Heritage Conservation Toolbox

The heritage conservation toolbox is your source for information, policies and guidelines for cultural heritage resource conservation in Waterloo Region. It has been developed to support heritage property owners, municipal staff and the public in efforts to conserve cultural heritage in the region. The toolbox is a work in progress and will evolve as new resources and information become available or are developed.

Resources for heritage property owners


Practical Conservation Guides for Heritage Properties

The following resources offer conservation tips for heritage property owners:

To provide feedback on these guides, please contact Roxanna Nazarowicz at RNazarowicz@regionofwaterloo.ca    

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

 Stylistic information

Energy efficiency

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

Professional resources

Conservation incentives


Waterloo Region Heritage Foundation

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, can receive grants for the restoration of their heritage property.

REEP Green Solutions

REEP will service eligible Union Gas customers who 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 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 properties in Kitchener that are designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. Eligible projects may receive a grant to cover half the costs of projects, with a minimum cost of $500 and maximum of $3,000.

A tax refund program is available 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 a conservation easement agreement with the City of Kitchener or the Ontario Heritage Trust, or a maintenance agreement with the City.

The City of Kitchener biannually presents up to four awards 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 City's Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee (MHAC).


Policies, planning and guidelines



Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport:

Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing:

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 Region 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 and Heritage Master Plan

This report includes recommendations and 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, map 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.


Regionally Significant Heritage Resources
The Region of Waterloo has evaluated and recognized a number of regionally significant heritage resources across the region. An Implementation Guidelines for Conserving Regionally Significant Heritage Resources has been developed to help municipal staff, developers, property owners and the public better understand the policies included in the Regional Official Plan (ROP).

In the fall and winter of 2017/2018 Regional Cultural Heritage Staff are engaging and consulting with the public and stakeholders for two Cultural Heritage Implementation Guidelines:

  • The Cultural Heritage Landscape Conservation Implementation Guideline; and,
  • The Conserving Regionally Significant Cultural Heritage Resources Implementation Guideline. 

If you would like a copy of these draft documents and/or to provide comments during the review process, please contact: Roxanna Nazarowicz at RNazarowicz@regionofwaterloo.ca.

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.

Heritage organizations




Resources and links

 National initiatives

Provincial initiatives 

Local projects and initiatives


Local heritage events 


National Trust for Canada

Please note that these 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.


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