on this property, and the only one that’s listed – not designated – on the heritage registry is the barn. Interestingly, the report notes that it’s likely the oldest building on the property is the dwelling even though it’s not listed, but it’s also “only retained the shell of its basic 1.5-storey form.” As for the barn, staff say that it can be delisted because the exact date of its construction can’t be found, and it’s likely that the whole thing was rebuilt in the mid-20th century anyway.

65 Delhi Street: Conservation Plan – Of course the old isolation hospital has already been designated, and we know what’s going to become of it in the near future, a new supportive housing project owned and operated by Wellington County. Deb Westman from +VG Architects, the firm hired by the County, will give the committee a presentation about the intentions to protect and manage the building’s heritage attributes as they turn it into supportive housing. Any comments from Heritage Guelph will have to be referred to the General Manager of Planning and Building Services and to the County for consideration in the site plan approval process.


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