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What is a Heritage Conservation District (HCD)?

A Heritage Conservation District (HCD) is an area that is protected with a by-law passed under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, by City Council. It is an area that has been deemed special and worth preserving in the eyes of the City and its residences. An HCD can include any type of structure or space including schools, parks, apartment buildings, stores, cemeteries and houses. HCDs do not affect the interior or back of a property, only what you can see from the street. It can offer protection to trees, lot sizes and river stone walls.

How does a Heritage Conservation District work?

HCDs ensure that the fabric and character of areas with cultural heritage value are somewhat protected and conserved by managing change within it. HCD designation allows a municipality to protect and enhance the special characteristics of a designated area, as defined by local property owners themselves. Future changes to an HCD could be carried out in a sympathetic manner, as identified in the heritage conservation district plan for that area. It is a plan that looks to the future with an eye on the past.


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