Heritage Planning Program

A record of the history, architectural beauty and landmarks of our unique neighbourhoods

Burnaby's unique history and heritage has been the focus of civic heritage projects for more than 50 years, beginning with the preservation of the Ceperley Mansion (Burnaby Art Gallery) in 1965 and the opening of Heritage Village (now Burnaby Village Museum) in 1971. The City’s Heritage Planning Program for private properties was initiated in 1977 through the designation and protection of the Joseph and Jane Wintemute House (7640 Berkley Dr), built in 1891.

The Community Heritage Commission was established in 1988. Since then its heritage program has succeeded in protecting over 50 heritage buildings and completed many award-winning projects to enhance and commemorate Burnaby's historic landmarks and unique history.

In 1996 Burnaby’s Official Community Plan recognized the Heritage Planning Program and its goal, "to provide opportunities for increased awareness and the conservation of the city’s unique natural, cultural, archaeological and built heritage.”

Program areas

The Community Heritage Commission guides the overall Heritage Planning Program and initiates civic programs and projects that support heritage conservation as approved by council. The City’s heritage planner and civic staff from Burnaby Village Museum and the City Archives collaborate to advance heritage conservation efforts through these program areas:

  • Heritage Planning Program
  • Public awareness
  • Stewardship of civic heritage resources

Heritage Planning Program

The City offers incentives to protect heritage buildings through the Heritage Planning Program.

The Planning and Building Department is responsible for monitoring both privately owned and civic heritage sites and ensuring their compliance with the City’s bylaws, Heritage Revitalization Agreements and adopted heritage conservation standards. Properties identified in the heritage inventory qualify for incentive programs offered through the Heritage Planning Program.

A heritage building or site doesn't have to be over 100 years old to be listed on the heritage inventory. The oldest protected building in the city is the 1891 Wintemute House, while the newest is the 1965 Baldwin House, a modern masterpiece designed by Arthur Erickson.

The City has been using a heritage resource inventory since 1989 to track all of Burnaby's significant public and privately-owned heritage buildings and resources that aren't protected by heritage designation bylaws or listed on the Burnaby Community Heritage Register. If requested, the City’s heritage planner reviews the property’s status and works with the property owner to develop a proposal for its conservation for the consideration of the Community Heritage Commission.

To search for a property listed on the inventory you can search the online database located on the Heritage Burnaby website or review Burnaby’s Heritage: An Inventory of Buildings and Structures.

There are over 50 heritage resources protected by council through heritage designation bylaws, Heritage Revitalization Agreements (HRAs) and covenants. These individual resources are automatically updated and listed on the Canadian Register of Historic Places through the provincial government’s participation in the program, because these properties form part of the BC Register of Historic Places.

Under its heritage program, the City offers incentives to owners in order to secure the long-term protection of qualified heritage buildings.

Property owners can enter into a Heritage Revitalization Agreement (HRA) with the City to access incentives in exchange for heritage designation, such as relaxing zoning and subdivision bylaws. The Guide to Heritage Applications in Burnaby provides information on accessing these incentives.

Public awareness

The success of the City’s heritage program is measured by the level of public interest and support for conservation of our built heritage. We publish books, pamphlets and articles about heritage issues and sites of significance. Heritage Burnaby gives users full access to all of the City’s online heritage resources.

Stewardship of civic heritage properties

Burnaby's Civic Heritage Policy was developed because of the City's unique position as owner of a large number of significant heritage properties–especially those in Deer Lake Park–to highlight the need to promote heritage conservation through the stewardship of City-owned properties.

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