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Orangeville Heritage Designation – Help or Hindrance

Orangeville Heritage Designation – Help or Hindrance

Orangeville has a wide variety of homes from century to brand new and very modern.  There is a special charm to an older century home but along with its idiosyncrasies, there can be some limitations if the home has an Orangeville Heritage Designation.  What exactly does an Orangeville Heritage Designation mean? Who determines if a home needs this designation?

In the Town of Orangeville, town council has supported the formation of a committee known as Heritage Orangeville.  This committee is appointed by council and consists of between 5 and 12 members.  The philosophy of Heritage Orangeville is a mandate supported by the province of Ontario through the Ontario Heritage Act.  This committee is typically made up of 1 council member, 1 person from Dufferin County Museum and Archives and residents of the Orangeville community.  These are not paid positions.

So exactly what is seen as a heritage property?  This is a property built before 1920.  In some unique situations, homes built after 1920 may be considered under special circumstances.  The purpose of Heritage Orangeville is to help the town preserve “the history of Orangeville for future generations.”  The committee looks to preserve the cultural heritage of the community through a series of regulations that manage changes to attributes like architecture and colors.  Any change to a property that requires the town to issue a building permit also requires the approval of the heritage committee.  The Town of Orangeville will only designate a property at the request of the owner and with the support of Heritage Orangeville.

This program allows the Town of Orangeville to maintain an inventory of designated properties and also helps the town promote the local heritage.  Today the town boasts approximately 60 properties that have awareness plaques and have set up walking routes for visitors and residents alike.  Many people love to visit Orangeville on the weekend and walk through the downtown area to view these beautiful properties and then enjoy an afternoon of theatre or a bite to eat at one of Orangeville’s unique restaurants.

The thought process is that Heritage Designation can enhance the value of your property.  This helps the town manage any changes to heritage properties to insure that properties are well maintained and not in a state of disrepair.  Heritage Orangeville wants to insure that any changes to the property compliments the existing architecture.   Unfortunately, some of the limitations placed on changing and updating your property can make a property less desirable in the marketplace to buyers who wish to make structural or cosmetic changes to the property.  Many times a buyer doesn’t understand this when he or she purchases a property and these limitations can impact his or her desire to make certain changes to the property.  It is very important when you purchase a home in Orangeville that has been Heritage Designated that you as a buyer do your due diligence to determine what limitations exist as a result of the designation and make sure you are satisfied with them.

There is an opportunity to purchase a Heritage Awareness Plaque through the Town of Orangeville for a cost of $100.00.  This plaque can be affixed to the front of the home and states when the home was built, who the original owner was and what that person did for a living.

Whether you already own a heritage home or are considering purchasing one, having the knowledge about the Orangeville Heritage Designation process will help you make a more informed decision.

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