Bond Head Heritage Conservation District Study
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, along with heritage planning consultants Archaeological Research Associates (ARA) and with the support of the Town's Heritage Committee, are conducting a Heritage Conservation District Study.
The purpose of the study is to determine the best way to preserve the heritage value of Bond Head. Public input will be critical to the research phase of this project.
Please choose a topic to learn more:
About Bond Head
The hamlet of Bond Head is located west of highway 400 at the intersection of County Roads 27 and 88.
The name was chosen to honour Sir Francis Bond Head (1839-1919) who was a soldier in the British Army, world traveler, prolific author and Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. Two other notable people from Bond Head are Sir William Osler "the father of modern medicine" and Sir William Mulock, a lawyer, businessman, farmer, politician, judge and philanthropist.
Bond Head is considered one of the oldest hamlets in Simcoe County, celebrating its 175th anniversary in 2012. Its recorded history dates back to the 1820s, with early settlers arriving from Ireland and Britain. It provided a robust style of life, providing the services of blacksmiths, harness makers, wagon makers, stores, inns, mills and churches. Also, it boasted of having many organizations and clubs to provide residents with entertainment and activities. Old Plank Road connected Bond Head to Bradford, and in 1851 it became the first surfaced road in the County.
Bond Head currently boasts more than 40 buildings over 100 years old, and several over 150 years old. Many are still in use and in excellent condition.
main street Bond Head circa 1880
About designating a Heritage Conservation District
Heritage Conservation Districts recognize the collective heritage value of areas and neighbourhoods that have common threads such as architecture, era, neighbourhood design and development.
Municipalities can identify and preserve areas and neighbourhoods with unique heritage character. This is done by creating a Heritage District Plan under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act,, which provides guidelines for managing future development and alteration of existing heritage structures.
While Heritage Conservation Districts are recognized as a conservation strategy in the Town’s Official Plan, to date it has not been used in BWG; however, there has been growing recognition of, and interest in, the cultural heritage value in the Town as a whole and in particular in Bond Head.
The Town’s Heritage Committee has expressed interest in pursuing a Heritage Conservation District designation to help guide alteration of existing buildings and new development. Council allocated funds to complete a Heritage Conservation District Study to determine if it was indeed the best course of action, or if other methods of preservation should be investigated.
Bond Head looking east circa 1880
About the study area
The Study Area for the Bond Head Heritage Conservation District Study is referred to as the Bond Head Settlement Area (as defined in Official Plan Amendment No. 16 – Bond Head Settlement Area Secondary Plan) and is illustrated in the map below. The irregular Study Area boundary encompasses the community of Bond Head centred at the intersection of County Road 88 and County Road 27.
There are approximately 240 properties within the Study Area. Of those properties 37 are listed on the Town’s Heritage Registry and 1 property is designated under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.
About the project
The project is divided into two main phases.
Phase 1 is to conduct research to come up with a recommendation on whether or not to pursue designation. This phase will involve gathering input from residents and other stakeholders to identify public ideas and concerns. It will also include general research into the area's history, built and natural heritage resources and more. At the end of this phase, a recommendation will be made as to whether or not to pursue a Heritage Cultural District designation.
Phase 2 will be to pursue whatever recommendation is approved, whether that be to apply for designation or to undertake some other methods of preserving the heritage and culture of Bond Head. There will be additional opportunities for public input once the recommendation has been made.
The entire project is anticipated to take approximately one year.
Bond Head looking south down Highway 27
About getting involved in the study - WE WANT YOUR INPUT!