Planning for the future of a strong, vibrant community requires knowledge of the past and an understanding of what we value in the present. Existing buildings, structures and landscapes often define a community’s unique identity, give it a distinctive character and a sense of place. To help guide change, it is important to identify and protect the places in the community that have cultural heritage value.
While many heritage buildings in Canada continue to serve their communities as originally intended – for example, government buildings, churches, museums – many others have been repurposed. Today, a great number of heritage buildings have been transformed as schools, art galleries, theatres, hotels, shops and other commercial ventures.