Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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501 Cole heritage designation upheld by Tribunal

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I'm very pleased tonight to note that the Ontario Land Tribunal has upheld City Council's heritage designation at 501 Cole. It's not a complete victory for the City: two of the three criteria asserted by Council as supporting designation were denied. However, on the basis of the third criteria, contextual value, the Tribunal upheld Council's decision. It wrote in its conclusion: "We have an area with a definable sense of place. There are many listed and designated properties in and around the area and, indeed, an important designated home immediately beside the Property. The Property is practically archetypal of this sense of place. As such, the loss of the Property would have a detrimental effect on the area and its character and, therefore, it must be preserved."

I'm also cheered that the Tribunal supported Council's prerogative to determine heritage designations. Residents may recall that staff had recommended against designating 501 Cole, but the Built Heritage sub-committee supported a motion that Councillor Brockington brought on my behalf to instead protect the building. It bears repeating from time to time, as the Tribunal wrote, that " is City Council that makes the determination of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest (“CHVI”) and designation under the OHA and not staff. While it behooves a municipal council to consider the reports of staff, it is, under the OHA, the responsibility of the council to make that decision and they are certainly not bound by such reports." Council ignores staff advice at its peril, and I have tremendous respect for staff's expertise. But sometimes we need to forge a different path.

The full decision is below.


Posted February 20, 2024