Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office

Introduction

The Government of Canada's objective is to preserve its built heritage

Federal Heritage Buildings Library of Parliament, roof detail
Parliament Hill, Ottawa, Ontario

© C. Lefebvre, 2008
The Library of Parliament was built between 1859 and 1876 to the plans drawn up by the architectural partnership of Thomas Fuller and Chilion Jones. This federal building is designated Classified because it is a national symbol of outstanding architectural and artistic merit which continues to serve its historical function in support of the operation of the Parliament of Canada. The library building is the only part of the original Parliament Building to survive the fire of 1916 and it plays a feature role in establishing the overall character of the Parliament Hill complex.

Federal built heritage comprises the places, buildings and monuments that have been recognized as having heritage value. This built heritage includes, among other things, complexes, forts, cultural landscapes, canals and historic districts. As of 2012, there are approximately 1,061 federal heritage buildings and 271 federally-owned national historic sites.

The designation of federal heritage buildings is carried out under the authority of the Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property. An interdepartmental, multi-disciplinary advisory committee evaluates the heritage value of these buildings on the basis of their historical, architectural and environmental significance, and makes recommendations to the Minister of the Environment regarding their designation, if deemed to have heritage significance. Buildings may be designated as either "Classified" (the highest level) or "Recognized" federal heritage buildings.

National historic sites have a separate designation process under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act. A national historic site may be an archaeological site, structure, building, group of buildings, district or cultural landscape that is of national historical significance. They may also include Classified and Recognized federal heritage buildings.

Federal built heritage includes buildings and places that recall the lives and history of the men and women who built this country. They are significant to all Canadians, be they young or old, recent arrivals to Canada or long-time residents. Built heritage raises our awareness about how Canadian society has developed, helps us better understand the present and prepare for the future. It fosters a sense of belonging and helps our communities to flourish.