Track 4: POLICY and PRACTICE / Volet 4: Politiques et pratique

Policies, Regulations and Projects for Promoting Large Landscape Conservation

Friday, October 13
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

This presentation will focus on the intersection between regulations, guidelines and policies that help foster a culture of conservation by looking at the Credit River Valley in the Province of Ontario. The Credit River flows from headwaters above the Niagara Escarpment and drains down into Lake Ontario at Port Credit. It has, and continues to function as a complex landscape that is intimately linked to its natural setting and cultural features and processes. It also functions as a landscape that resonates in people’s imaginations and memories. Its beauty has been rendered on canvases and its waters bear witness to the different communities that have thrived on its banks. It too is part of our contemporary urban and peri-urban fabric in the Greater Toronto Area.
This presentation will examine the overlapping regulations, guidelines and policies that have been developed for this watershed at municipal, regional, and provincial levels for the purposes of sensitively managing and protecting its ecological, cultural and recreational values. The presentation will show how these tools have established a rich policy framework for conserving the Credit River Valley and promoted broad based mobilization around its assets that form an integral part of the public realm.
The presentation will briefly discuss the following key policies, regulatory instruments, and guidelines that address sensitive management of the Credit River Valley:
• Municipal official plan policies for this specific resource, as enabled under the Ontario Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement;
• Identification of the Credit River Valley as a cultural heritage landscape and listing on a municipal heritage register, as enabled under the Ontario Heritage Act;
• Identification of pedestrian and cycling networks within the valley and as proposed through the Region of Peel’s Active Transportation Plan and supported by Regional Official Plan policy;
• The Greenbelt Plan, as enabled under the Greenbelt Act;
• The Credit Valley Conservation Authority and its Strategic Plan, as enabled under the Conservation Authority Act
The presentation will explore this complex regulatory environment as an example of the rich opportunities that are possible when multi jurisdictional, large scale landscape management occurs. The presentation will then drill down into select conservation projects that have emerged within the Credit River Valley and which, I argue, have been supported and inspired by the confluence of these various regulations and policies that overlap and which are enacted at various levels of government. I will draw on two professional examples that illustrates the conservation ‘wins’ that are emerging within this landscape and which flow out of this comprehensive policy framework:
- A strategic conservation plan for a highway bridge located within the valley
- Interpretative plan developed to communicate the Indigenous cultural record associated with the river and valley system

Learning Objectives:

Rebecca Sciarra, MA, CAHP

Partner and Cultural Heritage Specialist

Rebecca Sciarra is a Partner with ASI and also manages technical and planning studies in their Cultural Heritage Division. Rebecca has worked in both the private and public sectors, providing expertise in environmental compliance and development of appropriate strategies to conserve Ontario’s cultural heritage resources. She has evaluated and assessed hundreds of cultural heritage resources in accordance with various statutes and regulations. Over the last ten years, she has been a major contributor to cultural landscape components of Heritage Conservation District Studies and Plans, Master Plans, Planning Act applications, and municipal Official Plans across the province of Ontario.


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Sean Fraser

Sean Fraser has an academic background in archaeology, architecture and conservation. He has worked internationally in the field of cultural heritage management for 25 years. He is currently the Director of Heritage Programs and Operations at the Ontario Heritage Trust where he has led the delivery of the Trust’s Places of Worship Inventory, the Natural Places Land Acquisitions and Stewardship Program, and Trust’s Conservation Easements Program. He has built strong relationships with First Nations, government partners, professional organizations, and property owners. Mr. Fraser lectures on a range of topics including sustainability, adaptive re-use, conservation theory and heritage planning.


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Policies, Regulations and Projects for Promoting Large Landscape Conservation

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