City seeking input on heritage homes register

andrex_house3by Jack Hanna

The City is cataloguing historically important houses and buildings in parts of Centretown and Dalhousie, and it wants residents’ help.

City staff are studying buildings in the Golden Triangle and in the area from Kent Street west to the LRT tracks. Buildings of historical significance will be added to Ottawa’s Heritage Register.

City staff want to hear from residents who can add insight about the historical significance of particular places.

The heritage staff are interested in the date of construction, original blueprints, or old photos showing the house. They want the name of the architect or builder, and to be told of significant changes made to the place. They want to know about someone famous once living there. A resident wishing to contribute can email heritageinventory@ottawa.ca.

The Centretown/Dalhousie survey is part of a project to compile a comprehensive inventory of buildings with heritage value throughout Ottawa.

If a house is added to the city’s Heritage Register, there is no impact should the owner wish to renovate or put on an addition. No extra processes or approval are needed.

The only unique requirement comes into play if an owner wishes to demolish a Heritage-Register building. The owner must provide the City 60 days notice so that, if the site has great heritage value and City Council chooses, it can take action.

The survey will be conducted in the Golden Triangle (between Elgin Street and the canal), and Centretown West/Dalhousie (from Kent Street to the LRT tracks).

Other areas of Centretown are official heritage districts and the houses in them were surveyed long ago. This includes the neighbourhood between Elgin and Kent Streets, and the buildings facing Minto Park.

Not all old buildings will be put in the Heritage Register. City staff are looking for those with historic architectural significance, such as distinctive woodwork or brickwork. A house might be added if it contributes to an historic streetscape.

If a home is to be considered for the Heritage Register, the owner will be notified by letter, most likely next spring.