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Heritage Conservation Districts

Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act gives municipalities the ability to designate heritage conservation districts. Districts are areas whose cultural heritage value contributes to a sense of place extending beyond their individual buildings, structures and landscapes. Heritage conservation districts exist in rural and urban areas around the province, and municipalities are regularly designating new ones.

See current list of Ontario's Heritage Conservation Districts.

Since 2005, all new heritage conservation districts must have a plan to help manage change in the district while protecting and enhancing its cultural heritage value.

HCD Guide Cover copy
Heritage Conservation Districts: A Guide to District Designation Under the Ontario Heritage Act has more advice and information.

Once a heritage conservation district designation by-law is approved, property owners in the district will need a permit from the municipality for any alteration that’s not considered minor, as well as any demolition or new construction.

Whether a permit is approved or denied will usually depend on how well the change fits within the guidelines in the district plan.