Heritage listing or designation recognizes a property’s cultural value and historical significance. Heritage properties add value, character, and identity to the Town of Milton.

This is why acting and designating your heritage property is good stewardship and crucial for long-term conservation.

Please contact us if you feel your property has buildings or structures with heritage value. We’ll determine their heritage significance and if they should be included on the Heritage Register.

What is the difference between a listed and designated heritage property?

Listed (but not designated) properties

  • Contain some heritage significance
  • A Heritage Impact assessment has not been completed
  • Subject to a 60-day notice to Council if demolition is contemplated
  • Sympathetic alteration and additions permitted

Designated properties

  • Cultural heritage value and interest are identified in a designation by-law
  • Heritage Impact Assessment has been completed
  • Alteration and additions are subject to a heritage permit application

Changes affecting listed heritage properties

The provincial government has made changes to the Ontario Heritage Act through the More Homes Built Faster Act, 2022.

Starting January 2025, the Town of Milton Heritage Register shall only contain designated (not listed) heritage properties. As a result, over 900 listed properties will be removed from the register, and risk losing heritage protection.

If your property is one of Milton’s listed but not designated heritage properties, we encourage you to consider the benefits of voluntary designation.

How to designate

Follow the steps below to start the designation process.

Step 1

Contact our planning department to begin a scope heritage impact assessment to determine if heritage designation applies to your property.

To do so, please complete and submit the voluntary heritage designation form online. This form can also be printed and mailed to the attention of the Heritage Planner, 150 Mary Street, Milton, ON, L9T 6Z5.

Upon a staff recommendation, Milton’s Council will review the property for approval to designate.

Step 2

If approved, you will receive a notice of intention to designate. The notice will be published in the local newspaper to give the public an opportunity to object.

Step 3

After Council approves, following the Designation By-Law, a notice of designation will be sent to you and the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Designation notices

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Correcting myths about heritage designation

It is important to note that heritage designation does not:

  • Impact the use of a property
  • Prevent the redevelopment of a property, such as alterations, additions or expansion to a building, provided these complement the heritage attributes
  • Generally include interior spaces, unless they are significant or rare.
  • Impose restrictions, special obligations, or additional expenses beyond those expected of a property owner
  • Restrict the choice of paint colour for a property
  • Adversely affect property values but instead in many cases increases the value.
  • Result in higher insurance premiums, as it does not place additional requirements on the insurer.
  • Require an owner to restore lost or damaged heritage features of a property as a result of a fire

Town Council prefers to designate properties with the support of the property owner. However, Council will use its discretion to designate a property without the owner’s consent, and in certain cases, the Ontario government may also designate a property if deemed provincially significant.

How Milton determines cultural heritage value or interest

Heritage properties are evaluated using a set of provincially regulated criteria that measure historical, design and contextual heritage value.

Design or physical value

  • Rare, unique, representative or early example of a style, type, expression, material or construction method
  • High degrees of craftsmanship or artistic merit
  • High degree of technical or scientific achievement

Historical value

  • Direct associations with a theme, event, belief, person, activity, organization or institution that is significant to a community
  • Potential to yield, information that contributes to an understanding of a community or culture

Contextual value

  • Defining, maintaining or supporting the character of an area
  • Physically, functionally, visually or historically linked to its surroundings
  • Landmark

Heritage guidelines and policies

Our review process protects heritage properties from any inappropriate changes. As part of our review of applications, we refer to the guidelines and policies included in: