Heritage best practices


Kitchener is known throughout Ontario as a strong supporter of cultural heritage planning. We take great pride in our position and we remain committed to conserving our past for current and future generations.

Five heritage best practices guide our cultural heritage planning decisions and actions, which were approved by city council as part of our heritage best practices report.

Our best practices reflect a combination of national standards and guidelines, provincial legislation and policy, current city policies and procedures, conservation tools and approaches used by other municipalities and the input of Heritage Kitchener.

They are also the foundation of our heritage action plan, which is made up of eight projects we're undertaking to ensure our cultural heritage remains one of our highest priorities.

Heritage action plan

Our heritage action plan includes eight important initiatives:

1. Built-heritage emergency management protocol

We will use the City of Hamilton's 'Built Heritage Emergency Management Protocol' as a model to draft similar processes for council consideration. Part of this work includes identifying one or more pre-qualified professional engineers whom we may use in emergency situations affecting heritage property.

2. Designation sub-committee

A sub-committee of Heritage Kitchener will be established to help us review the list of non-designated properties on the Municipal Heritage Register, including our own properties. The sub-committee will help us identify priority candidates for designation.

3. Heritage monitoring checklist

We will review our own standard facility-monitoring checklist to ensure heritage-related matters are considered during routine inspections of our city-owned and built heritage resources.

4. Heritage procedural protocol

We will work with Heritage Kitchener to develop heritage procedural protocol for council consideration that will provide direction on processes related to the Ontario Heritage Act. This will include defining notice requirements for the demolition of listed heritage property, and processes associated with heritage permits and non-compliance.

5. Heritage promotion sub-committee

We will form a sub-committee of Heritage Kitchener to promote greater public education and awareness of heritage conservation.

6. Conservation plans for select, city-owned cultural heritage resources

We will prepare a report for council consideration on how we plan to develop conservation plans for select, city-owned cultural heritage resources. The report will also address how we plan to establish a sustainable funding source that enables us to care for and maintain our cultural heritage resources over the long term.

7. Designated heritage property grant program review

We will review our designated heritage property grant program, specifically focusing on grant amounts, eligibility and the ways we can improve the program for property owners. Following our review, we will present the findings to Heritage Kitchener and city council.

8. Partnerships

We will investigate opportunities to develop partnerships with other area municipalities, the Region of Waterloo, community organizations, academic institutions and businesses to reinforce our local support for cultural heritage conservation.

Action updates

Our status chart details the progress we've made on our eight action items, as well as our anticipated timelines.

Related resources you may find helpful include:

City of Kitchener heritage properties

City of Kitchener's Official Plan (see section 12: Cultural heritage resources)

The economics of heritage development

Heritage toolkit

The standards and guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada

Heritage open house

Guide to Heritage Designation

Hibner Park interpretive plaque

Schoerg Barn interpretive plaques


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