About the Heritage Property Program

Purpose and Aims:

The purpose of the Heritage Property Program is to conserve significant heritage resources including buildings, streetscapes, sites, areas, and districts that reflect the rich heritage throughout the municipality.

The principal aims of the Heritage Property Program are to:

  • Recognize significant heritage resources and support their inclusion in the Registry of Heritage Property for the Halifax Regional Municipality and the designation of Heritage Conservation Districts
  • Provide conservation advice and information to heritage property owners
  • Facilitate the ongoing maintenance, preservation, restoration, and the reuse/rehabilitation of heritage properties through financial incentives and the administration of provincial and municipal regulations
  • Work with community organizations and educational institutions to research and identify potential new heritage resources and initiatives

What We Do:

The work of the Heritage Property Program can be broken into several subsections:

Heritage Registrations

Property owners and third parties can apply to register a heritage property, site, or streetscape. Staff will then conduct research (where applicable), draft a staff report with a recommendation, and bring the application before the Heritage Advisory Committee to be scored, followed by Regional Council for a final decision. Learn more by clicking here.

Regulation of Alterations

Staff review building permits for heritage properties to ensure that the work performed adheres to our policies and recognized standards for conservation. This is enforced in Heritage Conservation Districts using Certificates of Appropriateness and on registered heritage properties using Substantial Alterations Approvals. Learn more by clicking here.

Heritage Development Agreements

Heritage Development Agreements are a powerful tool for encouraging the conservation and adaptive re-use of registered heritage buildings. These legally binding agreements between the municipality and a property owner usually grant additional development rights in exchange for the restoration of a registered heritage property. Staff review these applications, conduct public engagement, negotiate the development agreement, produce reports, and bring applications to Community Council for their decision. Learn more by clicking here.

Establishment of Heritage Conservation Districts

In addition to individual registrations, heritage staff work to create Heritage Conservation Districts in areas with a high density of heritage resources. Heritage staff conduct background research and public engagement. Then they produce reports and heritage conservation district by-laws. These are then brought before the Heritage Advisory Committee and Regional Council for approval. Learn more by clicking here.

Grants and Funding

Owners of registered heritage properties and properties within Heritage Conservation Districts are eligible for grants to assist in the maintenance and restoration of their properties. Heritage staff provide assistance and advice to grant applicants and process applications for our annual grant programs. Learn more by clicking here.

Culture & Interpretation Projects

Heritage staff provide research and assistance to interdisciplinary teams working on projects ranging from interpretive signage installations, to street renaming, to our interactive map of Downtown Halifax’s historic neighbourhoods.

Policy Development

From the implementation of heritage conservation districts to the development of strategies for protecting heritage on educational campuses, heritage staff are always working on new and innovative policy to better protect and manage heritage. Heritage staff also advise other planning staff whenever matters of heritage intersect with broader planning policy.