Heritage alterations

The Ontario Heritage Act requires a permit to make alterations that may change heritage features. Contact us if you are unsure whether you need a heritage permit.

The Municipal Heritage Register (PDF) details all protected properties, designated features, and non-designated properties of cultural value or interest.

The Region of Waterloo conservation guide and Ontario Heritage Tool Kit are practical guides that can assist property owners.

On this page

  1. MacGregor Albert Heritage Conservation District
  2. Heritage permit application process
  3. Heritage impact assessment
  4. Façade improvement grant
  5. Contact heritage staff

MacGregor Albert Heritage Conservation District (HCD)

The MacGregor Albert Heritage Conservation District Plan (PDF) outlines the policies and guidelines to manage change in the neighbourhood. The following information applies to this area specifically.

Activities that require compliance and permits in HCD

Activity Zoning Compliance Demolition Permit Building Permit Site Plan Review* Heritage Permit
Demolition of building X X     X
Removal of building to different local site, or another site  X  X  X  X  X
Removal of front porch, verandah, porch stoop, enclosed porch or balcony  X  X  X    X
Structural intervention that affects external appearance of building  X    X
Addition to existing building: new room, increase in floor space, attached garage or carport, porch, verandah, porch stoop, enclosed porch, balcony or deck, or dormer window.  X  
Erection of new building or detached garage  
Laying out new driveway or parking space  
Re-pointing masonry, cleaning masonry of paint or grime, painting unpainted masonry, repainting masonry      X    X
Installation of new wall material to replace or cover existing wall material on any building facade visible from the street      X    X
Alteration to doors, windows, and their surrounds, or cutting new door or window openings on any building facade visible from the street  X    X    X
Alterations to roof shape, pitch, roofline or chimney design on any existing building  X    X    X
Removal or addition or architectural detail such as brackets, bargeboard, eaves, returns, finials, etc.      X    X

Heritage permit application process

  1. Review heritage permit guidelines (PDF) and contact heritage staff to discuss the proposed work and to confirm whether it requires a permit. See contact info below.
  2. If you need a heritage permit, complete a heritage permit application form (PDF) and collect all supporting materials mentioned in part 6 of the form, as applicable.
  3. Submit the form to heritage@waterloo.ca or in person at the IPPW counter on the second floor of city hall. There is no fee for the Heritage Permit Application.
  4. Heritage staff and the Chair of the Municipal Heritage Committee often approve minor and compliant alterations (as defined in bylaw 2023-068) within 5 to 10 business days of submission.
  5. The Municipal Heritage Committee will review all other alterations. The application is due 2 weeks before the committee meeting, which takes place on the fourth Thursday of every month at noon. We recommend the applicant or their agent/contractor attend the meeting to answer any questions.
  6. If heritage staff or the committee does not recommend approval, Council will make a decision on the application. The applicant may appeal the decision to the Ontario Land Tribunal within 30 days of receiving Council's decision.

Heritage impact assessment

A development application or site alteration permit application may need a heritage impact assessment if it includes:

A qualified heritage conservation professional will prepare the heritage impact assessment. The assessment will identify conservation options that are in line with the city's Official Plan. City staff may scope the terms of reference (PDF). As of July 1 2023, there is a fee associated with reviewing a heritage impact assessment:

Heritage impact assessment - scoped $500
Heritage impact assessment - full $1,000

Façade improvement grant

Designated heritage properties in the uptown area or MacGregor Albert Heritage Conservation District may qualify for the façade improvement grant program. Eligible projects must involve preserving or restoring exterior heritage features.

Visit the Community Improvement Plan page for more information.

Contact heritage staff

If you have questions about a heritage permit or heritage matters in general, contact us at heritage@waterloo.ca, 519-747-8546 or TTY (for deaf) 1-866-786-3941.