Municipal Heritage Register Review

Old stone church


Council has directed that an ad hoc working group be established to assist Town staff and the heritage consultant in obtaining any necessary background information and historical/local context as part of the Town’s review and update of the Municipal Heritage Register.

Additional information related to the ad hoc working group, including a recruitment notice, terms of reference and application form, can be found below under the Public Engagement header. The recruitment posting for ad hoc working group members closes on Friday, June 14, 2024.


The Ontario Heritage Act gives municipalities the authority to create and maintain a municipal heritage register that is to be accessible to the public on the municipality’s website. The register includes a list of all properties that have been Designated, and those that have been Listed. Listed properties are properties that are not Designated, but are believed to be of cultural heritage value or interest.  

In accordance with the recent changes to the Ontario Heritage Act brought about by Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, the Town is currently reviewing and updating its heritage register. Specifically, the changes now impose time limits that require Council to make a decision on and complete the heritage designation process for any properties currently Listed (but not Designated) on the heritage register by Jan. 1, 2025.

The review will include conducting background research, performing evaluations of Listed properties against Ontario Regulation 9/06 criteria, presenting recommendations to Council, and ultimately supporting the heritage designation of Listed properties for protection, or alternatively recommending their removal from the Register. The review will ultimately result in the creation of a new, updated municipal heritage register. 

See the project initiation notice for further details.

Public engagement

Town contact

To ask questions and/or provide input, contact:

Tolek Makarewicz, Senior Policy Planner
Cellular: 905-955-9423 | 905-476-4301, ext. 2297

To be put on a project mailing list to receive email updates and notifications, contact:

Anna Geniole, Planning Clerk
905-476-4301, ext. 2250


The consultant retained to complete the review is Giaimo + Associates Architects Inc., a consulting firm specializing in architecture and heritage preservation.

Ad hoc working group

Council has directed that an ad hoc working group be established to assist Town staff and the heritage consultant in obtaining any necessary background information and historical/local context as part of the Town’s review and update of the Municipal Heritage Register.

Recruitment Notice for Ad Hoc Working Group
Ad Hoc Working Group Application Form
Ad Hoc Working Group Terms of Reference


A survey and public information session will be facilitated to gather input and feedback from the public and key stakeholders. Updates related to these initiatives will be posted on this webpage once available.



In accordance with Bill 23, the More Homes Built Faster Act, the province has imposed a deadline of Jan. 1, 2025, on municipalities to complete this review and have a new Heritage Register approved by Council.

Important links



Municipal Heritage Register

Council Reports

Frequently asked questions

What is a Municipal Heritage Register?

A heritage register includes a list of properties within a municipality that have been identified as having potential cultural heritage significance (Listed properties), and those which have been confirmed to have cultural heritage value or interest and are protected through a designation bylaw (Designated properties).

What does it mean to be a Designated property?

A Designated property is recognized by the Town and the province as a property of cultural heritage significance. Designation gives special legal status through the enactment of a designation bylaw under Sections IV and V of the Ontario Heritage Act to protect the property's heritage attributes and its cultural heritage significance over time. Designation bylaw is registered on title of the subject property.

What is the difference between a Listed and Designated property?

Listed (but not Designated) properties:

  • Identified as containing some heritage significance.
  • A Heritage Assessment has not been completed.
  • Demolitions are subject to a 60-day notice to Council.

Designated properties:

  • A Heritage Assessment has been completed.
  • Cultural heritage value and interest has been determined and is identified in a designation bylaw registered on title.
  • Alteration, additions and demolitions are subject to Council approval.

What type of properties can be Designated?

Properties can be designated to protect the following:

  • Buildings and structures (e.g. houses and commercial buildings).
  • Archaeological sites and ruins.
  • Cultural heritage landscapes (e.g. parks and open space, gardens and natural landscapes).
  • Cemeteries, monuments and infrastructure (e.g. bridges and walkways).

Correcting myths about heritage designation

A heritage designation does not:

  • Restrict the use of a property (under zoning).
  • Prevent the redevelopment or alteration of a property.
  • Generally include interior spaces, unless they are significant or rare.
  • Impose restrictions, special obligations or additional expenses beyond those expected of a property owner.
  • Restrict the choice of paint colours or the introduction of modern home elements.
  • Require an owner to restore lost or damaged heritage features of a property.
  • Does not permit public access to the property.

A heritage designation does:

  • Provide clarity on the cultural importance of a given property, serving as a formal public recognition that a property has heritage value and is desirable to be protected.
  • Give a property special legal status that is designed to protect cultural heritage resources located on the property.
  • Require the owner to obtain approval from Council for any exterior alterations or additions. Interior alterations can be made without approval unless they impact an identified heritage attribute (this is rare).
  • May require the owner to receive approval from Council for the demolition or removal of a building or structure on a designated property.

Contact Us

26557 Civic Centre Rd,
Keswick, ON  L4P 3G1

T: 905-476-4301 / 705-437-2210
F: 905-476-8100

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.