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St. Catharines

St. Catharines

picture History:
The St. Catharines branch was founded in May 2006. A number of volunteers were concerned about the lack of protection that had been afforded to the City's heritage buildings. The volunteers were particularly concerned about a developer's proposal for a massive condo tower development in the commercial heart of the low-rise Port Dalhousie heritage district.

The village of Port Dalhousie (now part of St. Catharines) dates from 1826, and, between 1829 until 1930 was the northern terminus of the first three Welland Canals, linking Lake Ontario with Lake Erie and allowing ships to by-pass Niagara Falls. As the entry point to the Canals, Port Dalhousie is closely linked through its transportation, services, and shipbuilding functions to the historical and economic development of the Niagara Region, our province, our nation, and the international Great Lakes region.

Today the village's commercial core, located alongside the old canal locks and harbour, still retains much of its original canal village streetscape; this streetscape includes many original mid-to-late 19th century and early 20th century buildings constructed to provide services like ship's chandler, hotels, taverns, customs house, etc. to the ships and people travelling through the early canals. At the World Canals Conference held in St. Catharines in June 2004, delegates affirmed that Port Dalhousie is one of the few remaining 19th century canal villages in the world that is relatively intact.

With strong support from residents and the City of St. Catharines, Port Dalhousie was officially designated as a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act in December, 2003.

The new branch established a Port Dalhousie Heritage Fund and has made preserving the integrity of Port Dalhousie's Heritage District its first priority.

   Ken Mackenzie


   Ken Mackenzie

Vice President:
   David Webb



2017 Meeting Schedule for ACO Ontario
January 30, 2017 to December 30, 2017
Schedule of Executive and Council Meetings for 2017. Please open the attached pdf to see the full schedule. This document will be revised periodically as dates and locations are confirmed.

ACO Celebrates Heritage at Queen's Park
Visits with Ontario MPPs
February 27, 2017
Following on last year's successful meetings with 24 MPP's, once again Architectural Conservancy Ontario representatives will be at Queen's Park to talk about why, even with a stronger Ontario Heritage Act, we are still losing our heritage. This will be the third Heritage Week MPP Day when knowledgeable ACO members take time to approach parliamentarians at Queen’s Park with the purpose of reinforcing the importance of heritage to the province. This year’s visit will be held on February 27th, immediately after Heritage Week. Our volunteers are doing our part, but we could use some help plugging the policy and legislative loopholes that cost us important community landmarks.


Bill establishes tax credits for rehabilitation of historic properties
ACO supports Private Member's Bill C-323, An Act to Amend the Income Tax Act (Rehabilitation of Historic Property), which will receive second reading in the House of Commons on February 10. This bill will establish a tax credit for expenses related to the rehabilitation of a historic property. It also establishes a tax deduction for the capital cost of property used in the course of such a rehabilitation.

Do you have a financial background and a commitment to preserving our built heritage? ACO’s Council Executive currently seeks a qualified individual to join the Provincial Council (Board) and to assume the role of Treasurer of the organization.

Culture Strategy for Ontario
ACO stresses need to build heritage into the Culture Strategy Program
In September the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) announced a new initiative, the development of a Culture Strategy for Ontario. A series of Town Halls are planned to get our views. Click on this item to learn more.

MP Peter Van Loan Proposes Tax Credits for Heritage Properties
National Trust for Canada is organizing Response
MP Peter Van Loan has introduced a Private Members Bill proposing Income Tax Credits to assist private owners of heritage property with restoration costs. This is good news for heritage, whether or not it passes as widespread support for the initiative may result in either passage or a similar bill from government. National Trust for Canada is organizing heritage organizations across the country. ACO's Policy Committee will be developing a formal response from ACO.