Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy moves forward

Cultural Heritage
Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy moves forward

Steps to conserve the cultural heritage of Oakville’s significant landscapes moved ahead this week with Council’s approval to officially designate Erchless Estate a cultural heritage landscape under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.

In 2014, the town adopted the Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) Strategy to identify, evaluate and conserve significant cultural heritage landscapes in the Town of Oakville.

A cultural heritage landscape is a geographical area that may have been modified by human activity and is identified as having cultural heritage value or interest by a community, including an Indigenous community.

“Oakville is home to a diverse range of areas that hold great historical meaning and are highly valued by our community and Town Council,” Mayor Rob Burton said. “I commend the diligent efforts of town staff and the contributions of the Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee in continuing to implement our Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy.”

In December 2018, Council endorsed the Phase Two Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report for Erchless Estate, recognizing the property as a significant cultural heritage landscape and directed staff to proceed with implementing protection measures (Phase Three of the CHL Strategy).

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Erchless Estate is a 1.6 hectare property and has significance as a rare and representative example of an early 19th century lakefront estate. The estate’s historic buildings were once home to Oakville’s founding family, the Chisholms, and the CHL is a location of importance to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. The entire property is protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust Easement Agreement and is the location of multiple publicly known archaeological sites.

Today, the estate is home to the Oakville Museum (8 Navy Street), which welcomes hundreds of visitors a year to enjoy its diverse range of exhibits as well as tour the breathtaking grounds and gardens, as well as the Oakville Historical Society (110 King Street).

Additional progress on the town’s CHL Strategy has been made with Council recognizing St. Jude’s Cemetery as a significant cultural landscape and directing staff to move into Phase Three to implement necessary protection measures. St. Jude’s Cemetery has design and physical value as a picturesque example of a designed 19th century church cemetery, influenced by the British rural cemetery movement. The site has cultural heritage value for its direct associations with St. Jude’s Anglican Church, one of the first religious institutions established by European settlers in Oakville.

To date, the town has recognized eight individual significant cultural heritage landscapes where assessments have been completed and are currently at various stages of the implementation process.

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