To Save a Butterfly, Must One Kill It? The Historic Places Initiative in a Rural Context

In Focus Speakers’ Series Workshop on the Arts and Heritage in Rural Communities, May 3 2007
Stephen Irving, Francesco Manganiello, Rebecca Sciarra, and Christopher Wiebe

This paper examines the findings of the Rideau Heritage Initiative (RHI), a 2006 Ontario provincial summer pilot project, conducted in the predominantly rural municipalities of the Rideau Canal Corridor that was designed to advance the heritage conservation goals of the Historic Places Initiative (HPI). It seeks to show that rather than freezing places in time, a heritage conservation program such as the Historic Places Initiative can be a powerful tool for rural communities in managing their local heritage resources. However, these resources are most difficult to manage because they are linked to a complex legal web of property rights pertaining to a palimpsest of zoning bylaws, planning legislation and land-use restrictions that are subject to municipal bylaws and provincial statues which vary from community to community.