Heritage Protection

Markham uses a number of mechanisms to protect its local heritage resources:

Heritage Staff

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

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 (see "Property Designation" below) as well as entire areas known as Heritage conservation districts (see "Heritage Districts" below).

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 (See below) 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 (see "Heritage Policies" below) 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.

Development Approvals

All development applications and permits impacting identified heritage resources and properties in heritage districts are subject to a modified approval process (See"Development Approvals" below) to ensure heritage attributes are protected.

Demolition Control

Council also can now deny a demolition request (See "Demolition Control" below) affecting a designated property and delay a request to demolish a non-designated or “listed property”.

Commercial Signage

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.

Property Evaluation

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 (see "Heritage Easements" below) 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.

Heritage Policy

A variety of municipal and provincial policies ( See "Heritage Policies" below) 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