A heritage permit may be required to undertake changes to properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. Properties included on the Heritage Register but are not designated do not require a Heritage Permit.
There are different requirements for properties that are individually designated (known as Part IV properties) and for properties within a Heritage Conservation District (known as Part V properties). To find out if your property is a Part IV or Part V property or if it is listed on the Heritage Register, see the City’s Heritage Register Map or the Heritage Register Tool.
Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act
Recent changes to the Ontario Heritage Act have not impacted the application process for properties within Heritage Conservation Districts.
If you propose to alter or demolish a building or structure on a property within a Heritage Conservation District submit your drawings, specifications and details through Toronto Building. Heritage Planning will review your application through this process. If your proposal does not also require a Building Permit or you want further advice please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act
Permission may be required for work that involves altering, demolishing/removing or erecting a building or structure on properties that are designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
To find out whether or not your proposal requires a Heritage Permit please contact Heritage Planning staff at email@example.com.
Changes to the Ontario Heritage Act that came into force in 2021 require that specific information must be included as part of any application for alterations, demolition or removal that affects properties that are designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
Heritage Permit applications are submitted by email and permission must be obtained before starting work.
Heritage attributes are detailed in the designation by-law for the property.
An alteration means that a change is being proposed to the property that is likely to affect one or more of the property’s heritage attribute as described in the designation by-law (S.33).
The demolition or removal of a heritage attribute means the complete removal of one or more of the attributes described in the designation by-law (S.34(1)1).
The demolition or removal of any building or structure on the property whether or not its demolition or removal would affect the property’s heritage attributes as set out in the designation (S.34(1)2).
The City requires an application form and detailed documentation with your application(s) to ensure that:
Photographs that depict the existing buildings, structures and heritage attributes that are affected by the application and their condition and context.
The photographs should:
A site plan or sketch that illustrates the location of the proposed alteration, demolition or removal.
Location Plan should:
The drawings and written specifications for the proposed alteration, demolition or removal.
The drawings and written specifications should include:
The description of the property that is the subject of the application, including such information as the concession and lot numbers, reference plan and part numbers, and street names and numbers.
The description should include:
All scanned documents should meet the following requirements:
You do not have to meet or discuss your proposal with Heritage Planning staff before submitting a Heritage Permit application. However, consultation with staff before drafting or submitting your application may simplify the application process.
After receiving your application the City will review the documentation provided to determine if all submission requirements have been fulfilled. If they have been fulfilled the application is deemed complete.
The City has the statutory authority to require information, studies and plans for a complete application submission beyond the minimum requirements of the Ontario Heritage Act.
The City will issue a Notification of Completeness/Notice of Receipt when all of the required submission information as required by the Ontario Heritage Act and Chapter 103 of the City’s Municipal Code have been received. If additional information is required you will be advised in writing.
You are encouraged to submit all outstanding information and material as one comprehensive package.
Once deemed complete the Heritage Planner assigned to your application(s) will review your application to determine how the heritage values and attributes of the designated property are being affected by your proposal. The Parks Canada Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada, relevant guidelines that have been adopted by City Council, guidelines from the Ontario Minister of Culture and the Government of Canada as well as any relevant Heritage Conservation District Plan will be taken into account in this review.
If you have not agreed to extend the Statutory Time Period in accordance with S.33(7)1, S.34(4.3)1 and/or S.42(4) of the Ontario Heritage Act the opportunities to submit revised/additional material to support your application are limited.
In order to comply with this Statutory Time Period Heritage Planning staff will make their recommendations with respect to your application on the basis of the original complete application submission material. Revised/additional material is unlikely to be considered.
If you would like an opportunity to submit revised/additional materials following discussions with Heritage Planning staff it is therefore strongly recommended that you agree to extend the Statutory Time Period in accordance with S.33(7)1, S.34(4.3)1 and/or S.42(4) of the Ontario Heritage Act.
If you agreed to extend the Statutory Time Period Heritage Planning staff will provide you with comments on your initial submission. You may be asked to revise your proposal and/or provide additional information and material. Where possible staff will work with you in an effort to ensure that your project meets the applicable policy framework and the relevant Municipal Code requirements to enable it to be approved at the staff level without requiring a Council process.
Please Note: You should include a covering letter with all resubmissions that clearly indicates how and where your proposal has been revised and, if appropriate, why any requested revisions were not made.
The public is not involved in the submission and staff review of Heritage Permit Applications. Heritage Planning staff may consult the relevant Heritage Conservation District Residents Committee if your proposal is within a Heritage Conservation District. Heritage Permit applications requiring Council approval become public when the staff report on the application is published on the Toronto Preservation Board meeting agenda.
City Council has delegated to the Chief Planner and Executive Director authority to make some decisions under S.33(15), S.34(15 and S.42(16) of the Ontario Heritage Act. This delegated authority means that the decision to approve some Heritage Permits can be made by staff and will not be brought to the Toronto Preservation Board, Community Council and City Council.
Delegated decisions generally relate to proposals that are considered to be compatible with:
The Ontario Heritage Act requires that decisions under S.33, S.34 and S.42 of the Act are made within 90 days of the date that the Notice of Complete Application has been served on the applicant. If the applicant has not agreed to extend this period, and Council has not made a decision in this time, the permit is deemed approved.
In order to meet the 90 day time limit, opportunities to submit revised/additional material to support your application are limited if you have not agreed to extend this Statutory Time Period. As a result, if the Statutory Time Period has not been extended, Heritage Planning staff are likely to make their recommendations about your application solely on the basis of the original complete application submission material.