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Urban Policy And Heritage Planning: The Disproportionate Designation Of Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) In The City Of Toronto

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posted on 21.12.2021, 14:23 by Chante Barnwell
This Major Research Paper (MRP) examines the disproportionate designation of Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) within the City of Toronto, which are predominantly located in the City's downtown core, compared to the City's inner suburban areas. To illustrate the discrepancies in HCD designation, two potential HCDs in Scarborough, one of three inner suburbs in Toronto, are chronologically examined. Both Agincourt and Midland Park’s HCD represent the most recent examples of heritage designation in the inner suburb, which stands as the only area in the City that has zero HCDs. Before the case studies are discussed, the effects of Toronto's 1998 amalgamation, select timeframes of the City's planning history and recent changes to Provincial planning legislation that govern municipalities' heritage approach are examined. It is determined that a series of factors contribute to the disproportionate designation of HCDs in the City of Toronto. These factors include the incremental designation of heritage properties post amalgamation, the lengthy heritage designation process, the intergovernmental nature of municipal heritage policies, the lack of public education on the benefits of heritage and a complex HCD prioritization process all contribute to the disproportionate designation of HCD’s in the City of Toronto. Four key recommendations are offered to help resolve the heritage designation issue in the City of Toronto.

Keywords: Heritage Conservation Districts; Toronto; Urban Planning, Urban Policy, Heritage Urbanism.





Master of Arts


Public Policy and Administration

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type


Thesis Advisor

Duncan MacLellan