Ontario Legislature Viewshed, FoNTRA Position

January 1, 2012

in 2012, FoNTRA Advocacy Positions 2012-2016, Ontario Legislature Viewshed

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Protecting Heritage Views of Queen’s Park, and Preserving the Dignity of Ontario’s Capital Precinct. The Ontario Legislature is the seat of government for the province and its most important ceremonial space. The protection of the views of the Ontario Legislature is therefore not only a downtown or City of Toronto issue, but also a provincial one.

Even though the City of Toronto is responsible for local planning, the City’s ability to protect these views is seriously limited in the absence of clear provincial policy and laws to protect the silhouette of the Legislative Assembly. The recent OMB decision on 21 Avenue Road has drawn public outrage, and pointed out serious gaps in heritage protection for this view at the province.

FoNTRA concurs with the research paper “Bolder and Brighter dealing with Recommendations for Strengthening the Official Plan” (November 2011) that recommends the development of a View Management Framework policy to support the preservation of significant views and vistas within the the urban landscape. A list of protected views and vistas of cultural, historical, aesthetic or architectural significance within the City needs to be established. In addition, buildings, landmarks and environmental features which contribute to the form or value of the protected view or vista need to be identified.

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