Heritage Conservation Toolbox

Welcome to the Regional Heritage Conservation Toolbox - your source for information, policies and guidelines related to cultural heritage resource conservation in Waterloo Region.

The Regional Heritage Conservation Toolbox has been developed to support heritage property owners, municipal staff and the public in their common effort to conserve cultural heritage resources in the region. The toolbox is a work in progress and will evolve over time as new resources and information become available and/or are developed.

Heritage Conservation and Designation

The following links will provide you with information on heritage properties, heritage designations and permits.

  • Heritage Designation Resources

The Ontario Heritage Trust, an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Sport, published the following guides in their Tools for Conservation webpage:

Heritage Conservation Incentives

Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation (WRHF)

The Waterloo Regional Heritage Foundation funding program is the primary cultural heritage conservation financial support tool in the region. Owners of properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, protected by a conservation easement agreement, or a Historic Site designation, may receive grants in support of the restoration of their heritage resource.

REEP Green Solutions

REEP will be servicing eligible Union Gas customers that chose to participate in the Home Reno Rebate program. To participate in the program, a customer must own a single detached residential property built in 1994 or earlier in the Waterloo Region. Eligible individuals can participate on a first come, first serve basis, and receive a maximum rebate of $2,500 for energy efficient home renovations.

City of Kitchener

Conservation grants are available to owners of property in Kitchener, designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Eligible conservation projects may receive a grant available to cover half the costs, for projects with a minimum cost of $500 and a maximum of $3,000.

The following resource published by the City of Kitchener in FINANCIAL, Chapter 399, defines the eligibility and terms of the tax refund program for owners of property designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, individually under Part IV or within a conservation district under Part V, or a property subject to an conservation easement agreement with the City of Kitchener or the Ontario Heritage Trust, or maintenance agreement with the City.

The City of Kitchener bi-annually presents up to four awards that recognize and pay tribute to individuals, property owners, businesses, organizations and institutions that have contributed to the conservation of the city's cultural heritage resources.

City of Cambridge

The Heritage Grant Program is available to owners of property in Cambridge designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Applications to the program are reviewed by the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC).

Policies, Planning and Guidelines 


Parks Canada (2003)


Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (2007)

Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (1990)

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing (2014)

Provincially Legislated Planning and Financial Tools that can be used to conserve cultural heritage resources


Heritage policies in the Regional Official Plan

The Regional Official Plan will guide the Regional Municipality of Waterloo in directing growth and change over the next 20 years. Cultural heritage policies are included in the third chapter of this document.

Arts, Culture & Heritage Master Plan

This report includes recommendations and implementation strategies for identifying, protecting, promoting, and investing in arts, culture and heritage resources in Waterloo Region. This plan was accepted by Regional Council in October 2002.

Archaeological Master Plan

This report includes an assessment of local archaeological resources, a summary of planning policies for known archaeological resources, maps detailing the locations of known resources, and an investigation into the creation of an archaeological facility. The plan was accepted by Regional Council in 1989.

Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation

The Region of Waterloo has developed an Implementation Guideline for Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation, which provides guidance to development applicants, the Regional Heritage Planning Advisory Committee (HPAC), Municipal Heritage Advisory Committees (MHAC), and Regional and Area Municipal staff, in the conservation of significant Cultural Heritage Landscapes (CHLs) in Waterloo Region.

Scenic Roads and Special Character Streets

This document, prepared in 2011 with the support of the Heritage Planning Advisory Committee (HPAC), is a supplement to the Context Sensitive Regional Transportation Design Guidelines. It provides additional guidance and support to Regional staff when planning, designing, constructing and maintaining sections of Regional transportation corridors that have been identified as Special Character Streets or Scenic Roads.

Resources for Heritage Property Owners


Energy Efficiency

Canada's Historic Places Heritage Conservation brief (2007):

REEP Green Solutions is a local provider of home energy efficiency services and host of multiple community projects:

One of REEP Green Solutions' community projects is the REEP House for Sustainable Living located in the City of Kitchener, which provides workshops and weekly tours of the energy efficient heritage home:

Stylistic Information 

Ted Ray's inventory of architectural styles of Eastern Canada:

Building Styles and Terms of Ontario highlighted in this non-profit educational website:

Practical Conservation Guides for Heritage Properties

Conservation Tips for Heritage Property Owners

If you would like to provide feeback on the guides above, please contact Lindsay Benjamin, Cultural Heritage Planner, at

The Ontario Heritage Trust's online publication of Marc Fram's "Well-Preserved: The Ontario Heritage Foundation's manual of Principles and Practice for Architectural Conservation." Erin (Ontario): Boston Mills Press, 1998:

The Heritage Canada Foundation:

The Old House Journal Online:

The National Park Service's Technical Preservation Services:

The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB):

The Ontario Heritage Trust:

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)'s Guides for Taking Care of Your Personal Heritage:

The City of Kitchener's Guidelines & Checklist for the Installation of Solar Technology on Cultural Heritage Resources (2012):

Professional Resources

The Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP):

The Architectural Conservancy Ontario (ACO):

For further reading & research:

The Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI):

Heritage Resources Centre, University of Waterloo:

Carleton University (Ottawa, ON) School of Canadian Studies' Heritage Conservation Resource list:

Preservation Directory

Heritage Organizations




Resources & Links

National Initiatives

Provincial Initiatives

Local Projects and Initiatives

Local Heritage Events


Heritage Canada The National Trust:

PLEASE NOTE that the above resources and references are not all-inclusive and will be continually updated. The contents of this list are not recommendations or endorsements made by the Region of Waterloo. Please advise us if any external links do not work, as websites may go offline without notice.