Heritage Sites, Properties and Districts

Waterloo Region is committed to conserving its architectural and cultural heritage. Our historic properties and neighbourhoods are inheritances that give us a sense of place, community and personal identity. They also help define our regional identity and enhance our community's quality of life. 

 Find heritage properties in your municipality

 Waterloo Region Public Building Inventory

The Region of Waterloo's Heritage Planning Advisory Committee (HPAC) has inventoried all purpose-built public buildings in Waterloo Region constructed before 1951 and compiled them into a two-part Public Building Inventory. Over 200 structures have been recorded, including:

  • Post offices

  • Hospitals
  • City halls
  • Farmers' markets
  • Armouries
  • Police and fire stations
  • Court houses
  • Jails
  • Water pumping stations
  • Railway stations
  • Arenas
  • 104 education-related buildings

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. The inventory will be a useful tool for researchers, municipal staff, heritage committees and interested individuals.

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 all or part of a community as a Heritage Conservation District. This protects and enhances groups of properties or neighbourhoods that give an area special character. The Ontario Heritage Act 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 a 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

 Check out Heritage Properties and Property Values: Is there an effect? by Robert Shipley.

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 is available in two parts: Pages 1-100 and Pages 101-244.

Phase 2: Reports on the 10 most historically significant bridges

Phase 3: Focuses on steel truss bridges

Historic Countryside Tours

First published in 2006, this package of four Historic Countryside Tours has been updated and redesigned to include a variety of new historic and scenic attractions along routes in North Dumfries, Woolwich, Wilmot and Wellesley Townships.

The tours are a great resource for cyclists, hikers, day-trippers, heritage enthusiasts, local residents and visitors to the region. They take about two to three hours to drive and include stops at heritage buildings, bridges, landmarks, parks, scenic roads, trails and more.

Tour 1: Township of North Dumfries

Tour 2: Township of Woolwich

Tour 3: Township of Wilmot

Tour 4: Township of Wellesley

Package of four tours

Online tour map for desktop

Online tour map for mobile

Online tour map for tablet

Free tour packages are available at the Region's Administrative Headquarters, 150 Frederick St., Kitchener. They are also available at City and Township offices, libraries, museums, tourist centres, theatres, farmers' markets, historic restaurants, hotels and B&Bs.

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