St. Catharines, Ontario

Only months after it was formerly designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, Port Dalhousie’s heritage conservation district is being threatened by a development project that would violate the City of St. Catharines’ Official Plan, the Port Dalhousie Secondary Plan and the Guidelines for Conservation and Change. If adopted, this project will forever alter the commercial district of this historic harbourfront village along the Welland Canal. A newly formed group, SOS (Save Our Seaport), is now fighting to protect the district many of its members helped to establish.

Last summer, the Port Dalhousie Vitalization Corporation (PVDC) submitted an application to amend the Official Plan and zoning bylaw. It proposes the construction of a 20-storey glass and steel tower and a four-storey block that will result in the demolition of several 19th-century heritage properties owned by the development firm and the relocation of Ontario’s smallest jail, built in 1854. Local, regional and national heritage organizations are strongly urging City Council to reject the current application and request that PDVC submit a revised application that respects and preserves the individual heritage buildings of this intact 19th-century canal village streetscape.