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Heritage Register

The Ontario Heritage Act requires municipalities to keep a list of all properties with historical or cultural importance that are protected under the Act. This Heritage Property Register includes various types of significant properties like UNESCO World Heritage Sites, National Historic Sites, important provincial properties, ones designated by the City and properties with cultural value (often called "listed" properties). 

You can check out the Heritage Register Map for more details. 

Designated heritage properties

Designation under the Ontario Heritage Act is done by passing a City bylaw to recognize and support the cultural value of the property or district. If you want to make changes to a designated property, you may need a heritage permit

If you are doing work that restores and preserves designated buildings, you might be eligible for a grant. Also, if a designated property has a heritage easement agreement registered on it, you might qualify for a tax refund. Lear more about our Heritage Grants and Tax Refund programs.

The Ontario Heritage Act, plus Kingston's Official Plan, helps find and preserve things from the past, like buildings, significant places, streetscapes and archaeological resources. This maintains our City’s history and charm, attracts tourists and makes Kingston unique. 

Getting a heritage designation for your property benefits the public, preserves the local character and offers several advantages for individual property owners: 

  • You receive free guidance on how to properly maintain and make alterations that celebrate your property's heritage value or the district as a whole. 
  • You may be eligible for grants of up to $5,000 for restoration projects. 

Furthermore, studies have shown that heritage-designated properties in Ontario tend to outperform others in terms of property value changes and show greater resistance to market downturns. 

If you would like to apply for alteration, demolition and new construction, you can do it through DASH

Learn more about the types of heritage designations and criteria

"Listed" heritage properties 

Section 27 of the Ontario Heritage Act lets municipalities list properties with cultural heritage value, even if they are not officially designated under the Act. These listed properties have less protection than a designated property. Owners do not need a heritage permit for changes, but they can still ask for advice.  

If you own a "listed" property and want to demolish a building, you must notify the Council 60 days in advance. 

UNESCO world heritage sites in Kingston 

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is working to take care of both physical and non-physical parts of our cultural heritage. They have found more than 900 places worldwide that are notable in terms of cultural and natural importance. In Kingston, the Rideau Canal and Kingston's Fortifications are part of this exclusive UNESCO list. When we build things near the Rideau Canal, we need to be careful not to harm this important cultural and natural treasure. 

National historic sites in Kingston 

National Historic Sites are very important places in Canada. Each one helps tell Canada's history. In Kingston, we have places like the Frontenac County Courthouse, City Hall, Fort Henry and more that are National Historic Sites. 

Provincially significant properties 

The province owns lots of properties that are part of Ontario's history. To keep them in good shape and celebrate their cultural importance, the province developed Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties. These rules help protect and showcase these important properties. 

Heritage easement agreements 

Heritage easement agreements are legal agreements between the City or the Ontario Heritage Trust and property owners. They make sure historic features are preserved forever and may outline allowed changes. Properties with these agreements and Ontario Heritage Act designations could receive tax refunds through our program.

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

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