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The City has two of the oldest designated Heritage Conservation Districts in Ontario: Barriefield Village 1981 (updated 1992) and Market Square 1985 (updated 2013), and one of the largest in Ontario Old Sydenham 2015. Combined, these three districts contain over 700 protected heritage properties and represent over 200 years of Kingston's history.

Exterior alterations to buildings located within these Heritage Conservation Districts require a Heritage Permit.

In Kingston, eligible work that promote restoration and preservation of designated buildings may be eligible for grants. Eligible work to designated properties that also have a heritage easement agreement registered on the property may be eligible for the City of Kingston's Heritage Property Tax Refund Program.

Find out more at the Heritage Resource Centre.

Heritage Designation

At the municipal level, there are two types of designations under the Ontario Heritage Act – Part IV and Part V. Part IV designations refer to individual heritage properties. Part V designations refer to a grouping of heritage properties known as a Heritage Conservation District (or HCD).

Under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities may designate a grouping of properties that are of local cultural heritage value or interest to form what is known as a Heritage Conservation District. Different from individual heritage property designations which focus solely on the structures and attributes of one particular property, typically a Heritage Conservation District looks at a grouping of properties and their significance. Important vistas, plazas, streetscapes, and the historic links between these buildings and features, are also included as well as the built heritage structures and landscaping.

A Part V designation allows Council to manage and guide change in a specific identified area. The adoption of a District Plan, with policies and guidelines, will help conserve, protect and enhance a Heritage Conservation District's special character.