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Current Projects

Heritage Inventory Project

Heritage Inventory Project

Preserving our city's built heritage is a priority for the City of Ottawa. To better manage our built heritage resources, the City has initiated the Heritage Inventory Project (HIP). This project involves a city wide survey and evaluation of all built structures in order to determine which resources contribute to the city's cultural heritage.

Important outcomes of the project include an updated Heritage Register and a digital map-based inventory of Ottawa's heritage structures.

The project involves:

  • Analyzing architectural style, construction materials, and integrity of buildings in neighbourhoods throughout the city
  • Consulting with community associations, councillors, historians and residents
  • Conducting archival research, identifying historical resources and reviewing historical information submitted by residents
  • Using GIS technology to locate and identify buildings and other resources of cultural heritage value in all City communities and assessing their contribution to the historic fabric of each neighbourhood.
  • Evaluating Heritage Value [ PDF 75 KB ]
  • Adding properties to the Heritage Register as non-designated listings

Listing on the Heritage Register

The City of Ottawa intends to add properties to its Heritage Register as non-designated listings.

Section 27 of the Ontario Heritage Act permits municipalities to list properties of cultural heritage value or interest on its Heritage Register. Section 27 requires owners of properties listed on the Heritage Register to provide the City with 60 days’ notice of intent to demolish or remove a building or structure. This allows the City enough time to decide whether to allow the 60 days to expire or to begin the designation process to give long-term protection to the property. There are no restrictions on alterations to properties listed under Section 27 of the Ontario Heritage Act.

For more information, see Changes to listed heritage properties


The Heritage Inventory Project began in 2016 as a City Council initiative. Additions to the Heritage Register for Lowertown, Sandy Hill, Old Ottawa East and Old Ottawa South were approved by Council in 2017. Over 2300 additions to the Heritage Register across Ottawa were approved by Council in June 2019.

A report recommending the addition of 500+ properties to the Heritage Register as non-designated listings will be presented to the Built Heritage Sub-Committee:

Tuesday, November 12, 2019
9:30 am
Champlain Room, City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1

Members of the public have the opportunity to speak and/or provide written comments on the report at the Built Heritage Sub-Committee meeting.

In response to the spring 2019 floods, properties in wards 1, 5, 7 and 19 were removed from the June 2019 report and will be included in the November report to the Built Heritage Sub-Committee. 

The November report is the fourth and final report resulting from the Heritage Inventory Project. This report updates the Heritage Register in all remaining areas of Ottawa, completing the project and achieving Strategic Initiative 44: 2015-2018 Term of Council Priorities.

Public meetings

Heritage Services staff offered the following information sessions:

Shenkman Arts Centre
Monday October 7, 2019

Foster Farm Community Centre
Wednesday October 9, 2019

Heritage Services staff also offered drop-in hours at the following Client Service Centre:

West Carleton Client Service Centre
Wednesday October 16, 2019

Where can you find out more?

Additions to the Heritage Register

The following map contains information about properties added to the Heritage Register as a result of the Heritage Inventory Project:

Phase II - Clemow Estate Heritage Conservation District Study

Learn More

Centretown Heritage Study


Centretown is a mostly residential neighbourhood developed mainly between 1890 and 1914. The neighbourhood was built to provide housing within walking distance of Parliament Hill and nearby government offices for the expanding civil service. Centretown is one of the oldest residential neighbourhoods in Ottawa and has strong historical ties to Ottawa’s role as the national capital.

Today, Centretown’s built form continues to be mainly low-density residential but uses vary. There is a rich fabric of historic buildings throughout the neighbourhood both within the existing Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD) and beyond. Over the past 20 years, Centretown has experienced significant redevelopment as the neighbourhood is desirable for its central location, amenities and character.

Centretown includes two existing Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD): the Centretown HCD (designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act in 1997) and the Minto Park HCD (designated in 1988). 

Study area

​​The study area [PDF 376 KB] includes the core of Centretown’s historic residential neighbourhood, which is bounded by Gloucester Street in the north, Catherine Street in the south, the Rideau Canal in the east and Bronson Street in the west. The study area includes the existing Centretown and Minto Park HCDs. 

Study overview

Why is the City undertaking the Centretown Heritage Study?

Council directed the Centretown Heritage Study through the Centretown Community Design Plan and Secondary Plan, which it approved in 2013. Section 3.7 of the Centretown Secondary Plan contains the following directions:

The City shall undertake the development of a Heritage District Plan according to the requirements of the Ontario Heritage Act. The updated study shall consider:

  • The diversity of buildings within the existing CHCD [Centretown Heritage Conservation District] and the objective of this Plan to accommodate population growth and new, contemporary buildings within the CHCD and shall develop appropriate infill guidelines;
  • More comprehensive descriptions and guidelines for individual buildings and streetscapes; [Amendments #117 and #125, OMB Order File #PL130619, September 30, 2016]
  • Architectural guidelines for new buildings, and additions to existing buildings;
  • Modifications to the current boundaries of the CHCD as deemed appropriate by the study findings.  

The City shall pursue appropriate designations of undesignated heritage buildings and areas within Centretown that currently are outside the Centretown Heritage Conservation District. 

In addition to the direction provided in the Centretown Secondary Plan, the Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department has been working to update all existing HCDs to meet the current requirements of the Ontario Heritage Act

In 2005, the Ontario Heritage Act was revised to require a Heritage Conservation District Plan for all new HCDs. In addition, the Act allows municipalities to adopt HCD Plans for districts designated prior to 2005. The City of Ottawa has been working to adopt HCD Plans for all districts designated before 2005. The Centretown Heritage Study will fulfill this priority for two of the City’s pre-2005 HCDs.

What are the goals of the project?

The goals of the Centretown Heritage Study are to:

  1. Undertake a comprehensive review of heritage resources in Centretown,
  2. Update the existing Centretown and Minto Park Heritage Conservation Districts and
  3. Determine if additional areas or individual properties merit designation under the Ontario Heritage Act

What are the key deliverables for the project?

  • Comprehensive heritage inventory for the study area
  • HCD Plan for the existing Centretown and Minto Park HCDs
  • Potential new HCD designations
  • Potential new Part IV designations

What does the project mean for you?

Owner of a property within the Centretown or Minto Park HCD

The existing designation of your property is not expected to change. The City will be preparing two new Heritage Conservation District Plans that will describe the heritage values and attributes of each district and will include policies and guidelines to manage future change within them.

You will be notified when the draft plans are ready for comment, which is likely to be in early fall 2019.

Owner of a property outside of the Centretown and Minto Park HCDs

The Centretown Heritage Study includes a comprehensive heritage inventory of the entire study area. The inventory will identify if there are additional areas or individual properties that may merit designation under the Ontario Heritage Act. The results of the heritage inventory are expected to be finalized in early fall 2019.

Owner of an individually designation property in the study area

The designation status of your property is not expected to change. You will be notified if your property is added to a new HCD and will have the opportunity to comment.

What are the timelines for the project?

A detailed Heritage Inventory for the study area is currently underway. The project is expected to be completed in 2020.

Contact Information

Lesley Collins, Heritage Planner II
Heritage and Urban Design Branch
Planning, Infrastructure and Economic Development Department
(613)-580-2424 ext. 21586