Heritage Conservation Districts & Studies
Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs) are a planning tool that enable the City to manage change within places that represent Toronto’s rich social, cultural and architectural history—places that contribute to the livability and appeal of Toronto as a multicultural, sustainable and equitable city. HCDs provide place-based policies that conserve and enhance historic neighbourhoods, while pointing to opportunities for contextually appropriate growth and change.
In addition to identifying and designating HCDs, City Planning is undertaking a number of planning studies that include heritage components, such as cultural heritage resource assessments (CHRAs), which provide an opportunity to identify heritage resources and inform the development of area-specific policies and guidelines.
The nomination, study and planning of HCDs is guided by the City Council-adopted document “Heritage Conservation Districts in Toronto: Procedures, Policies and Terms of Reference“. HCDs are designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act and protected through municipal by-laws.
|Heritage Conservation District||Description||Year Designated|
|Blythwood Road||Blythwood Road is an area of shared character dating back to the early establishment of the street (first named Victoria Avenue) as a right-of-way over property originally owned by Jessie Ketchum in 1860. As such, Blythwood Road has a longer range of periods of construction and greater variety of architectural styles than adjacent streets, with a more individualistic range of expression.||2005|
|Cabbagetown (North, Northwest, Metcalfe , South)||Cabbagetown is recognized as one of the most vibrant residential neighbourhoods in Toronto. The “Victorian” character of the District is visible in the relatively unchanged streetscapes, many surviving examples of row housing and single family residences displaying late nineteenth century architectural styles and an integrity of form.||2002 – 2008|
|Draper Street||Draper Street is a cohesive row of second empire semi-detached workers cottages built between 1881-1889 located within the downtown core. The street has retained its residential character in spite of the surrounding area’s transition to industrial and manufacturing uses in the late 19th and 20th centuries, and has a high-degree of integrity. A copy of the HCD Plan is available upon request.||1999|
|East Annex||The East Annex was the first large-scale residential neighbourhood to be studied in Toronto as a potential heritage conservation district. The character of the area is one of incremental change where the major periods of development, primarily from the 1870s to the first decade of the twentieth century, are amply represented. A copy of the HCD Plan is available upon request.||1994|
|Fort York||Fort York was the first heritage conservation district designated in Toronto. The Heritage Conservation District includes the grounds of Historic Fort York and a portion of the remaining undeveloped Garrison Common to the west of the Fort. A copy of the HCD Plan is available upon request.||1985|
|Harbord Village (Phase 1, Phase 2)||Harbord Village is a primarily residential neighbourhood where the majority of houses date from the late 19th century. The area contains representative examples of workers housing constructed by a small number of speculative developers, defined by a fine grain lot pattern and a relative completeness of row housing in a variety of styles.||2005 / 2011|
|Kingswood Road South||Kingswood Road South is part of the Balmy Beach neighbourhood, a former seasonal resort community on the shores of Lake Ontario. Its geographic location along the lakefront contributes to a defined sense of place as one of only a few Toronto neighbourhoods that remains connected to its waterfront. Early 20th-century architecture and mature streetscapes preserve a strong relationship with the history of Balmy Beach and the evolution of the area into a streetcar suburb of Toronto.||2010|
|Lyall Avenue||Lyall Avenue is well known to local residents as an avenue of special character. This tree-lined street with well kept turn-of-the-20th century architecture and a balanced streetscape preserves a strong connection with the historical development of East Toronto.||2006|
|Queen Street West||Queen Street West is defined by the historic nature of its buildings, its vibrant street life, and its diverse retail and commercial environment. It provides an important transition from the financial district and the core of downtown Toronto to the residential neighbourhoods to the west. Queen Street West is unique in its combination of historic architecture, pedestrian oriented retail, and appeal to local residents, other Torontonians and tourists alike.||2007|
|Riverdale||Riverdale contains some of the earliest properties on the east side of the Don River, and reflects a period of development which stretched from the mid-1880s to the First World War. The houses are a mixture of Bay-n-Gable, Second Empire Row houses and examples of modest Edwardian Four Squares.||2008|
|Rosedale (South, North)||Rosedale was developed as an early picturesque suburb of Toronto, with varied architectural styles representative of upper class housing from the 1880s to 1930s. The District was home to some of Toronto’s most prominent citizens who commissioned houses from the city’s leading architects of their time. Its curvilinear streets, mature tree canopy, park-like lots and variety of historic styles contribute to a defined sense of place within close proximity to the downtown core.||2002 / 2004|
|Union Station||Union Station occupies a central position in Toronto’s urban landscape. Located between the Financial District, Entertainment District, the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and the post-industrial waterfront, the Union Station district is an significant cultural landscape that has historically and continues to serve as a link between divergent urban conditions and as a hub for transportation and commerce.||2006|
|Weston Phase 1||Weston includes portions of the former Town of Weston and is located on the banks of the Humber River. It includes buildings that were constructed as early as the 1850’s, with the majority built in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries.||2006|
|Wychwood Park||Wychwood Park is a residential community of approximately sixty homes, laid out according to a plan registered in 1891. Largely built between 1905 and 1917, many of the predominantly Arts-and-Crafts style houses are of considerable architectural and associative significance due to their occupants and designers. The architecture, combined with the park-like ambience as a whole, contribute to a unique sense of place.||1985|
|Yorkville – Hazelton||The Village of Yorkville, incorporated in 1853, was historically the closest town to the City of Toronto, and later an early working class suburb of the growing city, attracting labourers, shopkeepers and professionals as well. The result is a mix of 19th century housing types, built close together and sharing a similar relationship with the street. By the 1960’s Yorkville was the heart of one of Toronto’s finest and most creative arts communities. Today, the original houses along Hazelton Avenue and associated streets provide a link to the cosmopolitan neighbourhood’s past.||2002|
The following list of HCDs have been designated by City Council and are currently under appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board.
|Heritage Conservation District||Description||Year Designated||OMB Case Number|
|Garden District||The Garden District is characterized as a neighbourhood book-ended by two public parks in Toronto’s downtown east side: Allan Gardens to the north and Moss Park to the south. the District primary contains representative examples of late 19th and early 20th century houses.||2017||MM170028|
|Historic Yonge Street (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)||The section of Yonge Street between College Street and Bloor Street has a dynamic history as one of Toronto’s premier main streets, occupied by independent businesses, government services, professional and fraternal organizations and cultural venues defined by late 19th and early 20th century commercial main street buildings.||2016||MM150018|
|King-Spadina (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)||King-Spadina is valued for its collection of 19th and 20th century residential and commercial warehouse buildings, historic parks and a distinctive network of laneways associated with several periods of Toronto’s historical and economic development.||2017||MM170097|
|St. Lawrence Neighbourhood (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)||The St. Lawrence Neighbourhood is a dynamic mixed-use area that encompasses the original 10 blocks of the Town of York, significant cultural institutions and a dynamic historic context that reflects the evolution of Toronto from it’s initial period of European settlement to the mid-20th century.||2015||MM160020|
|West Annex Phase 1: Madison Avenue (Part 1, Part 2)||Madison Avenue is located within the West Annex neighbourhood, and contains a significant collection of residential houses that were designed in the prevailing architectural styles of the early 20th century by renowned Toronto architects.||2015||MM160011|
City Planning is currently undertaking a number of Heritage Conservation District studies. You can learn more about each one of the active HCD studies by click the neighbourhood name below.