Ward 10 - 2018 London Municipal Election Candidate Survey

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Architectural Conservancy Ontario - London Region (ACO London) sent an online survey on heritage issues to candidates running for City Council in the upcoming municipal election. The survey asked candidates about their thoughts on issues such as heritage conservation, ‘demolition by neglect’, and adaptive re-use of older buildings. This is the second time ACO London has surveyed local municipal election candidates, the first was for the 2014 election.

Responses received: Kevin May, Virginia Ridley, Thomas Risley
No response received: Gary Manley, Paul Van Meerbergen


Kevin May

Would you consider designating a property with heritage or cultural value against the owner’s wishes? Do you support municipal property tax breaks for heritage properties? Do you support financial assistance and advice to those who seek to conserve, restore, and maintain their heritage properties? Do you support funding, by-laws, and policies that encourage heritage conservation? Please specify any initiatives that you would propose.

I would consider designating a property with heritage or cultural value against an owners wishes, if it is for the betterment of the community.

My preference would be to work with property owners to ensure that they can attain their goals while maintaining the cultural fabric.

I support tax breaks for restorations, and would consider financial support or funding if the property is to be used for the benefit of the community.

How would you deal with the issue of ‘demolition by neglect’? Are you in favour of the City enforcing property and building standards for all heritage structures, including allowing city by-law inspectors to legally enter empty buildings on a frequent and regular basis to ensure that property and building standards are being upheld? Would you support issuing fines to property owners and developers who allow buildings to be destroyed by non-accidental fire, illegal demolition, or other acts of negligent destruction? Do you agree London should adopt a Heritage Building Protection Plan initiative such as other municipalities have implemented that would require property owners and developers to submit and implement plans to maintain and secure heritage structures throughout development approval processes?

If it is an issue of public safety, by-law officers should be allowed to inspect all vacant buildings. Demolition by neglect should be taken seriously and have consequences such as fines in some circumstances. A heritage building protection plan would be beneficial in keeping the public involved while stating clear guidelines and expectations for developers to succeed.

How would you balance development pressures against the community’s desire to conserve heritage structures and neighbourhoods? How would you encourage the adaptive reuse of London’s built heritage when its original uses are no longer feasible? Do you support, in principle, neighbourhood-specific moratoriums on demolitions while an area is being studied as a potential Heritage Conservation District?

We have many examples of buildings successfully being repurposed. As often as possible this must be our goal. Incentives and support could be considered, to give property owners assistance in respecting our history and public vision.

I believe public input is important when reshaping the landscape of our communities. There could be situations where demolitions must be placed on hold when determining the properties cultural value.

What steps would you champion as a member of Council to ensure that the London Plan’s provisions to protect heritage properties along the BRT routes are implemented?

We must respect our history but we also need to move forward with new projects and development. Both can be achieved with thoughtful planning and public input.

Do you plan to incorporate built heritage issues into your campaign platform? How? Please include any additional comments you would like to share.

Our heritage buildings provide a uniqueness to our communities and are important to reflect not only who we are but how we got here.

I believe it is possible to grow as a city while also respecting our history.


Virginia Ridley Ward 10 Councillor

Would you consider designating a property with heritage or cultural value against the owner’s wishes? Do you support municipal property tax breaks for heritage properties? Do you support financial assistance and advice to those who seek to conserve, restore, and maintain their heritage properties? Do you support funding, by-laws, and policies that encourage heritage conservation? Please specify any initiatives that you would propose.

If there was significant heritage or cultural value and it was in the best interest of Londoners I would consider designating a property.

I would support finding ways to assist heritage property owners with the costs associated with maintaining heritage properties

How would you deal with the issue of ‘demolition by neglect’? Are you in favour of the City enforcing property and building standards for all heritage structures, including allowing city by-law inspectors to legally enter empty buildings on a frequent and regular basis to ensure that property and building standards are being upheld? Would you support issuing fines to property owners and developers who allow buildings to be destroyed by non-accidental fire, illegal demolition, or other acts of negligent destruction? Do you agree London should adopt a Heritage Building Protection Plan initiative such as other municipalities have implemented that would require property owners and developers to submit and implement plans to maintain and secure heritage structures throughout development approval processes?

I am supportive of city personnel inspecting and all vacant buildings, including heritage building to ensure that they are being maintained and are safe.

How would you balance development pressures against the community’s desire to conserve heritage structures and neighbourhoods? How would you encourage the adaptive reuse of London’s built heritage when its original uses are no longer feasible? Do you support, in principle, neighbourhood-specific moratoriums on demolitions while an area is being studied as a potential Heritage Conservation District?

All proposals development proposals must be considered and a balance needs to be struck to encourage development and support integration and reuse of heritage properties. Where possible heritage properties should be integrated into new development.

Reuse and redevelopment of heritage properties is an important consideration and adds character to new developments.

What steps would you champion as a member of Council to ensure that the London Plan’s provisions to protect heritage properties along the BRT routes are implemented?

I will continue to follow the recommendations of our professional staff and committees in supporting development with the least impact to heritage properties.

Do you plan to incorporate built heritage issues into your campaign platform? How? Please include any additional comments you would like to share.

Over the past four years, we have seen a number of heritage properties and development issues at committee and council. I have trusted the judgement of staff and committee and made my decisions based on that advise and in the best interest of all Londoners.

When it is feasible to preserve heritage properties, we should be doing so, but we need to ensure first that we have mechanisms to help heritage property owners to preserve their properties in the best interest of Londoners.


Thomas Risley

Would you consider designating a property with heritage or cultural value against the owner’s wishes? Do you support municipal property tax breaks for heritage properties? Do you support financial assistance and advice to those who seek to conserve, restore, and maintain their heritage properties? Do you support funding, by-laws, and policies that encourage heritage conservation? Please specify any initiatives that you would propose.

Would you consider designating a property with heritage or cultural value against the owner’s wishes? Yes I would consider it.

Do you support municipal property tax breaks for heritage properties? 100%

Do you support financial assistance and advice to those who seek to conserve, restore, and maintain their heritage properties? Yes as long as we have the budget or it has been accounted for in a budget spread over or under.

Do you support funding, by-laws, and policies that encourage heritage conservation? 100%

Please specify any initiatives that you would propose.You are more of an expert at this than I am so I would seek your knowledge and input into any proposed initiatives.

How would you deal with the issue of ‘demolition by neglect’? Are you in favour of the City enforcing property and building standards for all heritage structures, including allowing city by-law inspectors to legally enter empty buildings on a frequent and regular basis to ensure that property and building standards are being upheld? Would you support issuing fines to property owners and developers who allow buildings to be destroyed by non-accidental fire, illegal demolition, or other acts of negligent destruction? Do you agree London should adopt a Heritage Building Protection Plan initiative such as other municipalities have implemented that would require property owners and developers to submit and implement plans to maintain and secure heritage structures throughout development approval processes?

How would you deal with the issue of ‘demolition by neglect’? With a lot of Thought

Are you in favour of the City enforcing property and building standards for all heritage structures, including allowing city by-law inspectors to legally enter empty buildings on a frequent and regular basis to ensure that property and building standards are being upheld? 100%

Would you support issuing fines to property owners and developers who allow buildings to be destroyed by non-accidental fire, illegal demolition, or other acts of negligent destruction? 100%

Do you agree London should adopt a Heritage Building Protection Plan initiative such as other municipalities have implemented that would require property owners and developers to submit and implement plans to maintain and secure heritage structures throughout development approval processes? 100%

How would you balance development pressures against the community’s desire to conserve heritage structures and neighbourhoods? How would you encourage the adaptive reuse of London’s built heritage when its original uses are no longer feasible? Do you support, in principle, neighbourhood-specific moratoriums on demolitions while an area is being studied as a potential Heritage Conservation District?

How would you balance development pressures against the community’s desire to conserve heritage structures and neighbourhoods? It is always a balance, I would like us to try and keep as much as we can.

How would you encourage the adaptive reuse of London’s built heritage when its original uses are no longer feasible? Tax breaks

Do you support, in principle, neighbourhood-specific moratoriums on demolitions while an area is being studied as a potential Heritage Conservation District? 100% based on the viabilty and length of the study being of a reasonable nature.

What steps would you champion as a member of Council to ensure that the London Plan’s provisions to protect heritage properties along the BRT routes are implemented?

I am vying to stop BRT in It's tracks and will ask if voted in for 7 more Council members to vote it out!

Do you plan to incorporate built heritage issues into your campaign platform? How? Please include any additional comments you would like to share.

Heritage issues were not in my campaign but growing up in the UK and well as Canada i have come to appreciate the Value of Heritage, something quite frankly you cannot put a price on .

If people valued Heritage Buildings like they do their own Heritage then we would have less of a fight.

I fought to save trees in Hunt Club Green that were 80-100 Years old but they met the saw. Shame.


Thank you to those candidates who took the time to complete our survey. For those who did not respond before the survey closed, we welcome your comments.

We encourage all Londoners to attend candidates’ meetings and debates to learn more about their ideas and suggestions on built heritage and other issues. To find out more information about when and where to vote, and the candidates running for Mayor or Councillor visit the City of London’s Elections webpage.

Shawn Adamsson