Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site Management Plan (6 of 20)

II.3 - Previous Planning Studies

The CEF site has been subject to a number of planning studies over the last 30 years. These include the CEF Master Plan prepared for Agriculture Canada in 1973, the CEF 2000 Master Plan prepared by MacKenzie, Krusberg et al. in 1994, the Final Report on the Results of Public Consultations on the Future of the Experimental Farm, Ottawa prepared for AAFC by Graeme Kirby, Claire Schofield and Sid Thakar in 1998, the CEF Interim Management Plan prepared by AAFC in 1999, CEFAC Criteria Development Project prepared by Archaeological Services Inc. in 2001, and the draft Master Plan Report: Agriculture Museum, Central Experimental Farm prepared for the National Museum of Science and Technology in 2002. Footnote 7

Canada Agriculture Museum Master Plan

The Master Plan Report: Agriculture Museum was commissioned by the NMSTC in 1997 after the NCC identified the need for a master plan in the context of Agriculture Museum proposals for the construction of a new barn. The plan provides analysis of numerous design and circulation issues associated with the Museum site. It outlines five alternative development options, one of which is preferred, responding to the short and mid-term development needs of the Museum. The plan has not received NCC approval, likely due to concerns about the function and location of the Visitor Centre. Recommendations which have been implemented include the construction of Building #151 (the new barn) and the use of the northern portion of Building #94 by the Museum. The adoption of the preferred option would require further negotiations between the NMSTC and AAFC. The vision articulated in the Museum plan focuses on telling the story of agriculture Canada-wide, with particular emphasis on visitor experience of farm animals, as well as the display of farm implements. It recognizes opportunities for the Museum to interpret the history of the CEF as a whole, although this longer-term potential was not reflected in the preferred option.

Dominion Observatory Campus Master Plan

The Dominion Observatory Campus Master Plan was prepared for NRCan by Evolution Professional Design Consultants Limited in 2002. The overall objective of the site is defined as attracting and cultivating visitor interest in the Campus's heritage buildings and defining their significance in Canada's development. The report demonstrates NRCan's interest in using the site to inform Canadians about the history of the department and its activities.

Description of this image follows
Aerial Photo of CEF Core, 2002 [Source: Canadian Aerial Photo Company]

Consultations on the future of the Central Experimental Farm

The impetus for the 1998 public consultations arose from a 1997-8 decision to continue using the CEF for research and as AAFC headquarters, and from a need to conduct a broader review of CEF lands and buildings, especially in view of the 1998 designation as a National Historic Site. Over a six month period, the AAFC undertook widespread public consultations on the Farm's future, and developed a set of criteria for future decision-making. The team also prepared vision, mission and core values statements intended to form the foundation for future stewardship of the CEF, and a publicly accepted set of management principles intended to form the foundation of the Management Plan for the Farm. The recommendations emphasize the general role that the Farm can play in demonstrating the value of agriculture and agricultural research in Canada's past and present.

Three initiatives have resulted from the public consultations.

  • The first was an interim management plan prepared by AAFC. The Interim Management Plan: 2000-2002 outlines AAFC's "short-term priorities in the Department's role as steward for the Central Experimental Farm" while waiting for a long-term vision. It promises "to manage the site as a single entity."
  • The second was a reactive response to possible new initiatives on the Farm. It was developed by CEFAC on behalf of AAFC, and was entitled Final Report: CEFAC Criteria Development Project - Vision Statement, Evaluation Criteria, Application Form and Public Consultation Protocols. It created a framework for responding to proposals, whether public or private, and provided criteria for evaluation. This kind of approach built on the pattern established by the Commemorative Integrity Statement.
  • The third was a more proactive response to new initiatives - the decision to develop a Central Experimental Farm Management Plan. Rather than simply responding to development proposals and development pressures, AAFC decided to take a lead role in shaping the future of the Farm environment. The current report is the result.