Heritage Property FAQs

Do I have a heritage property?
The older buildings of Saint John are a precious cultural and economic resource that provides a unique image for our city. Your property may have heritage value either because it associates with a historic event or person who, in the past, made a significant contribution; and/or because of its architectural design or method of construction. Although it may have heritage value, it may not be in a designated Heritage Conservation Area.
Do I have a property listed on the Canadian Registry of Historic Places?
Entering a property into the Canadian Register of Historic Places is an individual choice. This list is a formal recognition that your property has heritage value and can help qualify your project for provincial financial assistance targeted to preserving a building’s character.
Am I in a designated heritage area?
It may be that your building is older and deserves to be known as a heritage building, however, the Common Council may not have designated your building as part of a Heritage Conservation Area. The areas and buildings that are designated in Saint John are shown on these maps that form part of the Heritage Conservation Areas By-Law.
What does it mean to be in a designated heritage area?

Being in a designated Heritage Conservation Area means there are certain rules to follow. The buildings are protected by a By-Law (The Saint John Heritage Conservation Areas By-Law) to help conserve the authenticity of the buildings. The only time the By-Law comes into effect is when you want to change the outside of your home or building. If your building is in a Heritage Conservation Area, you will need to get a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Heritage Development Board and related building permits.

What is a Certificate of Appropriateness?

It is a Certificate issued by the City’s Heritage Development Board certifying that the proposed work is appropriate to the architectural character of the building, by using traditional design and materials, and is in keeping with the surrounding neighbourhood. A Building Permit would also be required with a cost related to the proposed work.

What if I want to do work on my building?
Most exterior work you undertake on a building in a Heritage Conservation Area will require a Heritage Permit (Certificate of Appropriateness).

CONTACT the Heritage Department at 658-2835 or heritage@saintjohn.ca.

What financial incentives are available for doing work on my building?

The City of Saint John has a ‘Grants for Heritage Conservation’ program. The Heritage Development Board approves grants for Conservation Plans or for the preparation of Conservation Work. See the Heritage Grants page for specific details.

What is the role/importance of the Canadian Register of Historic Places?
The register developed by federal, provincial, and territorial governments, provides on-line listings of formally recognized historic places across the country. It provides detailed information about historic places to planners, heritage professionals, policy-makers, developers, industry, community organizations, teachers and students. To be eligible for nomination into the Canadian Register of Historic Places, the building must: 1) meet the definition of a historic place; 2) be formally recognized by a federal, provincial, or local authority and 3) meet the required documentation standards.
What is the role/importance of Saint John specific designated heritage conservation areas?
Saint John has a number of specifically designated heritage conservation areas, where built heritage is protected by the ByLaw. Many historic buildings have been successfully preserved for well over one hundred years. The care and attention the City has paid to preserving and restoring its historic building stock has earned it a place of recognition amongst other great Canadian cities such as Old Quebec City and Montrèal, which are known worldwide for their character. Their tourism industries are greatly benefiting from their link to the past.