On January 12, 2021 the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries confirmed that the proclamation of the amendments to the Ontario Heritage Act passed as part of Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019, and the coming into force of the implementing regulation, have been delayed.
Cassels had previously reported on the Bill, which received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019 here and here. The proposed regulation was released over a year later, on September 21, 2020, which we reported on here. In its notice of the proposed regulation the province had advised the changes were to come into force January 1, 2021.
Municipalities and heritage organizations are noted as having requested the postponement to ensure municipalities have enough time to prepare for implementation of the changes. Municipalities, which cited the operational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic in requesting the delay, would appear to be receiving at least several more months under the current system. In the interim, the public, property owners, and applicants will not benefit from the amendments, which are intended to provide clearer direction and timelines for municipalities and improve processes for identifying and designating heritage properties, and which created a consistent appeals process.
The Ministry confirmed it will be posting draft updates to the Ontario Heritage Tool Kit and will provide an update on the proclamation date at that time.