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PACAC (Peterborough Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee) is really a municipal heritage committee. A municipal heritage committee is established by a municipality under the authority of the Ontario Heritage Act (amended 2005) and encourages community participation in local heritage conservation.
PACAC advises Peterborough City Council about heritage designation or any other matter relevant to the conservation of cultural heritage property, cultural landscapes or heritage districts. Council must consult with the committee during the designation process for a property, when applications are received to alter designated properties, when applications are received to demolish or remove properties, when applications are received to repeal designation by-laws, and when it wants advice on easements* and covenants*.
In practice, PACAC also carries out inventory and research on properties through the work of its Designation Sub-Committee, and works closely with the recently established Heritage Preservation Office in the Culture and Heritage Division of City Hall. It evaluates properties according to a standardized rating system and makes recommendations to City Council about the merits of designating certain properties. We also carry out liaison with the community and with other heritage organizations such as the Peterborough Historical Society, the Peterborough chapter of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, and the Arts, Culture and Heritage Advisory Committee of Council.
PACAC encourages property owners to have regard for the heritage aspects of their properties, holds special events, and publishes a semi-annual newsletter called the Peterborough Heritage Review. PACAC administers a small budget allocated from City Council through the Culture and Heritage Division, including the annual Doors Open Peterborough event, held the last Saturday before Thanksgiving every year.