Oakville approves funding for 47 heritage property restoration projects

Oakville continues to be a leader in preserving heritage and cultural character of the town. In the tenth year of the Heritage Grant Program, Oakville Town Council approved nearly $138,000 in funding for 47 restoration projects on private heritage properties. The funds will help heritage properties improve their structural stability through stucco repairs, historic roof replacement, window restorations, and others to preserve the properties for years to come. 

Grant recipients include schools, businesses, places of worship, a cemetery, many heritage homes, and also trees that are part of a designated cultural heritage landscape.

To be eligible for the grant program, the property must have official designation as part of the Official Heritage Register in line with the Ontario Heritage Act. The grant applicant must also put in their own funding in order to receive matching grants from the town for up to $15,000 per property. More details are available online in the June 12, 2023 staff report and the Heritage Planning page.  

Including this year, the Heritage Grant Program has provided $944,000 in grants for 215 restoration and conservation projects worth more than $6 million over the last 10 years. Heritage Grant Program applications will next open in January 2024. 

“While Oakville continues to grow, heritage preservation remains a priority for Council. The Heritage Grant Program helps maintain the historical and cultural elements of properties and strengthens the visual appeal of Oakville as we stay connected to our cultural roots. By encouraging the restoration of historic materials and diverting waste from landfills, this program also supports the town’s efforts in addressing climate change.”  

Mayor Rob Burton

Each year, the Heritage Grant Program offers a total of $120,000 in funding, and this year, an additional $17,965 was allocated from unused grants, developer contributions and heritage fees. The Heritage Grant Program, now in its tenth year, received 55 applications in 2023 – the largest so far, for renovations and upgrades to heritage designated projects.  

The town has 614 officially designated properties either standalone or as part of the four Heritage Conservation districts. Another 294 properties that are not designated but have cultural value are on the Municipal Heritage Register. 

Recent legislative changes as part of Bill 23 require the undesignated heritage properties to be removed from the Municipal Heritage Register unless they achieve designation by 2025. The town has initiated a Heritage Designation Project to evaluate the merits of designating approximately 80 listed properties by 2025 to conserve Oakville’s cultural heritage resources 

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