Policies and By-Laws

Heritage Legislation: An Overview

An overview of the legislation affecting heritage buildings and sites in Vancouver

In Canada, the majority of legislation affecting heritage buildings is created at the municipal level. The federal government offers little legislative protection for heritage structures or sites. In BC, the Heritage Conservation Act confers protection to pre-1846 heritage sites but is vague concerning more recent heritage. In 1994, the Heritage Conservation Statute Amendment Act enabled municipal powers to protect local heritage from alteration or destruction. The Vancouver Charter was amended to improve regulations for heritage structures and sites. To learn more about how heritage is protected through the designation, heritage revitalization agreements and other regulations see Heritage Basics & FAQs or City of Vancouver Heritage Planning.

Acts, Charters & Guidelines



  • Heritage Conservation Act – protects heritage sites or objects pre-dating 1846 on private and public lands or waters in BC.


  • Vancouver Charter – outlines measures for heritage conservation in Vancouver, including designation of heritage buildings and sites, and heritage revitalization agreements.