Markham uses a number of mechanisms to protect its local heritage resources:
Need help with your heritage property? Heritage Section staff of Markham’s Development Services Commission co-ordinates and implements the City’s heritage conservation program.
Heritage Markham is Council’s volunteer-based, advisory committee on heritage properties. The committee provides recommendations on designation, alteration and demolition of heritage resources. Find out more about Heritage Markham’s mandate, responsibilities, members and meetings as well as how you can participate.
Property Designation (Individual and Districts)
Markham uses the Ontario Heritage Act to designate individual properties as well as entire areas known as heritage conservation districts.
Markham has four heritage districts (Thornhill, Markham Village, Unionville and Buttonville). Designation offers protection against inappropriate alterations and demolition and guides all new development affecting heritage properties and areas.
Using the design guidelines and policies in the heritage conservation district plans, design review of new development applications ensures compatibility with the heritage character of the area.
To protect heritage properties, Markham is guided and informed by a number of heritage conservation policies and standards including those developed at the municipal, provincial and federal level.
Areas under consideration for future designation are known as Heritage District Study Areas.
All development applications and permits impacting identified heritage resources and properties in heritage districts are subject to a modified approval process to ensure heritage attributes are protected.
Council also can now deny a demolition request affecting a designated property and delay a request to demolish a non-designated or “listed property”.
Markham’s heritage districts are also identified as Special Sign Districts in the City’s Sign By-law to ensure appropriate heritage friendly signage on both public and private property.
All individual properties being consideration for designation are evaluated using the City’s Evaluation of Heritage Resources process.
Heritage Easement Agreements
Properties can also be protected using a heritage easement agreement which provides even greater protection of heritage properties than designation.
Canada’s first heritage subdivision
Markham has created a unique heritage conservation tool known as Markham Heritage Estates. This is a subdivision of last resort for threatened heritage dwellings which cannot be retained on their original sites. This project has garnered national attention.
A variety of municipal and provincial policies are used to protect our heritage resources, including:
- The Markham Official Plan – Heritage policies;
- The Ontario Heritage Act;
- The Planning Act and its associated Provincial Policy Statement