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The iconic bandstand at Kings Square

Heritage Conservation

Our historic buildings make Saint John a more interesting, dynamic, and pleasing place to live.  But they’re more than that: our heritage properties are also reminders of our past, and vessels for our City’s culture.  Community members worked hard over decades to ensure that many of our historic buildings have remained intact. This includes the largest and most cohesive collection of brick and stone Victorian buildings in Atlantic Canada.  Thanks to their efforts, future generations will see our rich built heritage, represented in the City’s architecture. 

Heritage Conservation identifies, protects, and promotes the elements of built heritage that are important to the culture of history of Saint John.  The Heritage Conservation Service works with the residents in Heritage Conservation Areas to: 

  • Regulate any changes or work done to the exterior of properties, and any proposed new construction in Heritage Conservation Areas through the Heritage Conservation Areas By-Law
  • Provide incentives like grants to encourage and assist in the conservation and development of heritage buildings. 
  • Provide a process to designate Heritage Conservation Areas under the Heritage Conservation Areas By-Law and to designate Local Historic Places through the Local Historic Place Designation Policy. 
  • Provide information to raise awareness of the social and economic benefits of heritage conservation to Saint John. 

What you need to know before beginning work 

If you live in a Heritage Conservation Area, all exterior work you do is subject to the Heritage Conservation Areas By-Law. 

Individual conditions for each application will be outlined in a Heritage Permit once it has been approved.  Depending on the nature of the work, approval can be granted by the Heritage Officer or by the Heritage Development Board

By-Law Information

The By-Law is in place to direct the development of these Heritage Conservation Areas so that both the exterior conservation of existing buildings and the construction of new (infill) buildings is carried out in a manner that helps to retain the character of the architecture in these areas.

Heritage Permit 

Before making changes to the exterior of a building in a Heritage Conservation Area, property owners must receive a Heritage Permit.

Conservation Plans

A Conservation Plan is a document prepared for a property by an architect or engineer that outlines the existing condition of the property and recommends appropriate work, priorities and/or timelines to continue the conservation of your historic building.

Practical Conservation Guidelines (PCG)

The Practical Conservation Guidelines provide historic background, design guidance and technical advice on a variety of topics and building features commonly encountered in our Heritage Conservation Areas.