Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

The Policy

The Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property1 places protection of the heritage character of federal buildings on an equal footing with other considerations related to real property management and it is within this policy that departmental obligations and responsibilities2 are defined.

The Treasury Board policy stipulates that departments must manage the buildings they administer so as to conserve their heritage character throughout their lifecycle. It also contains statements regarding the protection of the heritage character of federal buildings in the context of their acquisition, use and disposal, and actions that could affect their heritage character.

Background

In 2006, the Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property replaced the Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy, which had been approved by Cabinet in April 1982. This policy resulted from the federal government's commitment to protect the heritage character of its inventory. It was introduced following a Cabinet recommendation to introduce measures designed to encourage the preservation of heritage buildings in Canada, including the formulation of a specific policy on federal heritage buildings. The Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO) was established at that time, with the specific mandate to help departments preserve their heritage buildings, in accordance with the policy.

Cape Spear Lighttower, National Historic Site of Canada St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Cape Spear Lighttower, National Historic Site of Canada St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador
© Parks Canada; E. Walsh, 2004
Built in 1835, the Cape Spear Lighttower is designated Classified, because of its historical association and architectural and environmental value. The lighttower is associated with the provision of aids to navigation for the settlement of Newfoundland. It is also considered to be an excellent example of the Neoclassical style, and is characterized by its well-proportioned composition, simple form and cubic volume. Well built and functionally well conceived, it reinforces its maritime setting of rugged headland and natural coastline.

Departmental heritage obligations have remained essentially unchanged since 1982, with the exception of the introduction of additional guidelines in 1998 regarding the disposal of federal heritage buildings. Over time, however, these obligations have been incorporated into a number of federal real property management tools issued by Treasury Board, making the preservation of the heritage character of federal buildings one of the essential requirements of this management framework. Key milestones have included the issuing of the Treasury Board Circular extending the application of the heritage policy to all federal departments (1987); the inclusion of the policy in the Treasury Board Real Property Administration Manual (1991); and the full integration of these obligations into the new real property management policy (2006).

Footnotes

1 The Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=12042&section=text. The Guide to the Management of Real Property provides additional information and advice on complying with the policy. It can be found at http://www.tbs-sct.gc.ca/pol/doc-eng.aspx?id=12042&section=text.

2 The government bodies that fall under this policy are those that meet the defnition of "department" under the Financial Administration Act (s. 2). Crown corporations do not fall under the policy. It applies only to real property owned by the federal Crown; leased properties or properties under licence are not included.