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picture History:
The Newmarket Branch of the ACO was formed in 2016 to defend from developers the Town’s historic downtown and its priceless Heritage Conservation District with its unrivalled vistas and panoramas. Despite passing a By-law in 2013 which mandates a three storey height cap, the Town is actively considering an out-of-place seven storey apartment building in the heart of the Heritage Conservation District, destroying at a stroke the area’s charm and ambiance.

The proposed development will overshadow the iconic Clock Tower. And historic commercial buildings adjacent to it will be demolished with only the facades being retained. The photo top left shows Main Street South in the 1940s. It has of course changed incrementally over the years but it is still recognizably the old Main Street.

If the proposed development goes ahead it will drive a coach and horses through the Town's own planning policies.

You don't have to be a member to support our Clock Tower campaign. No donation is too small. Hit the button top-centre and follow the prompts.

Update on 9 December 2016:

At its meeting on 5 December Newmarket Council threw out the proposed development, rejecting the original monstrous application and an amended version proposed by the Town's own planners. Both were grotesquely out of scale.

The Floor Space Index - which regulates the size and massing of structures on a given lot - is 1.0 in the Heritage Conservation District and in the Town's zoning by-law. The developer was proposing 2.9 (improperly using the floor area of the proposed underground car parking in his calculation) but we calculated the reality was a staggering 4.279.

How on earth did this happen?

If the proposed development had gone ahead it would have had the highest density in the whole Town of Newmarket - higher than the major corridors earmarked for intensification.

Many questions remain unanswered.

But we are on the case until we get them.

   Gordon Prentice


Vice President:
   Ann Campbell



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.