North Bruce Grey Owen Sound
Heritage Georgian Bluffs was formed in September 2003 at the historic Sarawak United Church, for the purposes of identifying and celebrating the history and heritage resources of the former Derby, Sarawak and Keppel Townships and the Village of Shallow Lake. We became an ACO branch in mid-2005.
HGB has had speakers such as archeologist Bill Fitzgerald and his stories of investigating the site of the new Cobble Beach Golf Links and Georgian Villas property, an almost 600 acre block on Owen Sound on southwest Georgian Bay. Among the sites searched were potential burial sites of Nah-Nee-Bah-Wee-Quay, the native princess who met with Queen Victoria to protest the treatment of aboriginal people.
The Georgian Villas developers separated 14 potential archeological sites and have permanently protected them. In addition, they had ecologists survey all the species nesting and/or feeding on the site, both land and the water along the shoreline, and have sited the golf links, the new village and other residential development sites while protecting those environments.
We are working to acquire and conserve the historic 1884 Mennonite Church/Salem Hall building, which was threatened with demolition, from the Township of Georgian Bluffs and have been advocating that the Township create a Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee under the Ontario Heritage Act.
HGB has been successful in having the Township and the County of Grey re-instate the heritage road name Nicol's Gully Road, which had been converted to "17B". We were part of Doors Open Owen Sound in 2005 with the Mennonite Church open for viewing, which significantly boosted the campaign to save it.
Georgian Bluffs has also lost significant heritage buildings including the 1830 hotel at Springmount.
The Township is the site of Grey Roots, the new Museum, Archives and Tourism Office of Grey County. www.greyroots.com
In October 2005 HGB organized and hosted The Heritage Exchange, a meeting that attracted the Muncipal Heritage Committee reps from Owen Sound, Wiarton, Grey Highlands and Saugeen Shores, and ACO branches Heritage Meaford and South Bruce Grey, as well as HGB, and the Grey County Historical Society. Future meetings of the Exchange group are being planned.
Health issues and other commitments kept HGB from being as active through 2006 and earlier this year, but things are about to get moving again.
We have also been very active on Owen Sound heritage issues including the Queen's Hotel, Corbet Foundry and several other issues. HGB is working to bring in new members from Owen Sound, form Heritage Owen Sound as a committee in the branch, rename the branch North Grey, and have another committee within be Heritage Georgian Bluffs.
Historic Sarawak United Church, the last church still functioning in Sarawak, has benefitted from an ACO PreservationWorks! funded study by architect John Rutledge. The congregation is considering his recommendation that the Church seek heritage designation, which would be a first for the Township of Georgian Bluffs.
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 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.
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.