A heritage conservation district is an area of urban or rural properties (collectively) deemed to have local or community heritage values.
All heritage conservation districts are developed "by the community for the community" and must create their own plan and by-law which identify the heritage values of the district and how those values are to be preserved.
All of the properties contained within the district's boundaries, registered and non-registered, become affected by new plan and by-law.
HRM currently has one heritage conservation district in place: the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District.
The heritage value of Barrington Street lies in the historical and architectural significance of its buildings and civic open spaces and its evolution as Halifax’s principal downtown commercial street over the 250 years from settlement to today.
The aim of the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District is to encourage conservation, restoration and commercial revitalization of Barrington Streets historic buildings, streetscapes, and public spaces.
HRM strives to facilitate this through the creation of carefully created design guidelines, stronger demolition controls, municipal grants, permit fee waivers, and property tax credits.
Barrington Street Heritage Incentives Program
The Barrington Street Heritage Incentives Program, also administered by the Heritage Property Program, encourages the restoration and renovation of any buildings located within the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District Boundary.
Proposed development within the Barrington Street Heritage Conservation District Boundary may require a Certificate of Appropriateness. Please consult with the Heritage Planner to determine if a certificate is required for your proposed development. All applications must include the written consent of all registered owners of the subject lands, contain complete and accurate information, and include the appropriate fees.
In addition to Barrington Street, the Downtown Halifax Secondary Planning Strategy recognizes cohesive concentrations of heritage resources in the Barrington Street South Area and the Historic Properties Area and that warrant consideration for formal designation as heritage conservation districts.
Barrington Street South Area
The Barrington Street South area, between Bishop Street and Cornwallis Park and including the parallel blocks along Hollis Street, also has a distinct character influenced by the many heritage buildings within it.
This area is envisioned as a district that "will serve as a renewed community focus for the surrounding neighbourhoods, while providing for a transition in scale and intensity between the downtown and the established low-rise residential areas to the south and west."
At the same time, given its proximity to the downtown core, the area is under pressure for redevelopment. In this context, it is important that ongoing heritage preservation and strengthened protection through heritage district designation be considered through a formal background study and public consultation.
Historic Properties Area
The Historic Properties area has long been recognized as one of the most cohesive heritage environments in Halifax. The late 18th century waterfront warehouses were designated as a National Historic Site in 1963 and by the mid 1980s, all of the buildings in the three block area bounded by Duke and former Buckingham Street between the Harbour and Granville Street had been registered as municipal heritage properties.
Also, in 2006 the entire “Granville Block” between Hollis Street and Granville Street was designated as a National Historic Site.