Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Heritage Holding Bylaw and Heritage Designation?
The Heritage Holding Bylaw and Municipal Heritage Property designation are entirely separate classifications.
The Heritage Holding Bylaw is a listing of properties that have been identified as eligible to become designated as Municipal Heritage Property. Designation is a legal means of heritage protection that is registered on the property title so that the property is protected for future generations.
What protection is provided to a property with Municipal Heritage Property designation?
A property may only be designated by the owner. Municipal Heritage Property designation allows the City to regulate the demolition, relocation and alteration of the property. It applies to the exterior and, in rare instances, may apply to certain interior features or landscape elements. The City can refuse approval of any applications to significantly alter the character-defining elements of the building or can refuse its demolition.
What protection is provided to a property under the Heritage Holding Bylaw?
If a property is listed on the Heritage Holding Bylaw, it is not protected in the same way as a designated property. The bylaw is a flagging tool and allows for a 60 day hold period for City Council to decide if the property should be designated in the event that the property owner requests demolition or a major alteration that would result in significant loss of its character-defining elements and the reason for its heritage value. The City can delay issuance of a building or demolition permit for 60 days to determine if the building should be designated as a Municipal Heritage Property.
How were the properties chosen to be listing the Heritage Holding Bylaw?
The Heritage Holding Bylaw was adopted by City Council on September 11, 1989. The Bylaw contains a list of buildings that were identified at the time as having architectural or historical heritage value, and potential for designation.
What makes a property worthy of designation?
A property is worthy of designation if it has heritage value to the community. Places of heritage value help tell the story of the community, have significance and their character-defining elements have been retained. The Administration completes an evaluation based on an evaluation process, which is currently under review. The evaluation is then provided to City Council to make the final decision.
What happens after a property is designated as a heritage property?
Pursuant to the Heritage Property Act, City Council must pass a bylaw to designate a property as a Municipal Heritage Property. Upon adoption of a designation bylaw, a municipal heritage interest is registered against the property title.
Once designated, the City must approve or deny alterations to the character-defining elements of the building. The City can deny a demolition permit if the property is designated as a Municipal Heritage Property.
Why is the City undertaking this review?
In 2017, the City is undertaking a review of the Heritage Holding Bylaw to provide clarity on the evaluation process used in a future phase to identify places that should remain or be added to the Heritage Holding Bylaw.
What is the scope of this review?
This review is focused on the Heritage Holding Bylaw, and more specifically to provide clarity to the evaluation process.
How many properties are on the Heritage Holding Bylaw list?
There are currently 229 properties on the Heritage Holding Bylaw list.
What is the purpose of the Heritage Holding Bylaw list? Will all of these properties eventually receive heritage designation?
The purpose of the Heritage Holding Bylaw is to identify places that have heritage value and the potential for designation. It serves as a flagging tool should the property owner apply to demolish or make a major alteration that would result in significant loss of its character-defining elements and the reason for its heritage value.
Property owners may wish to apply for heritage designation to be eligible for the financial assistance to rehabilitate a designated building through the Heritage Building Rehabilitation Program. All applications for heritage designation are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Who is responsible for maintaining heritage properties?
The property owner is responsible for maintaining their property. The City provides financial assistance to rehabilitate a designated building through the Heritage Building Rehabilitation Program. This program aligns with our Official Community Plan policy and the direction provided in the Cultural Plan to "Encourage owners to protect historic property and places through good stewardship and voluntarily designating their property".
What is the City doing to protect designated heritage properties?
The City has recently updated the Heritage Building Rehabilitation Program, which now provides up to 10 years of tax exemption where the owner applies for designation as a Municipal Heritage property and upgrades are made to the character-defining elements of the building.
What are the protected character-defining elements?
Character-defining elements are the exterior elements related to the design and construction of the property that make it unique or consistent with a particular style. These elements often include, but are not limited to, windows, doors, porch, roof, etc.