Polish Heritage in Ontario
The earliest organized Polish settlements in Ontario date back to the early 1860s. The pioneers and their descendants left an important imprint on the Ontarian landscape, with their beautiful religious landmarks, characteristic methods of land cultivation, and unique architectural style and artistry. Much of this precious heritage is being lost through neglect or inadequate identification and documentation. Even in Canada’s oldest Polish settlement in Renfrew County, this continues to be a serious concern.
The Polish Heritage Project is the first comprehensive, province-wide database of architectural-heritage sites and cultural-heritage landscapes that are significant to the Polish-Canadian community in Ontario.
The information in the database includes:
History of construction and ownership
Any other information that relates to the cultural-heritage interest and value of the sites in question
While deeply meaningful for the Polish-Canadian community, this project is designed to build bridges between Canadians of Polish descent and organizations or officials working on heritage planning and conservation. Its resources are accessible to all Ontarians, emphasizing that our landscape is indeed a multicultural one. It is a body of information that can benefit other ethnic groups and organizations considering similar initiatives.
The Polish Heritage Project contributes significantly to the creation of a sense of belonging to the Polish community, to the conservation of architectural-heritage and cultural-heritage properties, and to tourism and economic development. It consists of permanent and pertinent educational resources that can be passed down from generation to generation.