Heritage Conservation Districts
On September 20, 2018, the Heritage Conservation Districts By-law came into force. The bylaw formalizes the process for the nomination, evaluation, and designation of heritage conservation districts (HCDs) in Winnipeg. 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.
HCDs are a way to recognize and celebrate Winnipeg's past. 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.
Once an area is determined to be eligible, an HCD plan is developed. HCD plans are adopted by 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 development is consistent with the local heritage values and policy directions.
In accordance with the HCD plan, any alterations to the character-defining elements of the district require a heritage permit. HCD plans also regulate demolitions and set design guidelines for new infill buildings, as well as alterations to character-defining elements including buildings and streetscapes. These plans do not regulate land use or density (e.g. converting a property to a duplex), as these aspects are addressed through regular zoning processes.
Designated heritage conservation districts
Armstrong's Point - nominated October 3, 2018; designated April 25, 2019
- Armstrong's Point HCD Study
- Armstrong's Point HCD Plan
- Information about the Armstrong's Point designation process.
Nominated heritage conservation districts
Crescentwood - nominated June 6, 2019
Learn more about heritage conservation districts
Heritage Conservation Districts:
- Conserve an area's special architectural and historical significance;
- Provide design direction for growth and change;
- Enhance community identity, pride and involvement;
- Convey a sense of place;
- Leave a legacy for future generations.
In addition, a Historic Property Notice (caveat) will be filed on the title of the building with the Winnipeg Land Titles Office of the Property Registry, pursuant to Section 157.1(3) of the City of Winnipeg Charter, to notify owners and potential purchasers that the property is within an HCD, and must comply with the Heritage Conservation Districts By-law No. 87/2018.
Generally, the creation of a heritage conservation district will require heritage permits for certain alterations, 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.
- Its importance in illustrating or interpreting the history of the city or a neighbourhood;
- Its association with important individuals, groups, or events;
- Its illustration of the architectural or design history of the city;
- Its embodiment of distinct or unusual spatial organizations, circulation systems, land use and patterns, ecological or vegetative features, architectural or design characteristics, or particular styles or methods of construction;
- Its location in an area of historical or architectural interest; and
- Its historical or architectural integrity.
Nomination: To become an HCD, a district must first be nominated. Nomination can be initiated by the Director of Planning, Property & Development, or by a property owner from within the proposed HCD. If initiated by a property owner, the Director 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 reviewing 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 Director along with letters from property owners.
HCD Plan: City staff will oversee preparation of the HCD plan. 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 will contain information required by the HCD By-law, including the objectives of designation, design guidelines, policies, and restrictions on development. After reviewing 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 and online participation opportunities: Once an HCD is nominated, the applicant will undertake public consultations. Property owners will be invited to these meetings and will be notified of online participation opportunities. If an area is designated, a project website will be created where property owners and other Winnipeg residents can access area-specific information and sign up to receive email updates. 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 make a request, please contact City Clerk's by email firstname.lastname@example.org, or contact 311.