The Branch was founded July 14, 1966
The motivating issue for creating this ACO branch was the conservation of the Ridout Street buildings, known as London’s first banking district. Only one building was demolished, thanks to the president of John Labatt Ltd that the buildings should be saved and repurposed. The Labatt Company agreed to pay for the restoration but unfortunately by the time this agreement was reached the Bank of Montreal building had been demolished.
First Walking Tour (house tour), 1974
First named “Geranium Walk” - later the “Geranium Heritage House Tour” - because homes open to view are marked with red geraniums outside the building. Ticket includes a keepsake booklet describing the history of the area, a map and descriptions of streetscapes, and the interior and exterior of the homes open to tour. Afternoon refreshments are offered at public building included in the Tour.
Geranium Heritage House Tours have been held every year, each in a different historic neighbourhood, on the first Sunday afternoon in June attracting sell-out attendance of 500 visitors.
The Tours have encouraged people to appreciate London's architectural heritage, provide publicity for the branch, as well as being a flagship fundraiser.
Campaign to Preserve “Talbot Streetscape”, 1982 - 1990
ACO London led the campaign to preserve a streetscape stretching across a block of important nineteenth century buildings in downtown London which had been bought by a developer. Two thousand people holding hands around the full block was evidence of support from the public but the campaign failed and the entire streetscape was demolished.
Brackets and Bargeboards published 1989
This book described nine walking tours, with many photographs, based on the first fourteen Geranium Tours. The book was made possible with a gift from the London Foundation and a grant from the Heritage Branch of the Ministry of Culture and Communications, along with the work of many members and friends of ACO London.
Inventory List of Designated Buildings 1991
Several key branch members prepared the first Inventory List of buildings suitable for designation as a heritage building in the city, as per provincial legislation. The Stewardship Committee, a sub-committee to the London Advisory Committee on Heritage (LACH), oversees the Inventory List.
London Advisory Committee on Heritage, May 1, 1995 (replacement of LACAC)
A committee formed by, and reporting to, the Planning and Environment Committee, a standing committee of London City Council.
A representative of ACO London is appointed to LACH, a committee with many responsibilities related to heritage, including: recommending to City Council properties for heritage designation and preparing statements of heritage significance of these properties; commenting on Planning Department proposals related to heritage; assisting with preparation of Heritage Conservation Districts; making recommendations on preservation of natural heritage features.
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.
ACO EXPRESSES SUPPORT FOR BILL C-323
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.
ACO IS SEEKING A TREASURER
VOLUNTEER COUNCIL (BOARD) POSITION
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.