Heritage Properties


Heritage adds character and distinctiveness to an area - two main ingredients in every prosperous community.

The Province of Ontario recognizes the importance of local heritage. In fact, the Ontario Heritage Act requires us to keep a register of property that is deemed of cultural heritage value or interest.

The Municipal Heritage Register includes:

Vacant buildings and structures on properties listed on the Municipal Heritage Register are subject to the heritage provisions of the property standards bylaw.


Designated heritage properties

In Kitchener, we currently have 86 individually designated heritage properties. Each one is designated under Part IV (individual) of the Ontario Heritage Act and has been placed on the Municipal Heritage Register.

When determining whether a property should be designated, we consult with the Heritage Kitchener committee and the property owner. Chosen properties are subject to a designating bylaw, identifying the reasons for designation and a list of the property's heritage attributes.

The owner of a property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act may require a heritage permit to make changes to either the building or the property in question.

An index of local properties designated under Part IV (individual) of the Ontario Heritage Act is available. However, we reserve the right to change or modify the register without notice.

Non-designated heritage properties

Non-designated properties, which are considered to be of cultural heritage value or interest, can also be placed on the Municipal Heritage Register. However, a listing on the register would not:

  • provide protection under the Ontario Heritage Act; or
  • impose restrictions or obligations related to obtaining heritage approvals. This means property owners are not subject to the heritage-permit process or a Heritage Kitchener review; and they are not required to obtain city council approval to make alterations to their properties.

Before being placed on the register, a non-designated property must go through the following process:

  • Initial evaluation of the property;
  • Short-listing of the property and property-owner consultation;
  • Review of the short-listed property by the Heritage Kitchener committee; and
  • City council considers listing the property on the register.

Once a property is on the register, local planning decisions can be affected in a couple of ways:

  • The municipality would have more time to process demolition applications made under the Ontario Building Code. Typically, a demolition application must be processed within 10 business days; in the case of a non-designated property, the municipality would have 60 business days - a sufficient amount of time to determine if the property should be protected under the Ontario Heritage Act. If protection is deemed to be warranted, a separate formal legal process would be required.
  • Planning Act applications, such as site plans and plans of subdivision, may need to be accompanied by a heritage impact assessment and/or conservation plan.

An index of non-designated properties of cultural heritage value or interest is available. However, we reserve the right to change or modify the register without notice.

For more information on how properties are evaluated and placed on the Municipal Heritage Register, check out our heritage brochure.

For confirmation of a property's heritage status or for more information, please contact our heritage planner at 519-741-2200, ext. 7839.



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