The Ontario Heritage Act provides legislation to protect Ontario's Heritage Resources.  Heritage Planning Staff, as well as Heritage Whitby Advisory Committee, promote heritage conservation through the documentation and protection of heritage sites and the implementation of policies to help guide change to these properties and areas.

Our cultural heritage is what makes us unique. Cultural heritage resources can take many different forms including:

  • buildings and structures;
  • streetscapes, landscapes and heritage conservation districts;
  • cemeteries and archaeological sites; and
  • documents, photographs and artifact collections.

Heritage Properties

The Town is required to create and maintain the Heritage Register in accordance with the Ontario Heritage Act (OHA).  The Town's Register contains:

  • Listed Property - Information Sheet
  • Individually Designated Property (Part IV) - Information Sheet
  • Designated as part of a Heritage Conservation District (Part V) - Information Sheet

Municipal Heritage Register

Requesting Removal of a Non-Designated Property

The Town has experienced an increase in requests to remove properties from the municipal heritage register ('the register').  The Ontario Heritage Act, (OHA) R.S.O. 1990 c.O18 as amended, provides the legal basis for protecting heritage properties.  While a framework to designate the properties and remove the designation on a heritage property is clearly set out in the Act, a similar framework is lacking for listing/de-listing a property.

In order to ensure a consistent approach is undertaken, the Town, in consultation with the Heritage Whitby Advisory Committee, established a document to provide a formal process to manage requests to remove properties from the register.

Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program

To assist private property owners in the on-going maintenance, conservation and restoration of our history, the Town offers a property tax rebate for eligible heritage properties. 

Heritage Conservation Districts

Heritage Conservation Districts are designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act for the purpose of preserving heritage resources and managing change within characteristic neighbourhoods throughout the Town. The character of Heritage Conservation Districts is all encompassing, not defined by individual properties, but rather a collection of historical context, architecture, streetscapes, landscapes, mature vegetation, and other physical and visual features. Heritage Conservation Districts are not limited in size and can consist of residential, commercial, or institutional buildings or any combination of these uses and buildings.

Under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities are able to designate areas as Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD), and adopt Plans for the preservation of heritage resources and management of development within the HCD.

 Brooklin Heritage Conservation District

Under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities are able to designate certain areas as Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD), and adopt Plans for preservation of heritage resources and management of development within the HCD. The Brooklin Heritage Conservation was established in 2008.

One of the initial steps of this study was to evaluate the existing properties within the district and rank them according to their heritage significance.  The Inventory sheets are used in determining the importance conserving the structure(s) in the District and are also used in determining if a property qualifies for the Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program.

Inventory Sheets for Brooklin HCD (organized by street name)

 Werden's Plan Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District

Under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act, municipalities are able to designate certain areas as Heritage Conservation Districts (HCD), and adopt Plans for preservation of heritage resources and management of development within the HCD. The Werden’s Plan Neighbourhood Heritage Conservation District Plan came into full force and effect in 2019, making it the second Heritage Conservation District within the Town. The district contains 250 properties and boasts the greatest number of historic residential streetscapes in Downtown Whitby. Each of the properties within the district were individually evaluated and given one of four classifications: ‘Historic’, ‘Complementary (Exemplary)’, ‘Complementary (Unusual)’, and ‘Uncharacteristic’. Properties classified as ‘Historic’ or ‘Complementary (Exemplary)’ are eligible for the Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program

The Werden’s Plan was developed through a collaborative process with input from residents, the community, advisory committees and staff. The process resulted in the development of policies and guidelines that reflect both neighbourhood input and larger community goals. The Werden’s Plan aims to preserve the neighbourhood’s small-town historic character while acting as a framework for managing physical change within the neighbourhood. 

 Archaeological Resources

The Region of Durham is responsible for the identification, evaluation, and protection of archaeological sites as part of the development review process.

The Heritage Whitby Advisory Committee takes an active role in promoting local archaeological resources and developing an overall awareness in the community about their importance.

View the Town's Archaeology Resources Fact Sheet to find out more.

View the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport's Website to find out more.

Heritage Permit Application

A heritage permit is required to make changes to properties designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.  Properties that are listed (not designated) in the Heritage Register do not require a heritage permit.  To determine if your property is designated or listed, see the Town's Heritage Register.

Heritage Planning Staff should be contacted initially to discuss your project and the process.

Heritage permit applications are reviewed and approved by Heritage Planning Staff when they meet heritage guidelines and requirements.  Larger and more complex applications are also reviewed by Heritage Whitby Advisory Committee at monthly meetings.

Preparing a Heritage Impact Assessment

Heritage Building Specialist Reference Guide

The Town has provided a guide of heritage building consultants and specialists to assist owners of heritage properties find professionals with relevant heritage work experience and products. The list is not all inclusive, nor is it intended to be construed as an endorsement by the Town of Whitby. It is highly recommended that property owners undertake rigorous due diligence and reference checking.

Additional Resources

Heritage Whitby Advisory Committee

Overview of the committee, its members and meeting information.  Access more information here.

Role of the Committee

The mandate of the Heritage Whitby Advisory Committee is to advise Council on identifying, conserving and promoting heritage resources in our community.

The committee reviews and makes recommendations to Council on matters under the Ontario Heritage Act. The committee also promotes public awareness of Whitby's cultural heritage and conducts research into cultural heritage resource matters that support the work plan of the Sustainability, Heritage, Downtowns and Community Development Division.

Committee Members

  • Councillor Deidre Newman (Mayor's Designate)
  • Stacey Kursikowski (Staff Liaison)
  • Lynda Armstrong nee Cormack
  • Laura Bisset
  • Margaret Clayton
  • Lynn Collins (Vice-Chair)
  • Deanna Hollister
  • Kathrine Hull (Chair)
  • Karey Anne Large
  • Rick McDonnell
  • Mark McGowan
  • Paul Rolland
  • Terry Standish
  • Brian Winter (Honourary Member)

Meeting Dates, Agendas and Minutes

Whitby Heritage Matters Newsletter

Heritage and Community

Self-Guided Walking Tours

  • Downtown Brooklin - Located in Downtown Brooklin showcases a diverse selection of traditional architecture styles from mid-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries
  • Four Corners Neighbourhood - The commercial heart of Downtown Whitby
  • Port Whitby Neighbourhood - An overview of one of the communities that formed the original Town of Whitby in 1855
  • Perry's Plan Neighbourhood - Located in Downtown Whitby containing many diverse residential buildings and highlighting All-Saints Anglican Church dating from 1865 to 1866
  • Werden's Plan Neighbourhood - Located in Downtown Whitby and provides an overview of this residential area with its important civic buildings including centennial Building

Community Groups

Heritage and Sustainability

Whitby Archives


Additional Resources

  • Heritage Designation and Property Values: Is there an Effect? (R. Shipley, 2000)
  • Measuring the Economics of Preservation: Recent Findings (Place Economics, 2011)
  • The Lazarus Effect: An Exploration of the Economics of Heritage Development in Ontario (Heritage Resource Centre and Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, 2006)
  • Economic Benefits of Heritage Conservation (Saskatoon Tourism, Parks, Culture and Sport)
  • List of Statewide Preservation Economic Studies (Advisory Council for Historic Preservation)
  • An assessment of the effects of conservation areas on value, Final Report, May 2012. (Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt, Nancy Holman & Nicole Wendland, London School of Economics and Political Science, commissioned by English Heritage)
  • Economics of Uniqueness, 2012 (World Bank)
  • Economics and Historic Preservation: A Guide and Review of the Literature (Randall Mason, Metropolitan Policy Porgram - The Brookings Institution)
  • Summary of Heritage District Economic Impact Analysis, Prince Edward County HCD
  • Heritage Districts Work Summary, Waterloo Resource Centre and Architectural Conservation Ontario, 2009

Heritage Conservation District Studies

Werden's Plan

Brooklin Plan