Get updates on changes to City services and closures.

View COVID-19 info and support

Heritage legal protection

Municipal heritage designation (legal protection) under the provincial Historical Resources Act:

  • Prevents a historic resource from being demolished and requires Heritage Planning approval for alterations to historic elements
  • Does not affect the ability to sell or purchase property 
  • Does not affect activities in a building or on the property 
  • Allows the owner to retain all rights to the individual enjoyment of their property 

To learn more about the designation process, incentives and grants in Calgary please read our summary document. Below you will find more detailed information about the Municipal Heritage Resource designation process.

Council approved designation (legal protection) process

The legal process to designate a site as a Municipal Historic Resource is governed by the Alberta Historical Resources Act, R.S.A. 2000 c. H-9 (the Act) and requires Council to pass a designation Bylaw.

In general, the process requires close collaboration and cooperation between the property owner and The City.

Step 1 – Determine if the property merits designation as a Municipal Historic Resource.

Any property listed on the Inventory of Evaluated Historic Resources may be designated as a Municipal Historic Resource. If a property is not listed on the Inventory, it must be evaluated by Heritage Calgary to determine if it meets the Inventory's criteria and eventual designation as a Municipal Historic Resource.

Step 2 – Request for Designation

Heritage Planning only proceeds to designate heritage resources with the consent of the property owner, who must submit a written request to designate the property.

Step 3 – As part of this collaborative designation process, The City issues a “Notice of Intention to Designate” to the property owner and notifies Council.

The historic resource is temporarily designated for 120 days after the “Notice of Intention to Designate” is issued and Council is required to wait 60 days per the Historical Resources Act to pass the designation Bylaw.

Step 4 – The City prepares all required paperwork including the proposed Bylaw and confirms the Bylaw content with the property owner.

Step 5 –Council passes the Bylaw to designate the property as a Municipal Historic Resource.

Step 6 – The City registers the Bylaw on the Land Title in question as required by the Historic Resources Act.

Designation by other levels of government

  • Federal designation The Federal designation process is overseen by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. This constitutes formal recognition, but does not protect the site from alteration or demolition.
  • Provincial designation In Alberta, the Provincial Designation is administered by Albe​rta Culture and Tourism.
​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​