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, completed a Heritage Conservation District (HCD) Study in 2019. Information about the completed study is located below.
The next phase, the Heritage Conservation District Plan, is now underway. The purpose of the HCD Plan is to develop guidelines and policies to help direct and manage future changes. One of the key features of the HCD Plan is to outline how new construction, alterations, infill, and additions should be managed to ensure the unique character of the area is conserved.
Public input is a critical part of the development of the HCD Plan, and there will be multiple opportunities to ensure the community's vision is captured. Please see the sections below for more information.
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, known as "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. A robust style of life was afforded by the many services including blacksmiths, harness makers, wagon makers, stores, inns, mills and churches. Furthermore, Bond Head offered residents many opportunities for entertainment and social activities, with numerous local organizations and clubs. The Old Plank Road connected Bond Head to Bradford, and in 1851 it became the first surfaced road in the County.
Today Bond Head has more than 40 buildings that are 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 Heritage Conservation Districts
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.
The following resources provide more information about Heritage Conservation Districts:
Bond Head looking east circa 1880
About the HCD STUDY (completed in 2019)
In 2018 the Town’s Heritage Committee 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 conservation should be investigated.
The presentation given on May 9, 2018 references the following studies:
The initial proposed Study Area for the Bond Head Heritage Conservation District Study was an irregular boundary encompassing the community of Bond Head radiating from the intersection of County Road 88 and County Road 27. There were approximately 240 properties reviewed 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.
The HCD Study was divided into two stages.
- Stage 1 - Research was conducted to determine whether the hamlet has enough heritage attributes for consideration as a heritage conservation district. This stage involved gathering input from residents and other stakeholders to identify public ideas and concerns. It included research into the area's history, built and natural heritage resources and more. On March 19, 2019, the findings were shared, and Council made a resolution to proceed to Stage 2.
- Stage 2 - Further evaluation of the cultural heritage resources was conducted, including a review of the historical development, evolution of the built environment, and identification of significant streetscapes and landscapes.
Based on public input and the findings of the HCD Study Stage 1 and Stage 2, a final HCD boundary was established and is shown below. The HCD Study describes the boundary as:
The proposed boundary focuses on the historic concentration of structures in the village along the crossroads of County Road 27 and County Road 88/Line 7. The boundary, as depicted on Map 9 (see Map 1 below), extends from approximately Hearn Street/Dixon Road in the west, to St. Catherine of Alexandria Byzantine Church on only the west side of County Road 27 in the north, to Mulock Drive in the east, and to the last residential properties on County Road 27 in the south.
HCD boundary established in HCD study - click here for larger version
The final HCD Study was approved by Council and completed on August 27, 2019. The following resources provide more information about the HCD Study:
The next step of the process is to complete the HCD Plan.
About the HCD PLAN (currently underway)
The Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury, along with a consulting team that includes Archaeological Research Associates Ltd. (ARA), Dillon Consulting Ltd. and G.D. Vallee Ltd. are currently undertaking the development of the Bond Head Heritage Conservation District Plan.
A HCD Plan provides clear policies and guidelines on how best to conserve and protect the identified character of a district. Using the findings from the HCD Study, the Bond Head HCD Plan will develop guidelines and policies for managing future change which work to conserve the character of the village, the identified cultural heritage values of the district, and are sympathetic to the existing historic building stock.
In consultation with the Town, public and residents, the HCD Plan will include:
- Development of policies to address the conservation of heritage attributes of the district;
- Formulation of policies and guidelines which address alterations additions and other possible changes within the district;
- Formulation of policies and guidelines which address new construction to ensure they are sympathetic with the existing massing, height, architectural styles and details of the historic buildings;
- Review and examine the feasibility of establishing a Heritage Permitting process and/or financial incentives to assist property owners with restoration and maintenance efforts.
Public consultation will be a key element throughout the entire development of the HCD Plan. To learn more about how you can get involved, please see the next section.
Bond Head looking south down Highway 27
About GETTING INVOLVED - we want your input!
There will be three public consultations taking place over the next several months as the development of the Plan progresses. Click here to subscribe to receive emails about the project so that you don't miss out on anything!
Each consultation will include a live online* presentation that you can participate in via Zoom or watch on YouTube, plus an online survey.
* Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, public consultations will be conducted virtually. Any interested parties who may be prevented from participating due to the lack of access to technology are encouraged to provide feedback by phone to Senior Planner, Brandon Slopack, at 905-778-2055 x1402. We wish we could see you in person and apologize for any inconvenience.
This project has been made possible thanks to the generous financial support of Tourism Simcoe County.