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Heritage Conservation

  1. Township of Muskoka Lakes v. Ontario (Natural Resources)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Judicial Review, Renewable Energy, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Court of Appeal


    Application/issue:

    The Township of Muskoka Lakes appeals the order of the Divisional Court dismissing its application for judicial review of the decision of the Minister of Natural Resources to prohibit access to certain Crown lands adjacent to Bala Falls under section 28(1) of the Public Lands Act, and for orders: (1) declaring that a portage protected by section 65(4) of the Public Lands Act passes over the site; (2) prohibiting the Minister or any other person from interfering with that portage; (3) setting aside the water frontage at the Site for recreational purposes and access purposes pursuant to section 3 of the Public Lands Act; and (4) prohibiting any interference with that frontage.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Court sees no basis for interfering with the Divisional Court’s decision, as they believe that the Divisional Court identified the appropriate standard of judicial review and applied it correctly. Given the safety concerns, the Minister’s decision was reasonable, even if a portage protected by section 65(4) existed, or section 3 applied to the site. The Minister’s decision fell within a range of possible, acceptable outcomes, which are defensible in respect of the facts and law. Further, subject to any aboriginal and treaty rights, the Minister has the right to make an order under section 28(1) that has the effect of prohibiting passage over portages and Transport Canada has also provisionally concluded that navigation would not be substantially impacted by the proposed waterpower generation facility. The Court of Appeal agrees with the Divisional Court that the Minister’s decision was reasonable without having to make findings on the existence of the alleged portage and the sufficiency of the frontage.


    Document(s):



  2. Township of Muskoka Lakes v. Ontario (Minister of Natural Resources)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Judicial Review, Renewable Energy, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court


    Application/issue:

    The Township sought judicial review of the Minister of Natural Resource’s decision to issue a section 28 order prohibiting the use by the public of Crown land adjacent to the Bala Falls. The MNR was prepared to lease the lands to Swift River Energy Ltd. to develop the site for hydroelectric power. The Township sought the following declarations, orders and relief: (1) declaring that a portage protected by section 65(4) of the Public Lands Act passes over the site; (2) prohibiting the Minister or any other person from interfering with that portage; (3) setting aside the water frontage at the Site for recreational purposes and access purposes pursuant to section 3 of the Public Lands Act; and (4) prohibiting any interference with that frontage.


    Held:

    Application dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Township has failed to establish that the Ministry’s decision to issue a Notice under s. 28 was unreasonable such that it could invoke our right to interfere with it under the court’s judicial review authority. There can be no reasonable dispute that there are safety issues concerning these lands that include rapids, waterfalls and dams among other hazards. It may be that there were other alternatives to address those safety concerns but the fact that the Ministry chose between different options does not constitute their decision to adopt one option over another as unreasonable.


    Document(s):



  3. Township of Muskoka Lakes Heritage Designation

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Recreational Development, Renewable Energy, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Conservation Review Board


    Application/issue:

    Intention to designate three properties known as Township Dock at Lake Muskoka; Portage Landing at Moon River; and Shield Parking Lot, in the Town of Bala under the Ontario Heritage Act R.S.O. 1990, Chapter O.18, amended to 2009.


    Held:

    Properties designated


    Reasons:

    The Board found that under s. 29 of the Act, the Township had conducted a reasonable and fair process and the properties hold cultural heritage value and interest to the community. The Board finds that the Township met the requirement of s. 29(3) and s. 29(4); and finds that Swift River Energy’s argument is redundant. Since the Township is not in violation of the Act and the properties are identified as holding cultural heritage value, the Board finds that the Township can proceed with designating the three properties.


    Document(s):



  4. Gordon v. Town of Markham

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicant/Appellant submitted a Demolition Permit application, a minor variance application for three variances and a Site Plan Control application. The Town of Markham refused the demolition permit for the property. Later, the Committee of Adjustment approved one of the three variances regarding lot frontage, but refused a building height variance and depth variance, followed by the refusal of the Site Plan Control application. All decisions were appealed and consolidated for the hearing.


    Held:

    Appeals allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the subject property is was assigned the lowest classification category, a Class C, in the 2007 Thornhill-Markham Heritage Conservation District Plan and therefore does not find this modest dwelling to be a significant building. Further, the Board finds that the demolition of this dwelling conforms to the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe with respect to conservation of significant heritage resources. Based on the evidence, the variances maintain the intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law and Section 45(1) of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  5. Pope v. Toronto (City)

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The matters before the Board consist of appeals under the provisions of the Ontario Heritage Act in connection with By-law 115-2003 enacted by Council for the City of Toronto designating a specific area of the City as a heritage conservation district pursuant to Part V of the Act.


    Held:

    Appeals dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board accepts the submissions of Counsel and the evidence of the expert witnesses that the designation of the south Rosedale Area as a Heritage Conservation District represents good planning. The restrictions to individual property owners are minimal as the permitting system is in no way directed at interior renovations or exterior renovations that cannot be seen from the street. The Board further states that ratepayers and volunteers have been desirous of a heritage designation for the area for many years and the action of Council in enacting the By-law has widespread support.


    Document(s):