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Individual Designation

Individual Designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act

Under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, City Council may recognize and protect properties of cultural heritage value or interest through individual designation. By designating properties of cultural heritage value, City Council ensures their protection for the benefit of present and future generations. A property may be worthy for individual designation if it satisfies one or more of the following criteria established through Ontario Regulation 9/06.

Design or Physical Value
The property has design or physical value because it is a rare, unique or early example of a style, type, expression, material or construction material; displays a high degree of craftsmanship or artistic merit or demonstrates a high degree of technical or scientific achievement

Historical or Associative Value
The property has historical or associative value because it has direct associations with a theme, event, belief, person, activity or institution that is significant to the community; contributes to the understanding of the community, demonstrates the work or ideas of an architect, artist, builder, designer, of significance to the community.

Contextual Value
The building has contextual value because it is important in defining, maintaining or supporting the character of the area; is physically, functionally, visually or historically linked to its surroundings or is a landmark.

Is my property individually designated?

There are several ways you can confirm the status of your property under the Ontario Heritage Act:

  • Look up the address using geoOttawa. From the Layer List, select Planning - Heritage - Individually Designated Properties (Part IV). Individual designations are indicated with a purple triangle.
  • Send an email to heritage@ottawa.ca
  • Phone Heritage Planning at 613-580-2463 and leave us a message
  • Request a heritage confirmation letter
  • Review a title search. Most individual designations have a by-law registered on title at the local Land Registry Office.

How to request designation

Anyone can request designation of a property under the Ontario Heritage Act, and the consent of the property owner is not required to designate a property. Requests come from individuals, community associations, councillors and some designations are staff-initiated.

  1. Application Form

A completed heritage designation application is the first step in the designation process. The form requires information on the architecture, history and context of the property as well as the reason that designation is being sought. If you are unfamiliar with conducting historical research, the following guide may assist you: Tracing the History of your Ottawa Property [ PDF - 1.2 MB ]. If you require assistance in completing the form, please contact Heritage Planning for more information.

  1. Designation Process

Once a completed application has been submitted, staff in Heritage Planning will contact the applicant to acknowledge receipt of the application and provide an approximate timeline for its evaluation. If the property is deemed to merit designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, a report recommending designation will be prepared by heritage staff for consideration by the Built Heritage Sub-committee and City Council.

Not all properties will be recommended for designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act. Applications that are refused will be included in a report to the Built Heritage Sub-committee twice a year.

If Council votes to designate the property, a notice is sent to the property owner and published in a local newspaper. Anyone objecting to the proposed designation must notify the City Clerk, within 30 days of the publication of the Notice. If no objections are received, Council passes a by-law designating the property and notifies the property owner and the Ontario Heritage Trust. If an objection is received, the City will refer the matter to the Conservation Review Board (CRB), a provincially appointed board, for a hearing. The CRB will schedule a hearing, and then offer its recommendations. Although Council is not required to follow the CRB's recommendations, it will consider the CRB's report and either withdraw the notice of intention to designate, or pass a designating by-law.

For more information or to request designation, please contact:

Heritage Planning
613-580-2463
heritage@ottawa.ca