Neighbourhood near St. Mary’s Church, Old Mill could be heritage district

By Kirk Winter

Emily Turner, economic development officer responsible for Heritage Planning, made a presentation to council regarding a heritage conservation district study that would encompass an area of Lindsay from the Old Mill all the way south to  include most of the neighbourhood surrounding St. Mary’s Church in Lindsay.

Turner shared that the request for the designation came from the public in 2018.

The plan is that the whole neighbourhood would be designated. Turner expects the study by the Heritage Planning department will take the better part of a year.

Turner told council there would be minimal cost to the study as all the work will be done in-house.

Councillor Pat O’Reilly wanted to know if there would be opportunities for public input.

She responded, “Typically there are three to four public meeting. We need to speak to the locals who understand what makes the neighbourhood important.”

Turner continued that “likely the engagement would have to be virtual this time around because of COVID.”

Mayor Andy Letham wanted to know why the whole neighbourhood — which the document identifies as “the district includes the area bounded by the Scugog River, and Lindsay Street South to the east of downtown Lindsay” is possibly being considered for designation rather than a few strategic buildings.

“Together all the buildings form an important landscape,” she says. “This area is the bottom quarter of the Purdy land grant. It contains some of the most important buildings in Lindsay. It is better to start the designation big rather than start small and try to expand later.”

Turner’s department expects the designation process will take five to 10 years to receive final approval, joining the downtown as the only other neighbourhood designated as a heritage conservation district in Lindsay.

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