My November article for the Kitchissippi Times is an important one. I usually cover a single topic or event for the Times, but this month, as it was the 20th Anniversary issue for the Times, I chose to write about how heritage has evolved in our neighbourhoods over the last twenty years. But more importantly, how heritage is severely threatened by Ontario Bill 23, which in a year's time will effectively render almost all of our most heritage-worthy (but not-yet-designated) buildings exempt from designation.
This is an issue which is getting hardly any attention in mainstream media. Maybe because there's still another year to go until it becomes a real problem. But that year will go quickly, and by then, or even six months from now, it will be too late.
Please read the article to learn more about what we stand to lose not only in Kitchissippi, but across Ottawa and the province as a whole.
The only solutions are to cross fingers and close our eyes and hope the provincial government changes its mind about the heritage registers (not likely, maybe not even possible now); to ignore it and just let it happen and see so many heritage designation-worthy buildings be torn down and there will be nothing we can do about it; or we can act now and pursue designation of those buildings we deem most important to maintain.
As part of the article, the Times filmed me giving a little 15 minute guided tour of Kitchissippi's most heritage-worthy buildings, with a few quick facts and details about a few of them. You'll find the video at the bottom of the article, or you can view it directly on Youtube at:
I know the City and our councillor Jeff Leiper, as well as each community association in Kitchissippi, are taking steps to review what might be possible, and to prioritize which buildings ought to be reviewed for designation. I wrote up a detailed report myself for Jeff's office, and included a "top 25" list for his consideration, and I'll be speaking with all the community associations next week about it, and offering my help. But it will take a lot of community input to help push this along. It's a mad scramble, and it's a mess, but this is what we're stuck with.
If you'd like to provide your input, the City is asking for it! Check out this link for how you can contribute: https://engage.ottawa.ca/reviewing-heritage-register
More to come!