RSS IconRSS Print IconPrint Text Size Plus icon Minus icon

Heritage Designation?

The Ontario Heritage Act provides for the designation of individual properties (see Part IV of the Act) or heritage conservation districts (see Part V).

Designation recognizes properties or areas that are valued by the community for their contribution to our understanding and appreciation of the history of a place, event, or people. 

About designation

Properties are designated for reason of cultural heritage value, and must exhibit integrity of form, location, craftsmanship and materials.

Designation affords some protection against demolition and provides the community a certain level of control with respect to conserving our cultural heritage, ensuring that the property cannot be altered in any manner that would jeopardize its identified heritage features without approval.


To encourage and help raise awareness of the conservation of Caledon's heritage, all buildings designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act are marked with an oval metal plaque.

Two of Caledon's more unique heritage property designations include a dry stone wall built by early Scottish settlers and an Osage Orange roadside hedgerow.


Sometimes there may be confusion about what heritage designation does or doesn’t do.

What it does:

  • DOES help to define a community’s identity, character and sense of place.
  • DOES publicly recognize the significance and heritage value of a property, and its worthiness for on-going care.
  • DOES protect a property from unsympathetic alterations, which may decrease its historic, architectural or aesthetic value.
  • DOES make a property eligible for financial assistance with restoration and maintenance work through the Town of Caledon’s heritage grant program.
  • DOES prevent demolition without Council approval.
  • DOES apply to any real property having cultural heritage value or interest’, including houses, barns, fences, bridges, culverts, hedges, cemeteries and so on.

And there are often some myths about heritage designation.

Here’s what it DOESN’T do:

  • DOES NOT impose restrictions, special obligations, or additional expenses beyond those expected of any property owner.
  • DOES NOT preclude alterations or expansions to a building, provided that they complement its heritage attributes.
  • DOES NOT generally include interior spaces unless they are unusually significant or rare. The majority of heritage designations are restricted to exterior building or property features.
  • DOES NOT adversely affect property values.
  • DOES NOT result in higher insurance premiums, as it does not place additional requirements on the insurer.
  • DOES NOT restrict the use of a property.
  • DOES NOT obligate an owner to restore lost or damaged features of a property.·

Download the brochure: Facts and Myths of Heritage Designation (pdf)

The process

Designation involves the evaluation of a property’s architectural, historical and contextual attributes and values, following provincial criteria.

These heritage attributes are itemized in a municipal designation by-law registered on title to the property.

All designation costs are borne by the Town.

For more information

For more information on heritage in Caledon please visit the Heritage Caledon Committee or contact Douglas McGlynn, Heritage|Urban Design Planner 905.584.2272 x. 4232 or by email.