From 1975 the Foundation has had a broad mandate for the “conservation, protection and preservation of the heritage of Ontario.” “Heritage” was not defined; although, with respect to its “trust” objectives, the OHF was given powers to acquire, hold, manage, etc. property of “historical, architectural, archaeological, recreational, aesthetic, and scenic interest.” [Note 1] The power to acquire easements — a form of property — was not otherwise limited.
With the encouragement and support of senior management at the then Ministries of Natural Resources and Culture and Recreation, OHF board chair John White and other new board members decided it was time for the Foundation to expand activities into the natural resource field. [Note 2]
Probabaly the key reason for this move was that the Foundation was the sole provincial agency with the power to acquire heritage easements.
Seizing on the words "recreational" and "scenic" in its legislation — and maybe stretching them a little?— the Foundation embarked on its first forays into natural heritage. And the first natural heritage easement soon followed— the Misery Bay property, a 120 hectare (300 acre) forested wetland on Manitoulin Island bordering Misery Bay Provincial Park. The easement was registered in November 1983.
|Shoreline, Misery Bay|
|A 1980 municipal easement protects the House of Industry on Elm Street, Toronto|
- Built heritage: 186
- Natural heritage: 52
- Archaeological: 6
- Bruce Trail: 15
- Hybrid: 1 (Ruthven, near Cayuga)