Heritage conservation in Guelph

Cultural heritage resources are the roots of the community and include built heritage resources, cultural heritage landscapes and archaeological resources. Cultural heritage resources paint the history of the city and provide identity and character while instilling pride and contributing to economic prosperity.

The Province provides direction for the protection of significant cultural heritage resources in the Provincial Policy Statement (2014). Section 4.8 of Guelph’s Official Plan outlines objectives and policies for heritage conservation within the city.

Significant cultural heritage resources within the city may be designated or listed on the Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Properties  (known as the heritage register).

Key terms

Built heritage resource

One or more significant buildings, structures, landscapes, monuments, installations or visible remains associated with architectural, cultural, social, political, economic or military history and has been identified as being important to a community. These resources may be identified through designation or heritage conservation easements under the Ontario Heritage Act, or listed by local, provincial or federal jurisdictions. (Source: City of Guelph Official Plan)


The identification, protection, management and use of built heritage resources, cultural heritage landscapes and archaeological resources in a manner that ensures their cultural heritage value or interest is retained under the Ontario Heritage Act. This may be achieved by the implementation of recommendations set out in a conservation plan, archaeological assessment, or heritage impact assessment. Mitigative measures or alternative development approaches can be included in these plans and assessments. (Source: Provincial Policy Statement 2014)

Cultural heritage landscape (CHL)

A defined geographical area of heritage significance which has been modified by human activities and is valued by the community. It may involve a grouping(s) of individual heritage features such as structures, spaces, archaeological sites and natural elements, which together form a significant type of heritage form, distinctive from that of its constituent elements or parts. Examples may include, but are not limited to; heritage conservation districts designated under the Ontario Heritage Act, parks, gardens, neighbourhoods, townscapes, farmscapes, battlefields, main streets, cemeteries, trail ways and industrial complexes of cultural heritage value or interest. (Sources: City of Guelph Official Plan; Provincial Policy Statement 2014; Ontario Heritage Toolkit)

Cultural heritage resource

An archaeological resource, built heritage resource or cultural heritage landscape resource.

Designated property

Property designated under Part IV or Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Heritage attributes

Heritage attributes mean, in relation to real property, and to the buildings and structures on the real property, the attributes that contribute to their cultural heritage value or interest. (Source: Ontario Heritage Act)

Listed property

Property listed as non-designated on the Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Properties.


The action or process of protecting, maintaining, and/or stabilizing the existing materials, form, and integrity of a historic place or of an individual component, while protecting its heritage value. (Source: Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada)

Protected heritage property

Property designated under Parts IV, V or VI of the Ontario Heritage Act; property subject to a heritage conservation easement under Parts II or IV of the Ontario Heritage Act; property identified by the Province and prescribed public bodies as provincial heritage property under the Standards and Guidelines for Conservation of Provincial Heritage Properties; property protected under federal legislation, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. (Source: Provincial Policy Statement 2014)


Significant means, in regard to cultural heritage and archaeology, resources that have been determined to have cultural heritage value or interest for the important contribution they make to our understanding of the history of a place, an event, or a people. (Source: Provincial Policy Statement 2014)

For more information

Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2496
[email protected]