Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy

Project Overview

In January 2014, the Town of Oakville adopted the Cultural Heritage Landscapes Strategy (pdf) to identify, evaluate and conserve significant cultural heritage landscapes in the Town of Oakville. The strategy is based on best practices in municipal heritage planning and applicable legislation, including the Planning Act and the Ontario Heritage Act. It is not intended to be an exhaustive study on the history of Oakville, nor is it a full inventory of all potential cultural heritage landscapes in the town. The strategy includes three phases: identification, evaluation and implementation.

Review the FAQs for more details on the project.

The purpose of Phase One was to complete an inventory of publicly and privately owned properties in the Town of Oakville that had the potential to be a cultural heritage landscape. 

Individual Inventory Reports were completed for each property and recommendations were made on how to protect and prioritize the identified cultural heritage landscapes in the inventory.

The Phase One inventory is now complete and was endorsed by Oakville Town Council on February 26, 2016.

In Phase Two, full assessments of the priority properties identified in the Phase One inventory are being undertaken. Based on these assessments, protection of these properties through designation under the Ontario Heritage Act or through Official Plan policies will be implemented in Phase Three. Given timing and budget restraints, the completion of Phase Two will likely take place in several stages, with high priority properties being assessed first and medium and low priority properties being assessed as resources are made available. 

Phase Two assessments that are currently underway include:

  • Oakville Harbour - 2-8 Navy Street and 10-22 Walker Street

To date, Council has recognized eight areas as significant cultural heritage landscapes through the Phase Two assessment process. These areas are now subject to Phase Three Implementation work led by town staff to protect the heritage attributes of these properties:

For properties in Phase Three, appropriate protection measures are being recommended using tools under the Ontario Heritage Act, the Planning Act and Municipal Act. This phase is a town staff led project and may use external and internal consultants as needed. The town will continue to engage with the public and property owners to meet and exceed all statutory requirements. Consultation may vary with each individual property, tailored to the unique circumstances of each landscape.

As part of this implementation work, Council approved the Conservation Plan By-law which requires a Conservation Plan for cultural heritage landscapes. Additionally, updates were made to the Delegation By-law, Property Standards By-law, Private Tree By-law and the Site Alteration By-law to ensure consistency with provincial policy and definitions. See our By-laws page to access by-laws. These by-laws are currently under appeal.

Phase Three work is currently underway for the following significant cultural heritage landscapes:

  • Biggar Farm - 4243 Sixth Line
  • Bowbeer Farmstead - 1086 Burnhamthorpe Road East - New Cultural Heritage Ladscape Designation By-law 2018-136
  • Bronte Harbour - 3014 Lakeshore Road West and Bronte Bluffs - 35 West River Street
  • Erchless Estate - 8 Navy Street and 110-114 King Street - Conservation Measures
  • Gairloch Gardens - 1288-1306 Lakeshore Road East

Phase Three work has been completed on the following significant cultural heritage landscape:


Susan Schappert, CAHP, MCIP, RPP
Heritage Planner, District East/West
Planning Services
Town of Oakville
905-845-6601, ext. 3870