Heritage Conservation Area

A Heritage Conservation Area is a group of related, historically significant properties identified for conservation purposes.

Heritage Conservation Areas (HCA) are identified in the City’s Official Community Plan, 2012 through a City bylaw. Unlike individually designated properties on the heritage register, properties in a Heritage Conservation Area are significant as a group. An HCA designation enables the City to manage change within the designated area to ensure that new construction is appropriate and that the valued aspects of a neighbourhood preserved.  The City of Victoria currently has 14 heritage conservation areas, including Old Town, which contains 195 individually significant heritage properties.

An HCA establishes a set of conservation objectives and guidelines for achieving the designation  objectives. New construction, land subdivision and major alterations to existing buildings require a heritage alteration permit, which City Staff would review against the objectives and guidelines to ensure that the change was appropriate.  An HCA does not prohibit the demolition or construction of new buildings. The HCA permit process is also not intended to discourage homeowners from upgrading their properties and many improvements may not be regulated. When an owner proposes to start construction of a building, alter a building, structure or land or alter a feature that is protected under the bylaw, the work will require a heritage alteration permit.  The City is also able to specify exemptions from the permit requirements.

The Local Government Act requires that the City hold a public hearing prior to the adoption of the HCA bylaw and that affected owners be notified at least 10 days in advance.

Citizen Nominations

Citizens are encouraged to identify and nominate potential new residential heritage conservation areas in their community. Using the nomination form, residents may undertake some preliminary research into their neighbourhood to develop a rationale for the City’s consideration. Staff will work with you on further research and consultation with your neighbours. In studying new Heritage Conservation Areas, the City will also engage neighbours to assess public support towards the idea, which will inform Council’s consideration of the Heritage Conservation Area.

Current Heritage Conservation Areas Nominations in Progress

The City of Victoria is seeking input on the proposed changes to designate a portion of Lewis Street as a Heritage Conservation Area. Please see the Draft Lewis Street Heritage Conservation Area Guidelines below for more information on the proposed Heritage Conservation Area. If you have any questions or would like to provide written comments, please email Laura Saretsky, Heritage Planner, at lsaretsky@victoria.ca.

Draft Lewis Street Heritage Conservation Area Guidelines  [PDF - 1 MB]

Draft Lewis Street HCA - OCP Amendment Bylaw [PDF - 847 KB]

Heritage Conservation Area Guidelines

Existing Heritage Conservation Areas 

Heritage conservation areas are identified under Appendix A of the Official Community Plan and shown on Map 32. Victoria currently has 13 HCA’s, including five traditional residential areas comprised of single detached homes.