Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District PHASE 1
(110 homes on Brunswick Avenue, College to Ulster, on Willcocks Street west of Spadina, on Robert Street and on Spadina Avenue (at the entrances of Willcocks) came into being on April 18th, 2005.
Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District PHASE 2
(239 properties: the remainder of Robert Street, College to Bloor, Russell Street and Sussex Avenue between Spadina and Robert and Spadina Circle) joined Phase 1 in 2009.
HVRA hopes that eventually the whole of Harbord Village will become an HCD.
Phase 3 (Major Street) is under consideration but currently in abeyance, due to Heritage Preservation Services (underfunded, understaffed and overstretched) having halted consideration of new HCDs until that stressful situation is resolved).
Meanwhile, the owners of all heritage properties in Harbord Village are urged to observe Heritage Guidelines, regardless of whether they live in an HCD or not, if only to maintain and increase their property values.
The architecture and heritage landscapes of HVHCD 1 and 2 is defined in their Heritage Conservation District Plans (please see below). Attached to these plans are Heritage Guidelines regarding conservation and restoration, which protect the HCDs against demolition (including demolition by neglect) and inappropriate alteration of street-visible building facades, sides and rooflines.
The Harbord Village Directory for Conservators and Restorers of Heritage Properties, which is designed to facilitate observation of Heritage Guidelines where contractors and suppliers cannot, is a supplement to the HVHCD Plan for those who need to discover:
What it means, to live in a Heritage Conservation District and how HCDs are formed.
How HCDs are monitored: the HVHCD Advisory Committee, Heritage Preservation Services and Heritage Permits.
What the ‘elements’ (doors, window, pillars, railings etc) that have been significantly altered or completely removed from the facades of our properties originally looked like.
Conservation and restoration consultants, contractors and craftspeople who are qualified to help us conserve and restore the heritage character of our properties.
Suppliers of the materials and reproduced elements needed to make restoration possible – such items as roofing slate, heritage paint colours, brick, masonry and woodwork (including mouldings, doors, windows, porch columns and balusters.)
With this information to hand, HVHCD property owners are equipped to embark on the conservation and restoration of their heritage homes.
Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District Plan
HVRA is pleased to announce that City Council has approved and is enacting a bylaw to put into effect the Phase 2 Plan, which includes 239 residential properties in three areas:
The east and west sides of Robert Street from College to Bloor
The south side of Sussex Avenue from Spadina to Robert Street
The north side of Russell Street from Spadina Crescent to Robert Street and the west side of Spadina Crescent and Avenue from Russell Street to Willcocks Street
This phase complements the Phase 1 project previously approved, which included properties on Willcocks Street, Brunswick Street, and a small number of properties on Robert and Spadina providing entry to Willcocks Street.
Thanks to all the people in the neighbourhood for their support in this endeavour, and to the volunteers who worked at the archives and libraries. The history and descriptions of all properties in Phase 2 has been compiled in the inventory, and this information will be communicated to property owners.
The committee, along with all the volunteers, are eager to organize the commemoration of this great achievement.
Congratulations to all.
Download: City of Toronto: Designation of the Harbord Village Heritage
Conservation District Phase 2 under Part V of the
Ontario Heritage Act pdf (October 2009)
Above: Barton Cottages on Robert Street,
included in the Phase 2 Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District Plan
Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District Plan
Click on the thumbnail images
for pop-up photos of heritage features
of Brunswick between College and Ulster.
Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District Phase 1 (Brunswick Avenue south of Ulster and Willcocks Street west of Spadina) was established in April, 2004.
The aim of an HCD is to prevent the demolition of historic homes and buildings and alterations to their street-visible facades that detract from the heritage character and resale value of the district as a whole. The creation of HVHCD1 was triggered in 2003 by the proposed demolition and rebuild of a house on Brunswick Avenue. Thanks to the goodwill of its owners and the skills of its architect, the result was a compromise, a house that harmonizes — up to a point — with its neighbours. It could have been worse. In the words of one of our members:
If the owner of a property wants to pull his house down and replace it with a concrete box, there is nothing his neighbours, the City or anyone can do to stop him - so long as his plan conforms with the zoning by-law.
That was before the passing of the 2005 Ontario Heritage Act, which has somewhat strengthened the ability of the city to preserve its heritage. However, the only way a community can be reasonably sure its homes will not be demolished or disfigured by inappropriate renovations of their facades is to make itself an HCD.
Homeowners who insist they should be left free to repair and renovate their properties in any way they like rarely object when they learn the HCD's aims:
* Aim to conserve and restore the neighbourhood that it might regain the dignity and harmony of its appearance when built (in the case of Harbord Village in the 1880s and 1890s, the era that enthusiastically embraced Toronto's defining bay ‘n gable housing style.)
That's it. HCD guidelines do not apply to the backs of houses or their interiors — unless their owners want them to. Homeowners who need advice regarding HCD guidelines, especially if they are contemplating restorations or renovations should contact the Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District Advisory Committee:
Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District Advisory Committee
Gus Sinclair, Chair
(Click on names to email the committee members.)
In the News
A fresh-on-the-scene contractor saves a Harbord Village heritage home on the brink of demolition.
From neglect to respect
by Dave Leblanc, columnist, The Architourist
The Globe and Mail September 2, 2011, p.G7
Demolition by neglect can still happen in a Heritage Conservation District.
As good as HCDs are, they’re not powerful enough to force homeowners into brickwork maintenance, decorative woodwork restoration or the application of a lick of paint to a tired front porch. In other words, there are as many leaky roofs and basements, as many paint-peelers and non-mowed lawns in HCDs as anywhere else...
For many years, the residents of the small Harbord Village Heritage Conservation District – which runs along Brunswick Avenue from College to Ulster streets and Willcocks Street west of Spadina Avenue – watched as the once-proud shoulders of 61 Brunswick Ave. drooped, peeled, cracked, crumbled and rotted. Many feared it was too far gone to be saved.
Read the entire article here. (Globe online)