Heritage Sites, Properties & Districts

Waterloo Region is committed to the conservation of its architectural and cultural heritage. Cultural heritage resources are inheritances that give residents a sense of place, community and personal identity. These resources provide an important means of defining a regional identity and enhancing our community's quality of life. They support social development and promote economic prosperity.

Find Heritage Properties in your Municipality

Waterloo Region Public Building Inventory

Public Building Inventory document coverThe Region of Waterloo's Heritage Planning Advisory Committee (HPAC) has inventoried all purpose-built public buildings in Waterloo Region constructed pre-1951 and compiled them into a two-part Public Building Inventory. Over 200 structures have been recorded, including post offices, hospitals, town and city halls, farmers' markets, armouries, police and fire stations, court houses, jails, water pumping stations, railway and trolley stations, arenas, swimming pools, parks, auditoriums, and 104 education-related buildings, such as one-room school houses. 

These structures have played a central role in the growth and development of our local communities over the past two centuries. The goal of the inventory is to increase awareness of these structures to support future heritage conservation efforts. It is hoped that the inventory will be a useful tool for researchers, municipal staff, heritage committees and interested individuals.

The inventory can be downloaded in two parts:

Part 1: Public Building Inventory
Part 2: Public Building Inventory - Educational Buildings

Heritage Designation Resources

Applying for Heritage Designations and Permits

The Ontario Heritage Act enables municipalities to designate the whole or any part of a community as a Heritage Conservation District to protect and enhance groups of properties or neighbourhoods that collectively give an area special character. The OHA was amended in 2005 to allow properties of cultural heritage value or interest to be added to the municipal register of listed properties. Please visit your city or township's website for further information on applying for heritage listing, designation and permits.

City of Cambridge

City of Kitchener

City of Waterloo

Township of North Dumfries

Township of Wellesley

Township of Wilmot

Township of Woolwich

Heritage Properties and Property Values

Shipley, Robert. "Heritage Properties and Property Values: Is there an Effect?" in The International Journal of Heritage Studies. Vol. 6, No. 1. (2000).

Spanning the Generations: A Study of Old Bridges in Waterloo Region

The Region's Heritage Planning Advisory Committee (HPAC) has published three phases of Spanning the Generations: A Study of Old Bridges in Waterloo Region.

Phase 1: an inventory and ranking of more than 100 bridges based on their heritage attributes

Pages 1-100

Pages 101-244

Phase 2: a report on the 10 most historically significant bridges
Phase 3: a focus on steel truss bridges (take from existing Toolbox webpage

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:

Township of North Dumfries - Tour 1
Township of Woolwich - Tour 2
Township of Wilmot - Tour 3
Township of Wellesley - Tour 4
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.