Waterloo Region has a rich and diverse heritage, including distinctive cultures, traditions, natural features and archeological resources. Our festivals, artisans, landmarks and structures help define our community. Preserving the heritage of Waterloo Region is an important means of confirming a regional identity, enhancing our quality of life, supporting social development and promoting economic prosperity.
There are many ways to learn more about our heritage:
The Region of Waterloo's responsibility to conserve our cultural heritage is shared with the Federal and Provincial governments. Area municipalities, other government agencies, the private sector, property owners and the community as a whole also play an important role.
Historic Countryside Tours
The Region of Waterloo is excited to launch the newly revised package of four Historic Countryside Tours. First published in 2006, the tours have been updated and redesigned to include a variety of new historic and scenic attractions along routes in the Townships of North Dumfries, Woolwich, Wilmot and Wellesley.
The tours are a great resource for cyclists, hikers, day trippers, heritage enthusiasts, local residents and visitors to the Region. They take approximately two to three hours to drive and include stops at heritage buildings, bridges, landmarks, parks, scenic roads, trails, and more. They are available in four separate accessible maps:
Or as a condensed high-resolution package of four maps.
The complimentary online mapping application available on the Region's website has also been updated with improved functionality. The tours are now customizable and available for both handheld and tablet devices.
The tour packages are available for free and can be picked up at: the Region's Administrative Headquarters, City and Township offices, libraries, museums, as well as tourist centres, theatres, farmers' markets, and historic restaurants, hotels and B&Bs.
Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation
The Region of Waterloo is developing an Implementation Guideline for Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation. A Cultural Heritage Landscape (CHL) is defined in the Provincial Policy Statement (2005) as a geographical area of heritage significance which has been modified by human activities and is valued by a community. It involves a grouping of individual heritage features such as structures, spaces, archaeological sites and natural elements, which together form a significant type of heritage form, distinctive from that of its constituent elements or parts. Examples may include, but are not limited to Heritage Conservation Districts, villages, parks, gardens, battlefields, main streets and neighbourhoods, cemeteries, trails and industrial complexes of cultural heritage value.
On October 30, 2013, Region Council endorsed an Implementation Guideline for Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation as outlined in Report P-13-103. For more information, contact Kate Hagerman, Cultural Heritage Specialist at email@example.com.
West Montrose Covered Bridge
A Public Information Centre for the West Montrose Covered Bridge was held in February 2013 to present information and gather community input on the various options and cost implications of limiting access, increasing load restrictions, improving fire protection and ongoing maintenance for the bridge.
Please feel free to review the public meeting package below and submit your comments using the links below.
You can also submit your comments by mail or email to:
Waterloo Region Museum
10 Huron Rd.,
Kitchener, ON N2P 2R7
For more detailed information visit the West Montrose Covered Bridge information page.
Heritage Impact Assessment Workshop
A Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) is a study that determines how cultural heritage resources will be impacted by a proposed development or infrastructure project and how the cultural heritage resource will be conserved.
In November 2012, the Region of Waterloo, in partnership with local Area Municipalities, hosted a workshop on Heritage Impact Assessments. To review the materials presented at the HIA workshop please click on the links below:
HIA Overview (Thomas Wicks, Ontario Heritage Trust) HIA requirements for the Cities of Kitchener, Cambridge and Waterloo and the Region of Waterloo.
Summary Notes from the Panel Discussion.