Why register a heritage property?
The conservation of built heritage is an important part of creating a liveable, sustainable and human-scale communities in HRM. Heritage buildings provide a link to our past, while providing interesting and unique streetscapes and neighbourhoods through their varied architecture and the stories they tell about the evolution of our communities.
We conserve our heritage properties to:
- Enhance our quality of life and sense of history, community and identity
- Improve our economic well-being by employing local craftspeople and trades people in conservation work
- Add diversity and character to new development
- Contribute to sustainability by reducing landfill waste, and lessening the demand for energy and resources needed for new construction
Benefits Associated With Owning a Registered Municipal Heritage Property
A plaque is installed to officially recognize the property as an important asset to the rich cultural heritage of the community and region.
Heritage staff can provide free conservation advice and on-site consultation. They can also provide valuable information on heritage properties and guidance in their ongoing management and maintenance.
The municipality and the Province provide funding programs aimed at assisting heritage property owners in the maintenance of their buildings
The municipality provides a measure of creative flexibility in the adaptive reuse/rehabilitation of heritage properties and in new development on heritage properties. Registered heritage property owners can also apply for uses and structures that may not be permitted in zoning regulations through the development agreement process.
Substantial changes to the exterior of a heritage property require review by the Heritage Advisory Committee and approval by Regional Council. This measure of protection applies even after ownership of the property is transferred. Heritage properties are also protected from demolition by the Heritage Property Act of Nova Scotia.
How to Register a Heritage Property
The municipality follows the Heritage Property Act’s standard process for heritage registration. Both owners and third-parties may apply for heritage registration. An application submitted by the property owner or with the property owner’s support and signature requires only a completed application form; supporting research is optional. By contrast, an application submitted by a third-party without the property owner’s support and signature must include supporting documentation provided by the third-party applicant, including the following:
- A detailed summary of the history and heritage value of the property and the reasons why you believe it should be considered for heritage registration. (A description of the information this summary should include is available on page 3 of this application form.)
- Photographs of the building and property (and historical photos if available).
Heritage staff are currently reviewing the evaluation criteria used in the registration of heritage properties. These criteria will continue to be applied in the interim while revised criteria are being developed.
If you would like to apply to register a property in the Municipal Registry of Heritage Properties, please submit a completed application form to Heritage Property Program staff. The application form is provided below:
Who do I contact to submit my application or ask questions?
Applications or questions pertaining to the Heritage Registrations should be submitted to:
If you cannot email or mail your application, please deliver your application in-person to our customer service counter (3rd Floor Duke Tower, Scotia Square, 5251 Duke Street).
The Registry of Heritage Properties
The Registry of Heritage Properties is a complete list of all the municipally registered heritage properties in Halifax Regional Municipality. The Registry is now available to view as an interactive online map via HRM Open Data.
Requesting a Replacement Plaque
In instances where a plaque designating a municipally registered heritage property is no longer legible due to wear, vandalism, or theft, property owners may request a replacement plaque from the municipality. Please contact email@example.com or 902.478.2586 for plaque-related inquiries.