Cookstown is Innisfil’s historic village that has always treasured its identity including the 19th century architecture and historic homes that have survived, with some exceptions, into the 21st century. Residents of Cookstown are invited to a public meeting (Cookstown Library) on Tuesday, February 19 at 6:30 pm to consider whether some portion of the village should be designated as an Historic District. The intention of this designation is to improve preservation of historic and architectural features of the village. Residents will be given “information about Heritage Conservation Districts/programs, provide an overview of the legislation, and highlight examples of opportunities and successes within established districts in Ontario.” The meeting will answer questions and help determine if public interest and support exists for this project. This will be followed by a second public session in Cookstown on March 26.
In the first phase, expected to be completed in May, consultants will be:
- Creating a heritage assessment of Cookstown, showing settlement patterns, development history and possible designated buildings;
- Identifying architecturally and/or historically significant properties and providing architectural backgrounds on these properties;
- Examining the landscape features of Cookstown including past/present streetscape, heritage trees, significant views, open space/parks and other important features to the community
- Identifying the area or areas meriting consideration for inclusion in a heritage district
When this phase is complete, Council will receive a Heritage Building Inventory and a Heritage District Report recommending whether “a Heritage Conservation District designation would be desirable by the local community and if there is architectural merit to proceed.”
With improved municipal water supply coming to Cookstown, more development pressures, and a provincial urban policy of intensification, this is probably the last best chance to breathe new life and vitality into the enduring charm and ambiance that has always defined Cookstown.