Frequently Asked Questions about the Evaluation of Potential Heritage Properties in Downtown Halifax

On May 14th, 2019, Halifax Regional Council initiated a process to evaluate 61 historic buildings in downtown Halifax for their potential inclusion in the Registry of Heritage Properties.  Owners of these properties have been notified by mail that their property is being evaluated for potential heritage registration. 

Why was my property identified as being a potential heritage building?
In 2009, municipal staff reviewed all buildings in Downtown Halifax for their heritage value based on their age and architectural merit. These properties were mapped and included in the Downtown Halifax Secondary Municipal Planning Strategy. For these properties to be considered for registration, staff will undertake further research.

When will Regional Council hold a heritage hearing to consider the registration of my property?
The Heritage Advisory Committee and municipal heritage staff will review and evaluate 61 properties in Downtown Halifax for consideration as registered heritage properties. This process will be divided into three reports which will consider approximately 20 properties each. The first report is expected to be presented to the Heritage Advisory Committee in the fall of 2019 and the two other reports are expected before the end of 2020. 

I have plans to develop or alter my property, but it is being considered for heritage registration. What does this mean?
Each identified property will be scored out of a possible 100 points based on a list of council-approved criteria. Any properties that score over 50 points through the evaluation process will be forwarded to Halifax Regional Council for a heritage hearing and decision. Property owner(s) will be notified by mail if their property receives a high enough score to move onto the heritage hearing stage. Property owners will then have an opportunity to address Regional Council before a decision is made by Regional Council to register your property pursuant to the Heritage Property Act.

Unless a property is evaluated by the Heritage Advisory Committee (HAC) and awarded a score of over 50%, there is no effect on the property’s development potential.

What funds or grants are available for registered heritage properties?
The Halifax Regional Municipality offers property owners two funding programs to help with the cost of maintaining municipally registered heritage properties. You can apply for funding through both the Heritage Incentives Program and the Community Grants Program. For more information, visit heritage grants.