A famous Oakville building has officially become a heritage site.
The Oakville council has approved designating the Erchless Estate a cultural heritage landscape under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.
This is part of the Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) Strategy, which identifies, evaluates and conserves significant cultural heritage landscapes in Oakville.
A cultural heritage landscape is a geographical area that may have been modified by human activity and is identified as having cultural heritage value or interest by a community, including an Indigenous community.
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“Oakville is home to a diverse range of areas that hold great historical meaning and are highly valued by our community and Town Council,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “I commend the diligent efforts of town staff and the contributions of the Heritage Oakville Advisory Committee in continuing to implement our Cultural Heritage Landscape Strategy.”
Erchless Estate is a 1.6-hectare property and has significance as a rare example of an early 19th-century lakefront estate.
The estate’s historic buildings were once home to Oakville’s founding family, the Chisholms, and is a location of importance to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
The entire property is protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust Easement Agreement and is the location of multiple publicly known archaeological sites.
Today, the estate is home to the Oakville Museum, which has hundreds of visitors a year coming to see its diverse range of exhibits as well as tour the grounds and gardens, as well as the Oakville Historical Society.
In December 2018, the council endorsed the Phase Two Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report for Erchless Estate, recognizing the property as a significant cultural heritage landscape and directed staff to proceed with implementing protection measures.
Further progress on the town’s CHL Strategy has also been made with the recognition of St. Jude’s Cemetery as a significant cultural landscape.
The cemetery has design and value as a striking example of a designed 19th-century church cemetery. The site has cultural heritage value for its direct associations with St. Jude’s Anglican Church, one of the first religious institutions established by European settlers in Oakville.
To date, the council has recognized eight individual significant cultural heritage landscapes where assessments have been completed and are currently at various stages of the implementation process.
What do you think about the building becoming a heritage site?
Photo courtesy of the Town of Oakville.