Cultural Heritage Planning
Welcome! Our municipality celebrates and is defined by our extensive cultural heritage. In order to conserve our cultural heritage, we have a Heritage Permit system in place to ensure proposed alterations to designated heritage properties enhance and conserve the cultural heritage value of the property. This webpage contains information for current and future owners of heritage properties and for anyone with a general interest in heritage matters.
A Heritage Permit is required when the owner of a designated property wants to alter the exterior of a building designated under Part V (conservation district) or the designated portions of a building designated under Part IV (individual) of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Owners of designated properties should check with planning Staff to confirm whether their property is designated and if the work they are proposing to do requires a Heritage Permit.
In 2021, Town Council adopted a Terms of Reference for Heritage Impact Assessments (HIA) and Cultural Heritage Evaluation Reports (CHER) Reports submitted to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Interested in designating your property?
Designation under the Ontario Heritage Act ensures the continued conservation of our built cultural heritage, a fragile and non-renewable resource.
Requests for designation are reviewed by heritage staff and the Municipal Heritage Committee and approved by Council. Staff and the Committee collect as much documentation on the property as possible. The Committee makes a site visit to the property to determine and document features that contribute to its cultural heritage value.
If you are interested in designating your property under the Ontario Heritage Act, please contact Community and Development Services Staff for further information.
Niagara-on-the-Lake: A National Historic District
With the concerted efforts of a dedicated group of volunteers, Niagara-on-the-Lake became a designated National Historic District, the first in Ontario, in 2003. This honorary designation focuses on the collection of buildings that range in date from 1812 to 1850.
More information on this designation can be found on the Historic Places of Canada website.
The Municipal Heritage Committee
The Committee consists of nine volunteers in the Community with expertise in heritage-related fields. Committee members review heritage applications and provide advice to Council to ensure that the development of the property is compatible and sympathetic with the heritage goals and policies of the District Plan and best practices in heritage conservation. Committee members are appointed by Council for a term of 4 years. Details regarding the Committee, its members and Terms of Reference can be found on our Committees and Boards page.