Heritage & Development

Heritage – It is ours to preserve

Why do you choose to live in New Edinburgh? There are many different reasons, but no doubt somewhere on your list are factors such as the village-scale community, peaceful ambiance, historic character with some charming old homes, quaint lanes to explore and lots of green space.

Perhaps we sometimes take these things for granted, but we have them to enjoy today because, over the decades, New Edinburgh residents have been vigilant in their efforts to maintain the quality of life in this neighbourhood. Sometimes there has been a conspicuous call to the barricades, as when the threat of the Vanier Parkway Extension galvanized the community into a major campaign that lasted throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s before its successful conclusion. At other times, we all benefit from the willingness of a concerned individual to embark on a sensitive restoration of their property, whether it be heritage or otherwise.

It can be difficult to keep track of all the construction projects across New Edinburgh, or to sort through the by-laws that determine what can be built, how high, and where. So how do we ensure the character of New Edinburgh that we enjoy is preserved, and development projects are scrutinized to encourage compatibility with the existing neighbourhood? There is one mechanism working towards this goal on behalf of all residents of the Burgh – the NECA Heritage and Development Committee.

New Edinburgh Heritage Conservation District

Download the 2016 Heritage Conservative District Plan here!

New Edinburgh is one of the most historic parts of Ottawa.  As its current residents, we have a shared responsibility to protect and promote its special character so that this heritage resource can be enjoyed by us and by subsequent generations.

While each part of New Edinburgh has its treasures, there is one large section – bound by Sussex Drive, MacKay Street, Dufferin Road and Stanley Avenue – that has been specifically recognized because of its significant number of historic houses, churches, other structures, its back lanes, plus impressive “streetscapes”.  Through the determined collaborative effort of residents and City staff, this area became officially designated by the City and the Province as a formal Heritage Conservation District (HCD), conferring special protection upon it.

The City has installed two bilingual plaques to publicize the existence of the Heritage Conservation District. These plaques are located at the corner of Stanley and Thomas Streets, and at Stanley and Dufferin Road.  We encourage you to seek them out.

2015 Update of New Edinburgh’s Heritage Conservation District Plan

In consultation with members of the New Edinburgh Community Alliance and Heritage Ottawa, City Heritage staff have drafted a new Heritage Conservation District Plan for New Edinburgh. The Plan will include policies and guidelines for managing existing heritage resources, adding to buildings and new construction in the heritage conservation district.

The new Plan will replace the current guidelines approved by City Council in 2001.

New Edinburgh Heritage Walking Trail

NECA has published an illustrated brochure that highlights New Edinburgh’s heritage credentials by means of a self-guided walking trail. It connects together all 17 of the individually-designated heritage buildings in the neighbourhood, 16 of which are located within the HCD. An earlier version of the trail was published in NEN two years ago.  It has now been amended and reformatted as a more convenient and durable brochure, available in English and in French.

Preparation of the brochure was a major undertaking involving several community volunteers. The photographs were taken by Louise Imbeault, the fine ink sketches were drawn by John Farmer, and the two maps were prepared by Clare Robertson. Translation was undertaken by Anne-Sophie Belzile, production was coordinated by Cindy Parkanyi, and Katherine Arkay worked on sponsorship, distribution, and a whole lot more.

The actual cost of printing was covered by funds from NECA, a grant from the City of Ottawa, a contribution by an informal group known as Friends of New Edinburgh Heritage, and sponsorship by 10 local businesses: Books on BeechwoodClocktower Brew PubDale Smith GalleryEpicuriaFraser CaféLester’sNew Edinburgh B & BNew Edinburgh PharmacyNew Edinburgh Pub, and the SconeWitch.

The heritage brochure is available at the Rideau Hall Visitor Centre, and has been distributed throughout the neighbourhood and beyond.