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Municipal Heritage Property Designation


The conservation of historic places through the preservation, rehabilitation or restoration of a property’s character defining elements produces many social, economic and environmental benefits including:

  • Creation of a source of pride and community identity;
  • Enhanced community attractiveness and livability;
  • Increased property values and marketing potential; and,
  • Reduced energy, waste and resource consumption.

Municipal Heritage Property Designation provides formal, public recognition and legal protection of historic places.  Under the Heritage Property Act, designated properties are provided protection in the form of a City of Saskatoon (City) bylaw that is registered against the title of the property, and continues to apply with ownership changes. The bylaw guides conservation by identifying the key character defining elements that must be maintained in order to retain the property’s heritage value. These elements may include physical attributes of a building such as windows, doors, exterior cladding materials, chimneys, porches, or other architectural features, but may also be expanded to include the property’s broader setting, such as its landscape features.

Once a property is designated, it is protected from demolition or unsympathetic alterations.

To encourage conservation of historic places, the City may offer incentives for Designated Heritage Properties under the Heritage Conservation Program.

Incentives for eligible conservation work:

Tax and Grant Incentives

  • Property tax abatement up to 50% of the costs where a proposed conservation project generates an increase in the existing property taxes. (Up to a maximum of $150,000).
  • A Grant up to 50% of the costs where a proposed conservation project does not generate an increase in the existing property taxes or in the case of tax-exempt properties. (Up to a maximum of $150,000 for taxable properties and $75,000 for tax exempt properties).
  • Maintenance Grants up to 50% of an eligible project. (Up to a maximum of $2,500).

Permit Refunds

  • Refund of 50% of any building and development permit fees related to eligible project costs. 

Non-Financial Incentives and Support 

Non-Financial Incentives enable the owner of a Municipal Heritage Property and the City to work together to ensure the unique needs and characteristics of the heritage property itself are addressed. The City will negotiate an appropriate "bundle" of non-financial incentives and support services for each individual property. This may include working to develop alternative solutions to address building code requirements, providing streetscaping elements which enhance the heritage structure, or rezoning by agreement for adaptive reuse of the property.

Requirements to Protect Designated Properties

  • The owner is required to maintain the property and must have civic approval to alter the heritage elements of the property. This protection is in the form of a bylaw, which is registered against the title of the property and continues to apply when ownership changes. 
  • The abatement or grant may be suspended or revoked if the property owner does not comply with the conditions of the bylaw. 
  • Other conditions might include specific requirements on how the property is to be conserved, restored or adapted to a new use. Examples may include an approved preventative maintenance plan or public access to a commercial property.