Heritage Conservation District
The RPRA and the Rockcliffe Park Foundation have the shared mandate of celebrating the history and preserving the heritage nature of Rockcliffe. The entire Village of Rockcliffe Park is designated as a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act. The special heritage character of our village is defined by its green spaces and park-like setting, narrow curving roads, generous lots and gardens, and houses set unobtrusively within a visually continuous green landscape.
The Heritage Conservation District Plan (required by the Ontario Heritage Act and passed unanimously by Ottawa City Council in 2016) is intended to protect and promote the special heritage character of our community.
In March 2020, the community applied for designation of Rockcliffe Park as an Historic District of National Significance. To read the application for national historic site designation, click here.
The Village Council officially designated Rockcliffe Park as a Heritage Conservation District in 1998. Earlier, the Village had commissioned a study to determine whether it should become a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act. Architect Julian Smith and historian Victoria Angel carried out the research and held well-attended public meetings to review draft material with all villagers. Agreement was unanimous on the merits of designating the Village as a heritage district and on a set of Management Guidelines to guide development while protecting the Village’s heritage character.
The study identifies the importance of the park-like character of Rockcliffe Park as a setting for a diverse collection of styles and periods of houses: “Some Heritage Conservation Districts derive their primary significance from a dominant architectural style or period. In the case of Rockcliffe Park, the architectural character of individual residential and institutional properties is secondary to their landscaped settings.” (p. 43). The study may be purchased at the Community Police Centre, although its management guidelines have been updated and clarified with the Heritage Conservation District Plan.
Heritage Plan and Development
The purpose of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Conservation District Plan is to conserve and enhance the unique character of the Village characterized by its parklike qualities, curving roads without curbs or sidewalks, large lots and gardens, and its rich mix of housing types that conserve the established heritage character of the streetscapes and the rich landscaped settings.
Because the entire Village is a Heritage Conservation District under the Ontario Heritage Act, all properties regardless of age, type, or style are subject to the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Plan. Changes to the exterior of houses, the demolition of houses, the construction of new houses or accessory buildings, and the severing of properties, require the approval of the City.
The Ontario Heritage Act requires property owners to obtain a heritage permit from the city before making alterations to the exterior of a house, adding to a house, demolishing a house, or constructing a new house or accessory building. Information is available at Apply for a Heritage Permit.
Before submitting an application for a heritage permit to the city’s heritage staff, homeowners are to consult with the Heritage Committee of the RPRA by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. The Heritage Committee provides comments to the applicant and to the city on whether a proposal meets the provisions of the Rockcliffe Park Secondary Plan and the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Plan.
Provisions of the Rockcliffe Park Heritage Plan
Below are the key provisions in the Heritage Conservation District Plan. The full Plan is available here and should be consulted for the definitive expression of these provisions, and for other details.
Is Your House Grade 1 or Grade 2?
These Rockcliffe Park properties are Grade 1, having been so assessed by the city. Properties not on this list are Grade 2. Further information can be obtained from the city heritage staff at email@example.com.