Organization pens letter to province to designate Oakville’s Palermo Village as a heritage district


Published October 6, 2023 at 1:29 pm

Palermo Village Towers Heritage District high rise mixed use
The Oakville Community Association (OCA) is looking to designate Palermo Village as a heritage district and/or a cultural heritage landscape. TOWN OF OAKVILLE IMAGE

The Oakville Community Association (OCA) is taking their fight to designate Palermo Village as a heritage district and/or a cultural heritage landscape to the province.

In a letter sent Wednesday (Oct. 4) to Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Neil Lumsden by the OCA Board of Directors, the non-profit organization is looking for the province to step in ahead of a development application for the area of Dundas St. and Bronte Rd. coming before the Oakville Planning and Development Council on Oct. 16.

Submitted by developer Enirox  Dundas 3015 Inc., the application would see the construction of two mixed-used high-rise towers with a 27-storey building and a 30-storey located on a three-storey podium with four levels of underground parking located at 3005 and 3015 Dundas St. W.

A total of 690 units are proposed with a mix of bedroom types and sizes. Retail use is to be provided at grade along Dundas St. W. and Old Bronte Rd. A new parking is proposed at the corner of Dundas St. W.. and Old Bronte Rd.

Town of Oakville staff have recommended that Palermo Village be part of a North Urban Core Area which would feature mixed-use development.

“Please accept this correspondence on behalf of the Oakville Community Association (OCA) as a formal request to designate Palermo Village located at or near Dundas Street West and Bronte Road in the Town of Oakville as a heritage district and/or a cultural heritage landscape,” begins the letter to Min. Lumsden.

The OCA points to 2008 when the Heritage Planning Division of the Town of Oakville prepared a Heritage Resources Review and Strategy for Palermo Village and concluded the following:

“The findings of the study noted that Palermo Village is the oldest remaining settlement in the present town of Oakville (1806) due to the fact that the settlement along Dundas St. military road from Toronto to Dundas was opened some 20 years prior to the settlement at the parts of Oakville and Bronte,” read the review and strategy. “Dundas was a major east west transportation route in the 19th century and Palermo prospered both as a stop for travellers and as the centre of the surrounding agricultural area.

“The passing of Highway 25, which linked Bronte and Milton, through the centre of the village made Palermo an important junction point for overland travellers in the 19th century. Many of the buildings in the village were constructed during this period of prosperity.”

The findings of the 2008 study noted that despite significant changes over the past 50 years with the expansion and realignment of the Dundas St. W. and Regional Road 25 intersection, the Village of Palermo retains significance, and could be considered a cultural heritage landscape of the Town of Oakville as its oldest urban centre and the last remaining inland settlement within Oakville.

The study did not recommend that Palermo Village be designated a Heritage District, but it made several recommendations including that the cultural heritage landscape of the village be recognized in policy and map form and the conservation of the heritage of Palermo.

Settlement in Palermo began over 200 years ago in 1806, some 20 years prior to the founding settlements at the ports of Bronte and Oakville.

The village had over 300 residents at one time and was part of the Underground Railroad. It also had the first grammar schools in the province and one of the first public schools to include music as a curriculum.

“The developments proposed for Palermo Village will destroy the remaining heritage attributes, and as a result history will be lost forever,” said the OCA Board in a letter that was copied to the Town of Oakville and Oakville North-Burlington MP Pam Damoff.

“We respectfully request that further review be conducted on Palermo Village following which further steps be implemented to protect this area at a minimum as a recognized cultural heritage landscape.”


EDITOR’S NOTE (OCT. 16) – The wrong developer and development was mentioned in the above story and corrections have been made. regrets the errors.

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