Heritage Conservation Districts
On September 20, 2018, the Heritage Conservation Districts By-law came into force. The by-law formalizes the process for the nomination, evaluation, and designation of heritage conservation districts (HCDs) in Winnipeg. In addition, this by-law aligns with The City of Winnipeg Charter, OurWinnipeg and Complete Communities. It incorporates and reflects up-to-date best practices for heritage conservation, and ensures fairness, clarity and certainty throughout the process of reviewing and listing of potential HCDs.
These districts are a way to recognize and celebrate Winnipeg's past and are popular nationally and internationally. An area is eligible to be designated as an HCD if it has elements of special architectural and historical significance, and substantial parts of it are over 40 years old.
HCD plans are adopted by City Council as part of an HCD By-law. This will ensure that the character and look of a neighbourhood can be preserved over the long term and that neighbourhood or development is consistent with the local heritage values and policy directions.
On April 25, 2019, City Council officially designated Armstrong's Point as Winnipeg's first HCD. For more information about the Armstrong's Point process, please visit the Armstrong's Point project page.
On June 6, 2019 the City of Winnipeg's Director of Planning, Property & Development Department nominated an area within Crescentwood to be designated as a Heritage Conservation District (HCD). The process to decide whether or not this area will receive HCD designation will now begin. Property owners in the nominated area will be mailed notice with more detailed information. Area residents and the general public will have chances to participate through public engagement activities.
Learn more about heritage conservation districts
Heritage Conservation Districts:
- Conserve an area’s special and distinct heritage attributes;
- Provide design direction for growth and change;
- Enhance community identity, pride and involvement;
- Convey a sense of place;
- Leave a legacy for future generations.
Generally, the creation of a heritage conservation district does not greatly restrict a property owner’s property or land use rights, although some alterations will require heritage permits, and proposed demolitions will be subject to an enhanced review process. Property taxes do not typically increase, buildings can be freely bought and sold, and owners will enjoy the certainty established by development parameters.
- age of the neighbourhood;
- what things are unique;
- how it is historically significant;
- how clearly the neighbourhood area is defined; and
- the level of interest and capacity for involvement by property owners.
Nomination: To become an HCD, a district must first be nominated. Nomination can be initiated by the Director of Planning, Property & Development (referred to as the designated employee [DE]), or by a property owner from within the proposed HCD. If initiated by a property owner, the DE will make a decision within 90 days as to whether the nomination is rejected or accepted. The applicant will be informed in writing of this decision. If a nomination is rejected, the decision may be appealed by the applicant, subject to a fee.
HCD Study: If a proposed HCD is successfully nominated, the applicant, in consultation with City staff, must prepare and submit an HCD study to demonstrate how the proposed district meets the eligibility criteria and warrants designation. Once prepared, the HCD study will be reviewed by the City's Historical Buildings and Resources Committee (HBRC) within 180 days. After reading the study, the HBRC will provide recommendations to the Standing Policy Committee on Property and Development, Heritage and Downtown Development (SPC-PDHDD) regarding whether or not an HCD plan should be prepared. When making its decision, the SPC-PDHDD will consider recommendations from the HBRC and the DE along with letters from property owners.
HCD Plan: City staff will oversee preparation of the HCD plan and ensure it contains required information as per the by-law. Each plan may vary and address different items as identified by property owners through consultation on the proposed HCD. The plan will help manage the HCD and contain all information on objectives, guidelines, policies, and restrictions on development. After considering the plan, the HBRC will provide recommendations to SPC-PDHDD, Executive Policy Committee (EPC), and City Council. City Council will make the final decision about whether or not to officially designate the area as an HCD. If designated, the HCD plan will be adopted by City Council as part of an HCD by-law.
At each of the stages of the decision making process (nomination, HCD study, HCD plan), property owners in the proposed area will be notified before SPC-PDHDD meetings
Submitting letters of support or opposition: All property owners in the affected area will be notified at three stages of the decision making process - after a district is nominated, after the HCD study is prepared, and after the HCD plan is prepared. At each of these stages, property owners will be notified and be able to submit letters of support or opposition by mail or email.
Participate in public consultations: Once an HCD is nominated, the applicant will undertake public consultations.
Attend public meetings in delegation: A delegation is someone who wishes to address SPC-PD, EPC and City Council with respect to the matter on the agenda for that meeting. If you wish to appear in delegation, you must contact the City Clerk's Department by 4:30 p.m. the day before the meeting. To seek permission, please contact City Clerk's by email email@example.com, or contact 311.