Markham uses the following policies and legislation to protect our heritage resources:

Heritage Conservation District Plans (See "Heritage Districts")

Markham Official Plan – Heritage Policies

Markham incorporates heritage conservation into land use planning through the Markham Official Plan. This document reflects the community’s vision for change and growth, and sets out goals and objectives for land use and development. The heritage policies in the official plan provide direction for the protection of Markham’s cultural heritage resources.

Official Plan Extract: Heritage Policy [PDF]

Ontario Heritage Act

The Ontario Heritage Act Legislation is available through the Ministry of Culture website.

The Act provides the policy framework for the protection of heritage properties, including archaeological sites.  It defines the municipal and provincial roles in heritage conservation, including the role of two provincial agencies: the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Conservation Review Board.

Relevant sections of the Act include:

  • Section 24 Conservation Review Board
  • Section 27 Register of Culture Heritage Properties
  • Section 28 Municipal Heritage Committees
  • Section 29 Individual Designation – Part IV
  • Section 33 Alteration of Individually Designated Property
  • Section 37 Heritage Easements
  • Section 40, 41, 41.1 Heritage Conservation Districts – Part V- Studies
  • Section 42 Heritage Conservation Districts – Part V- Alteration, Demolition
  • Section 47 Archaeological Resources – Part VI
  • Section 69 Prosecutions

Conservation Principles - Ministry of Culture [PDF]

Markham strives to implement the policy of the Ministry of Culture for heritage properties. The guiding principles for the conservation of built heritage properties and are based on international charters which have been established over the century. These principles provide the basis for all decisions concerning good practice in heritage conservation around the world.

Ontario Planning Act and Provincial Policy Statement

Markham understands that good land use planning includes the use of the Planning Act to help protect and conserve our local heritage resources.  Markham ensures that our cultural heritage resources are given proper consideration in the planning process.  We achieve this objective by:

  • Maintaining an inventory of heritage resources in the form of the Register of Property of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest
  • Making decisions that are consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement [PDF] (Cultural Heritage and Archaeology)
  • Incorporating heritage policies in the Markham Official Plan and secondary plans for specific areas. Official Plan Extract: Heritage Policy.
  • Ensuring that all development applications affecting heritage resources are reviewed by Heritage Markham and/or Heritage Section staff.
  • Using the Site Plan Control (See "Development Approvals") provisions of the Act for all properties within our heritage conservation districts.
  • Requiring archaeological assessments for all plans of subdivision and major redevelopment sites.
  • Incorporating heritage resources into new plans of subdivision through conditions of approval and Subdivision Agreements

The Planning Act requires that decisions affecting planning matters that commenced on or after March 1, 2005 “shall be consistent with” the Provincial Policy Statement.

Section 2.6 of the Provincial Policy Statement [PDF] identifies the conservation of built heritage, cultural heritage landscapes and archaeological resources as provincial priorities for land use planning. When considering alterations to properties of cultural heritage value or interest, Markham is generally guided by the following policies and principles:

Federal Government

Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada

Developed collaboratively by federal, provincial, territorial and local governments, the above document provides sound and practical guidance to those involved in the conservation process.

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