The Responsibilities of the Heritage Committee Include:
- Act as an advisory committee to Council on issues that affect the Township relating to Parts IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act.
- Provide comments on all heritage applications, development applications whichmay impact existing or potential heritage properties, and demolition permits that apply to heritage properties.
- Record sites of heritage significance within the Township, award heritage plaques to those recognized as worthy of preservation, and record others for historical information only.
- Encourage owners of plaqued sites to maintain and preserve these properties.
- Promote public awareness of Puslinch’s heritage.
- The Committee shall be composed of 4 members of the public and 1 member of Council.
- A members term on the committee shall be concurrent with the Term of Council or until a successor is appointed.
The Committee meets quarterly on the first Monday of the month at 1:00 p.m. and as many additional times as the Committee deems necessary.
Council shall receive written reports or minutes of all committee meetings.
Compensation to be determined by Council.
- John Arnold – Chair
- John Levak
- Mary Tivy
- Barb Jefferson – Vice Chair
- Councillor Matthew Bulmer
Heritage Committee Disclosures of Pecuniary Interest
When a Heritage Committee member experiences a direct or indirect conflict related to an issue they are involved in, it becomes a pecuniary interest and must be disclosed.
2021 Heritage Committee Disclosures of Pecuniary Interest
Heritage Committee Initiatives
The Township of Puslinch Plaquing Program
In the year 2000, the Township of Puslinch plaquing program was put in place as a millennium project with four criteria:
- the site is at least one hundred years old
- the site is of architectural or historical significance
- the site is in good condition and has had sympathetic renovations
Sixty-five buildings were plaqued at that time and today there are over one hundred. The Heritage Committee’s members have continued to review and record five or six properties a year, as they come to our attention.
In 2006, the Heritage Committee reviewed the Ontario Heritage Act and realized that particular features of a site could be recognized, even if the entire building did not meet the criteria. There were buildings in the township with special features not yet recognized under our local program. It was alterations such as gables added to original rooflines that had prevented some buildings from being plaqued. It is only the exterior of a building that is recorded, for the most part.
Sites receiving a Puslinch heritage plaque are not yet designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. This does not prevent an owner from applying to the Heritage Committee for designation. The local program was initiated in order to keep Council informed of properties in the Township worthy of preservation. Heritage Committee members research and record each site.
In 2012 Council passed a motion that sites plaqued under our local program be considered as Listed under the Ontario Heritage Act. All owners of plaqued sites sign a letter of approval for their building to be recognized by the Township. Local plaquing was designed as a cooperative program between the property owners, the Heritage Committee and Puslinch Council.
Puslinch Heritage Plaquing Implications
Places in Puslinch considered to be of heritage significance can be found in the Township’s inventory, Puslinch: Our Heritage. Not all places that have been recorded in the heritage binders are deemed worthy of plaquing.
In the year 2000, the plaquing program was put in place as a millennium project. The Heritage Committee members have continued to review and record five or six properties a year, as they come to our attention. Since 2006, particular features of a site can be recognized, even if the entire building does not meet the criteria. It is only the exterior of a building that is recorded, for the most part.
Site owners have undertaken many sympathetic renovations to their properties in order to modernize or expand them. A write up for each site accompanies photographs in the heritage binders found at the Municipal Office. The larger cities of Guelph, Kingston and Hamilton are known for the use of ashlar, cut-limestone blocks as building material. A sweep from Fergus, through Eramosa and Puslinch Townships, and into the former Galt area is considered unique because of the fieldstone used in many buildings there. Granite, quartzite, and amphibolite are found in local fieldstone construction, often with quoins and decorative features like lintels and date stones made of limestone as the softer stone was easier to shape. Other Puslinch structures used brick from local brickyards.
As for renovating plaqued sites in Puslinch, it is the architectural or historical features cited when they were recorded that are considered worthy of preservation. There have only been a handful of interior features recorded. There would be no restrictions by the Heritage Committee on interior renovations except for these. The updating of windows or doors, and additions to a structure are acceptable but must meet Township building codes. Committee members appreciate the fact that site owners have endeavored to undertake sympathetic renovations when updating their heritage buildings. A sense of stewardship has been demonstrated by most owners.
Should a homeowner of a plaqued property request a demolition permit, the Building Inspector would notify the Heritage Committee who would review the site in question and advise Council as to whether the building is still considered worthy of protection. It then becomes Council’s responsibility. To date, there are several heritage properties now part of local development projects thanks to Puslinch Council, as expansion continues south from Guelph.
The above was written to clarify the implications of the Puslinch plaque. Should you have further questions, please contact a Heritage Committee member through the Township of Puslinch Municipal Office.
Promoting Puslinch Heritage
The Heritage Committee is passionate about preserving and sharing our Township’s rich history with residents and visitors alike. Learn more about the history of the Township on our Heritage page.