The Directory of Federal Heritage Designations offers a complete list of federal designations stemming from various programs. It includes information on districts, buildings, events, railway stations, lighthouses and people who are of historic value or interest. The Directory lists over 3,600 designations.

Parks Canada provides professional and administrative services to support the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) and the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office (FHBRO).

Types of Designation

National Historic Sites (NHS)
NHS are found all across Canada – in urban centres, rural areas and deep in the wilderness – and are an integral part of our past and present.
National Historic Events (NHE)
NHE evoke a moment, episode, movement or experience in the history of Canada.
National Historic Person (NHP)
NHP are people who, through their words or actions, have made a unique and enduring contribution to the history of Canada.
Heritage Railway Stations (HRS)
Only designated Heritage Railway Stations that are still owned by a railway company under federal jurisdiction are subject to the Heritage Railway Stations Protection Act.
Federal Heritage Buildings (FHB)
FHB are designated as either Classified or Recognized by the Minister of the Environment on the recommendation of the Federal Heritage Buildings Committee. The heritage character of federally owned buildings is protected under the Treasury Board Policy on Management of Real Property.
Heritage Lighthouses (HL)
Heritage Lighthouses (HL) are designated by the Minister of the Environment on the recommendation of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board and may include other related buildings. Their heritage character is protected under the Heritage Lighthouse Protection Act.

Searching the Directory

The Directory of Federal Heritage Designations is searchable in several ways.

Keyword (name, city, subject)
Allows the user to search the Directory with a keyword or string of keywords. The more terms in a string, the more specific the search. For example: "Father" yields 116 designations, but "Father of Confederation" narrows results to 52.

Advanced Search

Designation type
Specifies the type of designation required, limiting the search to a more specific type of designation.
City, Province/ Territory
Search is specified by geographic location.
Designation year
Allows the user the option of identifying a year in which certain designations were approved by the Minister.
Government custodian
Allows the search to be restricted to designations owned or administered by a particular government department (only for FHB).

What should I expect to find in the Directory?

The Directory contains over 3,600 entries and approximately 7,000 pages of information on federal designations. You can also expect to find relevant plaque texts, and photographs or illustrations.


The information provided on the Directory of Federal Heritage Designations is public in nature and may be reproduced, in part or in whole, and by any means, without charge or further permission, unless otherwise specified. Most records are accompanied by images.

The copyright of these images is most often owned by Parks Canada, unless otherwise noted.

For images owned by Parks Canada or other government organizations, users are required to:

  • Exercise due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the materials reproduced
  • Indicate both the complete title of the materials reproduced and the author organization
  • Indicate that the reproduction is a copy of an official work that is published by the Government of Canada and that the reproduction has not been produced in affiliation with, or with the endorsement of the Government of Canada.

For images not belonging to Parks Canada or other government organizations, use without permission is not allowed. Parks Canada has been granted permission to use these images in the directory subject to agreement that the rights remain with the author. For use of these images, please contact the author directly.


In case of disparity in the number of designations listed on this website and those listed on the official list of designations maintained by the Parks Canada Agency, the last will be considered accurate. Please contact the Federal Registrar for more information.