Heritage funding

Suburbs

Maintaining precious pieces of our history can be a rewarding experience. But, it can also be expensive.

In an effort to lessen the financial burden on the owners of our city's designated heritage properties, we offer a grant program to help cover the costs of conserving our cultural heritage resources.

Owners of property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act may be eligible to receive grants toward the conservation of their property. Grants can cover 50 per cent of the cost of eligible projects, from a minimum of $500 to a maximum of $3,000.

Grant eligibility

Projects that are deemed eligible to receive heritage grant funding fall into three general categories:

  • Repair of deteriorated original property elements, such as doors and windows, masonry, roofing materials (excluding asphalt shingle roofs) and other significant features.
  • Accurate restoration of original building features using precise materials, sizes and detail.
  • Restoration of significant, documented architectural features that have been lost. Documented sources must relate directly to the subject property - not similar properties. The documentation must be either historic drawings, photographs or other sources that clearly show or describe the feature(s) to be restored.

Ineligible projects include, but are not limited, to:

  • Projects of a non-historic nature, such as the introduction of new features (e.g. a building addition or storm windows); or work on existing features that are either not specifically identified in the heritage attributes, or are determined to not have heritage significance
  • Work where the quality is deemed unsatisfactory, poor or defective, with minor and/or major problems. Examples include, a failed paint job due to improper surface preparation; or masonry joints that have been cut out using power tools or other inappropriate methods
  • Short-term, routine maintenance, such as minor repairs (e.g. repairing a broken step or a broken window), most paint jobs, or the repair of non-original siding or roofing materials
  • Landscaping
  • Repair, replacement or installation of asphalt shingles

Please review our administrative procedures and operating guidelines for a full list of eligible and ineligible projects.

If you're interested in applying for heritage funding for an upcoming project on your property, you must consult with our heritage planner as early in your planning process as possible. This pre-consultation is required to avoid ineligible proposals and delays in the processing of an application, and determine if a heritage permit is required.

Application process

To be eligible for funding, you must submit your grant application to our heritage planning team by the last business day of March in the calendar year you plan to undertake your project. Please include as much detail as possible so we have a full understanding of your proposed project (e.g. materials and methods to be used, dimensions, etc.) Written estimates of the approximate cost of the proposed work must be included with the application.

We may request additional plans, specifications, documentary evidence, drawings or photos to complete the application.

Grants will be awarded, subject to available funding, with priority given to conservation work that addresses the structural needs of the property.

Heritage tax refunds

Owners of property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, which is subject to either a heritage conservation easement agreement or a preservation and maintenance agreement on a built heritage resource, may also be eligible to receive up to a 40 per cent refund of their property taxes.

This could be you! For more information, please call us at 519-741-2200, ext. 7839.

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