The heritage designation process
London has one of the most diverse and extensive inventories of heritage structures in Ontario. London's downtown alone has more than 500 heritage buildings. Many of them are original and some are the most architecturally significant examples in the region. The Ontario Heritage Act enables municipalities to designate properties of cultural heritage value or interest.
Designating individual properties
There are six key steps to designating an individual property under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. These steps are:
- Contact a Heritage Planner if the property is a candidate for designation
- Heritage Planner researches and evaluates the property
- Notice of Intention to Designate is served, with an opportunity for objection
- Pass and register the designation bylaw
- List the property on the municipal register
- List on the provincial register
Designating Heritage Conservation Districts
The process for designating a geographical area as a Heritage Conservation District (HCD), differs and requires a number of opportunities for public consultation and engagement.
There are 13 key steps to designating multiple properties under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. These steps are:
- Contact a Heritage Planner to request designation
- Consultation with the London Advisory Committee on Heritage (LACH)
- Official Plan provisions
- Research and study area and implement Interim Control (if required)
- Evaluate cultural heritage resources and attributes
- Delineate boundary of the study area & potential HCD
- Public consultation on draft HCD plan
- Prepare HCD plan and guidelines
- Pass the designation bylaw & adoption of the HCD plan
- Register bylaw on title
- Notify of passing of bylaw to the Ontario Heritage Trust
- Propose changes to existing bylaws and Official Plan provisions
- Implement the HCD plan
Learn more about London's Heritage Conservation Districts
The Ontario Heritage Act enables municipalities within Ontario to protect properties of cultural heritage value or interest. The Register - Inventory of Heritage Resources (PDF) is a publicly accessible register of properties that are of cultural heritage value or interest. The Register includes properties that are listed (Section 27 of the Ontario Heritage Act), individually designated (under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act) and designated as part of a Heritage Conservation District (under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act).
Use CityMap to interactively explore the inventory of heritage buildings and structures in London.
The Ontario Heritage Act allows a municipality to include properties of cultural heritage value or interest that have not been designated in its Register. To include a property on the Register, Municipal Council must believe that a property has cultural heritage value or interest. Properties that are listed on the Register do not require Heritage Alteration Permit approval for alterations.
Individually heritage designated
Properties that are individually designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act met one or more of the O. Reg. 9/06: Criteria for Determining Cultural Heritage Value or Interest. Each property designated under Part IV has an associated by-law that helps to guide future alterations to the designated property by clearly identifying the heritage attributes of the property that should be protected and conserved.
Properties that are designated on the Register may require a heritage alteration permit approval for alterations. Please contact a Heritage Planner if you are thinking of altering your property.
Heritage alteration permits
A heritage alteration permit is required to change a heritage designated property. These changes could include the replacement, removal, alteration, damage or destruction of heritage attributes on the property. For Part IV designated properties, Heritage Alteration Permit approval is required if alterations are likely to affect the heritage attributes of the property. For Part V designated properties, classes of alterations requiring Heritage Alteration Permit approval are identified in the applicable Heritage Conservation District Plans.
A heritage alteration permit must be approved prior to altering the property. Applications for a heritage alteration permit may go through the Delegated Authority process if alterations have not started. Alterations that may require approval include, but not limited to, construction of additions, window or door replacement, and porch replacement.
Process to apply
- Consult with a Heritage Planner
- Complete the application form for the heritage alteration permit and provide any other necessary attachments (drawings, photographs, etc.) that will help facilitate the review of your permit application
- Heritage Planner will confirm receipt of the complete application
- Heritage Planner determines type of approval: Municipal Council Decision or Delegated Authority
- A Heritage alteration permit application may give the applicant:
- the permit applied for or consent to the application
- the permit applied for or consent to the application (with terms and conditions attached)
- notice that Municipal Council is refusing the application for the permit
Alterations that take place without heritage alteration permit approval requires consultation with the London Advisory Committee on Heritage (LACH) and decision by Municipal Council.