Heritage Toronto raises awareness of Toronto’s architectural, archaeological, natural and cultural heritage by delivering volunteer-led walks, bus and educational programs throughout the city, installing heritage plaques and markers to commemorate buildings and events, and producing the annual Heritage Toronto Awards event.

Budget Notes

Heritage Toronto’s mandate is to enhance the understanding and appreciation of Toronto’s past and present among residents and visitors through education, commemoration and celebration of the city’s diverse people, places and events.

View the Heritage Toronto Program Map in greater detail.

2018 Budget Summary

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $0.880 million gross and $0.383 million net.

The 2018 Operating Budget is $0.152 million gross and $0.125 net, exceeding the 2017 net budget by 41.7%. Of this increase, $0.085 million is required to repair and maintain heritage plaques and salary and benefit adjustments based on a compensation review.  One-time funding of $0.035 million net is included to redevelop the Heritage Toronto website and the heritage report card.

Fast Facts

  • 8,000 members of the public participated in Heritage Toronto initiatives.
  • Programs were operated in 28 wards.
  • 39 Historical plaques placed and 13 public unveiling ceremonies.
  • Sold 80 Century Home plaques to Toronto residents, the second highest amount sold.
  • Delivered over 60 Walking Tours and 4 Bus Tours.


  • 98% of surveyed public users rated programs as Excellent.
  • Increasing public service demands for information and increased media demands (120+ print/broadcast interviews in 2017).
  • Private donations on Walking Tours continue to trend upwards (65% revenue growth from 2016).
  • Increasing social media outreach engagement
  • Declining corporate sponsorship – two of three core sponsors ended funding in 2017.

Key Service Deliverables from 2018

Heritage Toronto continues to work on increasing awareness about the importance of the City of Toronto’s shared heritage and cultural assets among the general population and visitors.

The 2018 Operating Budget will support the following objectives:

  • Execute over 60 Walking tours, in partnership with 22 community organizations, and initiate four new tours targeted to diverse communities and environmental heritage.
  • Research and produce 40 new historical plaques, 90 Century House Plaques and replace/repair an additional 10 plaques requiring State of Good Repair.
  • Replace presenting sponsors for Heritage Toronto Awards and Historical Plaques.
  • Redesign the Heritage Toronto website.

Our Key Issues and Priority Actions

  • Maintaining Historical Plaques requires ongoing funding for state of good repair as part of Heritage Toronto mandate to manage, maintain and repair the existing plaques.
  • Establish a replacement schedule across all wards with a plan to replace 20 priority Toronto Historical Board plaques over the first two years with increased funding included in the 2018 Operating Budget.
  • Reviving Non-Municipal Revenue Streams through philanthropic growth and support to maintain and strengthen heritage programs to meet public expectations when other revenue streams have become stagnant.
  • To establish this program, a position will be repurposed.
  • Service and Program Delivery is significantly hampered by a lack of technology, the outdated software and IT infrastructure. Website redevelopment into a dynamic, content-driven online presence will:
    • Increase transparency and customer service levels for the Toronto public.
    • Increase revenue through online sales.
    • Enable cross-platform functionality, especially mobile-friendly design.

2018 Operating Budget Highlights

  • The 2018 Operating Budget for Heritage Toronto is $0.946 million gross and $0.423 million net representing an increase of 41.7% from the 2017 Approved Net Operating Budget.
  • The 2018 Operating Budget includes $0.085 million to reduce high employee turnover and to support the function of heritage plaque maintenance and repairs.
  • There is also one-time funding of $0.035 million for the redevelopment of the website and the heritage report card.
  • Staff complement will increase by 0.5 from 2017 to 2018 to support plaque maintenance and web development.