Cultural Heritage Landscape FAQs

The following is a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) on Cultural Heritage Landscapes. We’ll continue to update these questions throughout the review process.


A cultural heritage landscape is the recognizable imprint of human settlement and activities on land over time. While any landscape that has been deliberately modified by humans is a cultural landscape, only those cultural landscapes that have a strong connection with the history of the community and are valued by the community can be identified as ‘cultural heritage landscapes’.

Cultural heritage landscapes can include:

  • buildings/structures;
  • landforms (topography);
  • natural heritage (tress, plantings);
  • archaeological evidence;
  • transportation routes; and,
  • monuments and markers.

Cultural heritage landscape protection and policies can limit alterations and development. They can also permit alterations where it doesn’t negatively impact the heritage resources.

Yes. Views can be protected by specific heritage and planning policies. Trees and living things can be specifically protected with heritage policies (for example, Bronte White Oak tree is a designated heritage tree), and as part of a cultural heritage landscape.

Check out the Ontario Heritage Toolkit for more information on Ontario’s heritage conservation process.

Oakville’s Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy

Council approved the town’s Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy in January 2014. It set the foundation for the primary identification of candidate cultural heritage landscapes and the further inventory and evaluation of significant cultural heritage landscapes. It also developed a formal process for addressing the conservation of cultural heritage landscape resources in the Town of Oakville.

The Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy is based on best practices in municipal heritage planning and applicable legislation, including the Planning Act and the Ontario Heritage Act.

A number of properties were identified for further research and assessment in the town’s Phase One Inventory completed in February 2016, including the following eight high priority properties:

  • Bronte Harbour (3014 Lakeshore Road West)
  • Bronte Bluffs (35 West River Street)
  • Bowbeer Farmstead (1086 Burnhamthorpe Road East)
  • Raydor Estate / Glen Abbey (1333 Dorval Drive)
  • McMichael Farm – now known as the Rivaz Farm (3367 Dundas Street West)
  • Hilton Farm (2031 North Service Road West)
  • Biggar Farm (4243 Sixth Line)
  • Remnant Farmstead – now known as the Van Sickle Farm (3451 Tremaine Road)
  • Properties that are considered vulnerable to change including development pressures, natural forces and neglect;
  • Properties with insufficient existing protection; and,
  • Properties that show potential for a high level of cultural heritage value or interest.

Two town-owned properties, Bronte Harbour and Bronte Bluffs, are also being studied but are not under any short-term vulnerability to change. This work will be completed within the next few months and the assessments reports will come to Heritage Oakville for input.

The six Phase Two assessments are intended to be reviewed by the Heritage Committee on April 25 and then Planning and Development Council on May 15.The town’s website will contain these meeting dates and reports. Should Council approve a recommendation to proceed to the Implementation Phase 3 on any of these six properties, the town will then set a new timeline to consider the extent of conservation measures and tools.

The two remaining high priority properties, the Bronte Harbour and Bronte Bluffs, will be brought forward to Council later this year. The remaining medium and low priority properties from the Cultural Heritage Landscapes Strategy do not have a schedule at this time.

We’ve invited all the property owners of Phase Two to participate in this research process. The next phase of the study if there is a recommendation to proceed is the implementation of protection policies. Many of the potential tools that could be used for protection have a legislated requirement for consultation and appeal rights for property owners. The town will continue to work with and engage property owners throughout this process.

An open house was held on March 7, 2017 to get public input on all of the sites for the Phase Two Assessments. Further input can be provided in writing to