A Brief History of King Township
The Township was surveyed in 1800 under John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada (now southern Ontario). Named King Township by Simcoe in honour of Major John King, English Under-Secretary of State, the area remained sparsely settled until the building of roads in the 1820's improved travel. Many of the earliest land grants of 200 acre lots were to Quakers from Pennsylvania and other United Empire Loyalists.
Settlement first started along Yonge Street then pushed west where mills were built along the fast flowing streams of the Oak Ridges Moraine. As settlements grew, the services and trades quickly followed, including blacksmiths, coopers, corwainers, as well as general stores, hotels, inns, taverns, churches, and schools. The population of 20 residents in 1800 grew to 160 in 1809, 394 in 1823, and 5,574 by 1850. By the 1971 census there were 7482 residents, and by 2005, it had reached 19,500.
Introduction to Heritage Planning
Heritage Advisory Committee
The function of the Committee is to advise Council on local heritage matters and to assist the Council in carrying out its heritage conservation program. Heritage King (formerly King Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee - LACAC and now commonly known as the Heritage Advisory Committee), was established in 1982 and consists of seven (7) people including a member of Council.
The Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) is made up of volunteers with various expertise in heritage and community matters and play a key objective and role to advise Council on the conservation and management of the Township's cultural heritage resources as required by the Ontario Heritage Act.
In addition to the duties required by the Act, the Committee also provide heritage education and awareness in the Township by:
· Producing articles, brochures, and other resources to highlight existing and new cultural heritage resources within the Township;
· Considering potential candidates by nominating and recognizing volunteers and local residents for their efforts and contributions of heritage stewardship through the Volunteer Awards;
· Continuing to steward the annual King Heritage Award;
· Exploring heritage outreach programs to new communities in King Township;
· Exploring promotion of heritage programs and activities such as heritage month;
· Learning the new Ontario Heritage Act changes prescribed through Bill 108 to provide support and advice to council on cultural heritage related matters;
· Fostering ongoing partnerships with the Township King Heritage and Cultural Centre and the Township Archives and Historical Society.
The Committee is supported by the Heritage Coordinator in the Planning Division and meet once every month to discuss about heritage related matters in the Township.
To access the agendas for the Heritage Advisory Committee meetings, please click here.
The Heritage Advisory Committee Member term runs concurrent with Council.
2022-2026 Heritage Advisory Community Members
Councillor Mary Asselstine
Heritage Register and Properties
A heritage property is a building, structure, streetscape, district or natural heritage landscape of historical architectural or cultural interest or value. A heritage property is included on the Township's Heritage Register and includes properties that are "Designated" or "Listed" under the Ontario Heritage Act.
The Heritage Register is a municipal database of properties identified as having cultural heritage value. Availability of such information is of value to land-use planners, property owners, developers, the tourism industry, educators and the public. Properties on the Register are either listed or designated per the decision of the local municipal Council and is governed under the authority of the Ontario Heritage Act.
A "Listed" property is a non-designated property that has been recognized as having architectural, historic or cultural features of merit; it means that the property may have some value to the community that needs further exploration and research. The Owner of a listed property is not restricted as to how they might want to renovate their house; they do not need any special permits outside of a building permit under the Ontario Building Code.
If the Owner wants to demolish a building or structure, the Township is given 60 days by the Ontario Heritage Act to assess the significance of the loss of the structure in terms of its heritage significance and to work with the property owner to determine if there are alternatives to demolition. The Owner shall be required to provide documentation as Council determines as necessary to consider whether to protect the property from demolition or allow for the property to be removed off the heritage register. Such documentation typically relates to a Heritage Impact Assessment and Structural Engineering Reports as prepared by a Qualified Heritage Professional, who are members of the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP). The document is submitted to Staff for review with its Heritage Advisory Committee. The final decision resides with Council to consider if the property shall be added to the Heritage Register for protection. If the property is determined to merit protection, Council can make a decision to initiate steps to pursue the Designation of the property.
As built structures contribute significantly to the sense of place and understanding of our communities, it is important to allow some time to assess the loss of a heritage property and how it impacts the community. Once a property of historical significance is lost, it can not be replaced.
Under the Ontario Heritage Act, a municipality designates a property when it believes that it merits recognition for its heritage value and that it should be protected so that it is not lost either through poorly conceived renovations or outright demolition. The municipality designates a property because it has value to the community. Its "value" can be measured in different ways.
A property may be connected to an important person or event. A property may be prominent as a landmark, such as The Hambly House in Nobleton. By its very presence over a long period of time a property may be deemed integral to the streetscape and to the image people have in their mind as to what the village is. The Ontario Government has prescribed criteria for determining a property's cultural heritage value or interest for the purpose of designation.
Designated properties are not frozen in time. They can be renovated, but because of their value to the community there are some requirements and restrictions: a renovation plan requires review by Heritage Municipal Staff with the objective of avoiding changes to significant heritage features.
What can be designated?
Buildings and structures
Archaeological sites and ruins
Cultural heritage landscapes
Cemeteries and monuments
Trees and parks
Bridges, Gates, and Walls
Intangibles such as language, rituals, spoken word, etc.
The Township Heritage Register is available here for review and contains all "Listed" and "Designated" properties of cultural heritage interest or value:
Alternatively, you can search through the past agendas and minutes on the Township's Civic Web Portal to determine if the property was included in a heritage staff report.
Section 39 of the Ontario Heritage Act allows municipalities to provide grants for the purposes of paying for the whole or any part of the cost of alteration or other works which have the effect of conserving and maintaining the heritage attributes associated with a Designated property.
Eligible properties must be “Designated” under Part IV or V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Township By-law 2014-100 sets out the criteria and policies surrounding eligibility and access to the Heritage Grant Program. A Heritage Financial Incentive Program will encourage private sector investment into the preservation of heritage properties. By encouraging healthy stewardship of heritage properties across the Township, this investment could act as a catalyst to neighbourhood renewal, sustainable development, and overall economic prosperity.
By providing financial incentives to property owners to maintain and restore their property this can help to combat what is commonly referred to as “demolition by neglect”. Many municipalities have found that the majority of heritage designations have occurred when a heritage incentive program was available. This suggests that property owners are much more likely to consider heritage designation if financial incentives for proper maintenance and restoration are available.
To find out more information about whether your property is eligible for Designation, please contact the Heritage Coordinator.
To apply for a Heritage Grant, please fill out a Heritage Permit with the supporting documentation as identified. The Heritage Permit application will be reviewed by staff in consultation with the Heritage Advisory Committee. Once a recommendation has been identified, a report to Council will be prepared for a decision.
A Heritage Permit Application and Council Approval (or their delegated authority's) may be required if the works are determined to have an effect on the heritage attributes of the identified Designated building, structure or landscape. The Designation by-law of a Designated Property under the Ontario Heritage Act outlines the statement and reasons of significance and the key heritage features or attributes of that property. Prior to making any make alterations to the Designated property, it is recommended that you contact the Heritage Coordinator to determine if the proposed works may affect the heritage attributes. The Heritage Permit Process is to ensure any alteration or change to a heritage designated property meets the heritage conservation standards and are not detrimental to the cultural heritage resource. There is no fee for a Heritage Permit from the Township.
A Heritage Impact Assessment is a study prepared by a qualified Heritage Professional that will be submitted to staff for review and to determine the impact of a proposed development on the cultural heritage value or interest of a property. Any proposal to alter, demolish or repeal a property which is "Listed" or Designated on the Municipal Heritage Register may be required to submit a Heritage Impact Assessment Study. The Heritage Impact Assessment may also recommend additional studies such as an Archaeological Study, Structural Engineering Report and other various studies to help review the cultural heritage interest or value of a property.
The Township has a Heritage Impact Assessment Terms of Reference that will be used when preparing the study.
Please contact the Heritage Coordinator for the TOR.
Township Shingle Plaque Program
The Township of King’s Heritage Advisory Committee administers the Shingle Plaque Program as part of its ongoing educational and outreach initiatives. The purpose of the program is to identify properties of heritage significance within the Township and to recognize and celebrate the importance to the community through the display of shingle plaques on the outside of the buildings. This serves to provide the public with more awareness of architectural, historic and cultural features within the Township.
The shingle plaques are a source of pride to many property owners. They give distinctive character to a neighbourhood, and provide residents and visitors an opportunity to learn about community’s past. There is no cost to the building owner for this service, the heritage shingle plaque or its placement on the building. Shingle plaques are to remain in a visible location, as agreed upon by the Township and property owner, and installed by the Township Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture.
Eligibility: All properties that are “Listed” on the Township’s Heritage Register under Section 27 or "Designated" under Section V and VI of the Ontario Heritage Act are eligible for the Shingle Plaque Program.
Please contact the Heritage Coordinator if you are interested in requesting a shingle plaque.
King Heritage Award
The King Heritage Award is meant to put a spotlight on historic properties that contribute to our understanding of the unique culture and heritage found in the Township of King. It recognizes excellence in the preservation, maintenance, restoration and/or enhancement of the Township's cultural heritage resources.
The Award is typically presented in the Fall and nominations open during the summer.
The Heritage Award for 2023 has not been announced. Once announced, nominations can begin.
Township of King Municipal Centre
2585 King Road
King City, ON L7B 1A1
Award winners are selected by the Heritage Advisory Committee. The owner of the winning property will be awarded a framed local artist rendering of their building with a presentation at a Fall Council Meeting.