As of June 1, 2021, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, Environmental Review Tribunal, Board of Negotiation, Conservation Review Board and the Mining and Lands Tribunal were merged into a new single tribunal called the “Ontario Land Tribunal”. Please note that new forms are available on our "Forms" page. We are continuing to update our site to reflect the new Tribunal. Thank you for your patience.

Heritage Matters

 

History of Heritage Appeals in Ontario

Many Heritage appeals were previously heard by the Conservation Review Board (CRB) which was established in 1975 under Part 3  of the Ontario Heritage Act. Many other appeals under the Ontario Heritage Act were heard by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT), and not the CRB.

About the OLT’s Role in Heritage Matters

The Ontario Land Tribunal (OLT), through the mandate provided by the Ontario Heritage Act, considers a number of matters such as: the proposed designation of a property as having cultural heritage value or interest; applications for the repeal of a by-law on a specific property; applications related to the alteration of a property covered by a by-law; and, matters related to archaeological licensing. These matters were previously heard by the CRB and are now considered by the OLT.

The OLT, through the prehearing process and mediation efforts, may attempt to settle the dispute where appropriate. Where a case does not settle and proceeds to hearing, after the hearing, the OLT will provide a Recommendation on the matter to either the municipal council or the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, who have the final decision.

The CRB conducted proceedings on matters that were referred, which included both pre-hearing conferences to explore the potential of settlement, as well as formal hearings to hear evidence and arguments to best enable the CRB to make recommendations to the final decision making power for that particular case. The CRB had responsibilities under both Part 4 and Part 6 of the Act.

In 2005, changes to the Act gave the CRB additional responsibilities to consider objections concerning properties deemed provincially significant by the Minister under Part 4 of the Act. In addition, the changes permitted the cross-appointment of CRB Members to the former LPAT  panels hearing certain appeals under the Act.

In 2009, an Order in Council transferred responsibility for the CRB from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport to the Ministry of the Attorney General. The CRB’s jurisdiction and its authority were defined by the Ontario Heritage Act and the Statutory Powers Procedure Act.

The CRB was amalgamated into the OLT on June 1, 2021 by the Ontario Land Tribunal Act.

Jurisdiction

The OLT is empowered to operate under the jurisdiction of  Ontario Land Tribunal Act to address matters under Parts 4, 5 and 6 of the Ontario Heritage Act. Part 4 deals with the protection of cultural heritage properties by a municipality or by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. Part 5 deals with the designation of heritage conservation districts, heritage conservation district plans, and demolition, alteration, or construction within heritage conservation districts. Part 6 deals with the protection of archaeological sites by the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, and licensing permits to excavate or alter an archaeological site.

The OLT does not hear matters on costs of physical maintenance, repairs, or any proposed work related to the actual condition of the property (or structure), as these are outside the scope of the evaluation of cultural heritage value or interest.

A further understanding of the OLT’s jurisdiction can be found in reading the applicable parts of the Ontario Heritage Act and the Ontario Land Tribunal Act, as well as the OLT’s Rules of Practice and Procedure.

How matters come before the OLT

Matters come before the OLT under the following sections of the Ontario Heritage Act;:

1. Municipal Designations (s.29 (5)) (s.30 (6))

If the property owner or any member of the public objects to the proposed designation of a property considered to have cultural heritage value or interest of municipal significance or an amendment to a designation by-law, they must do so in writing to the municipal clerk of the municipality where the property is located, within 30 days of publication of the Notice of Intention to Designate. The matter will then be referred to the OLT to commence its formal hearing process.

2. Provincial Designations (s.34, 6 (4))

If the property owner or any member of the public objects to the designation of a property considered to have cultural heritage value or interest of provincial significance, they must do so in writing to the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, within 30 days of publication of the Notice of Intention to Designate. The matter will then be referred to the OLT to commence its formal hearing process.

3. Alterations to Designated Property (s.33, (6))

If a municipal council or the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, whichever has jurisdiction, refuses an application to allow alterations to a designated property, or adds terms and conditions to allow any alterations, the property owner can object and have the matter referred to the OLT to commence its formal hearing process.

4. Repeal of Designating Bylaw (s.31, (5); s. 32, (4); s.34.8, (4); s.34.9, (5))

If a municipal council or the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, whichever has jurisdiction, wants to repeal an existing designating bylaw, anyone can object and the matter can be referred to the OLT to commence its formal hearing process.

If the property owner requests a repeal of an existing designating bylaw and council or the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, whichever has jurisdiction, refuses, the owner can have the matter referred to the OLT to commence its formal hearing process.

5. Archaeological Licensing (s.49, (4))

If the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries refuses to issue or renew, or proposes to suspend or revoke, an archaeological licence, the matter can be referred to the Board to commence its formal hearing process.

6. Designation of Archaeological Resources (s.52 to s.55)

An objection to the decision of the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries to designate, or not to repeal designation, of a property of archaeological or historical significance, can be referred to the OLT to commence its formal hearing process.

7. Demolition Permits (s.34.1(1)34.5(10)s.42(6))

If the council of a municipality or the Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries consents to an application for a permit to demolish or remove a designated property with conditions, or refuses the application, the owner of the property may appeal the council’s or the Minister’s decision to the OLT.

If the council of a municipality consents to an application to alter, erect, or remove a building within a heritage conservation district with conditions, or refuses the application, the owner of the property may appeal the council’s decision to the OLT

8. Heritage Conservation Study Area (s.40.1(4))

If the council of a municipality designates a heritage conservation study area, any member of the public may appeal the passing of the designating by law to the OLT.

9. Heritage Conservation District (s.41(4))

If the council of a municipality designates a heritage conservation area, any member of the public may appeal the passing of the designating by law to the OLT. 

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