Heritage Planning is the preservation of properties that have a distinct social, cultural and/or historical value to the municipality. Heritage Planning aims to preserve and protect these sites by designating them as a valuable part of the City.

Heritage Designation

Heritage Designation is the formal recognition of a site's cultural value and historical significance within the City. Designation ensures that we preserve our history for present and future generations. The Municipal Registry details the properties currently listed and designated within the City that have historic interest or architectural value.

Which properties can be included?

Such properties include, but are not limited to:

  • Houses of significant meaning or style;
  • Commercial buildings with unique architecture or significant meaning to the community;
  • Natural landscapes and the environment;
  • Cemeteries;
  • Infrastructure (ex. Bridges and walkways)

What are the designations based upon?

The planning process is designed to designate and research properties using the advocacy of citizens. The designation of sites for protection and maintenance are based on the following:

  • A description of the property;
  • A statement of cultural heritage; and
  • A description of attributes

Reasons for designation

The Ontario Heritage Act provides recognition of the significance of a property of district and provides limited protection from demolition or alterations. Note that designation does NOT prohibit alteration to a property; it ensures that a process is followed with respect to the heritage values that exist.

Applying for heritage designation

Contact us to begin a study to find out if heritage designation applies to your property. Once Port Colborne Council reviews our study and approves, we will send you a Notice of Intention to Designate that is published in the local paper to hear any objections. In addition, the City of Port Colborne created the Heritage Port Colborne Handbook to assist local property owners with the designation process.

Making changes to a heritage property

You can apply to make change to your heritage property. You need to apply for a heritage permit as per the Ontario Heritage Act. This process allows us to assess the impacted of any proposed changes to ensure the conservation of heritage properties. Heritage Port Colborne provides advice and assistance to City staff in order to conserve out most significant heritage resources.

Heritage Port Colborne

Heritage Port Colborne is a Committee of Council that advises the public and Council on matters relating to the protection of historically and architecturally significant buildings and properties in the City.

Responsibilities of Heritage Port Colborne

The committee is responsible for, but not limited to:

  • Researching the history and architecture of a particular building or property to determine if it is worthy of designation;
  • Advising council of the circumstances of a building, property, or area;
  • Acting as a liaison between council and the owner of a building and property;
  • Advising council on all other heritage matters within the municipality; and
  • Acting as a liaison between the citizen of Port Colborne and citizens that wish to suggest new heritage sites for designation.

More information

For more information regarding the City of Port Colborne's Heritage Planning process, please contact the Planning Department.