The Impact of Heritage Designation: Case Study of Downtown Peterborough
By Chuck Chakrapani and Dr. Tony Hernandez
Using a case study approach centred on the historic downtown core of the City of Peterborough, Ontario, this research letter highlights the importance of heritage conservation and the positive impact that heritage designation has had within the City of Peterborough. Drawing on a combination of primary and secondary data sources, across economic, social and cultural themes, the research provides perspectives on the value of heritage from local businesses and residents, along with visitors to Peterborough. The findings underline widespread support for heritage conservation, its economic benefits and the broader role that it serves in terms of providing a sense of place and identity. The overwhelming conclusion is that heritage designation accompanied by tax breaks, as offered through heritage property tax relief programs, has discernible positive impacts that include: encouraging and promoting the protection of heritage properties; generating measurable additional revenue for the municipality by adding commercial value to properties; attracting consumers (local residents and tourists) to the downtown district; and, inducing civic pride among local citizens.