With the new season comes the motivation for residents to do spring cleaning and maintenance of their properties and/or any necessary repairs. For many Sandy Hill residents, it’s also an opportune time to complete heritage restoration projects that were planned in the winter.
While it is incumbent on all property stewards to maintain their properties, owners of designated heritage properties have the added responsibility of maintaining the heritage attributes associated with their properties in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.
Proper restoration and rehabilitation projects often require the expertise of skilled tradespeople who are knowledgeable in heritage conservation techniques. To help make these heritage restoration and rehabilitation projects more financially feasible for property owners, the City of Ottawa offers a matching grant program of up to $10,000 for projects on residential buildings, and up to $25,000 for projects on commercial, institutional and large-scale residential buildings.
To be eligible for the matching grant, properties must either be individually designated under the “Ontario Heritage Act” or be considered a contributing building within a Heritage Conservation District (HCD).
Eligible in Sandy Hill are the over 30 individually designated properties in the community or contributing properties in one of Sandy Hill’s eight HCDs (Sandy Hill West, King Edward Avenue, Stewart Street/Wilbrod Avenue, Daly Avenue, Sweetland Avenue, Russell Avenue-Range Road, Wilbrod-Laurier, Besserer-Wurtemburg).
The matching grant program was implemented in the 1980s. In 2019, City Council doubled the program’s budget from $150,000 to $300,000. Over the years, the program has assisted with several notable projects across Sandy Hill, including porch restorations at Philomène Terrace and masonry restoration at the Winterholme apartments on Daly Avenue. Equally as important as these notable restorations are smaller-scale projects that ensure the continued and efficient use of heritage properties into the future. Examples of these types of projects include foundation repointing, wood window repairs, and chimney stabilization. In 2021, the city issued 11 matching heritage grants and associated heritage permits to properties in Sandy Hill ranging in scope from stucco repair to tin roof repainting.
The application period for 2022 heritage grants has now closed and staff were evaluating applications throughout March. As warmer weather arrives and property stewards begin heritage restoration projects across Sandy Hill, staff encourage property owners to consider what grant-eligible restoration projects they may want to apply for in 2023.
Applications are generally accepted between January and the end of February for projects to be completed that same calendar year. For more information about the program, eligibility, submission requirements, and contact details, please visit: Ottawa.ca/HeritageGrants.
Luis Juarez is a Heritage Planner with the City of Ottawa.