Urban heritage

Last updated December 13, 2021

An enduring witness to our history, our ways of life and our savoir faire, urban heritage defines our Montréal identity. A variety of initiatives help to protect, enhance and interpret our heritage, allowing it to be transmitted to future generations.

Protection and enhancement of heritage

Montréal’s architectural, historic, archaeological, landscape and natural heritage testifies to its history. Policies, plans, regulations, programs and subsidies help protect this rich past, so as to enhance it and make it better known.

Heritage Policy

The goal of the Heritage Policy is to organize and orient our actions and those of our partners, to encourage the development of a collective vision and a shared responsibility for Montréal’s heritage. Its aim is to make heritage a lever of cultural, social and economic development.

The Policy envisions municipal activities in the following areas:

  • Establishment of an organizational system for heritage-related actions
  • Understanding that the city has a duty to be exemplary as property owner and manage

Planning tools

Urban planning tools such as the Land-use Planning and Development Concept and the Urban Plan define orientations for the preservation of built, archaeological and natural heritage. Urban planning documents and neighbourhood revitalization and transformation projects take into account the importance to protect their characteristic features.

Evaluating heritage interest

The heritage evaluation process (link to French document) is a way to better understand and evaluate the various components of Montréal heritage (buildings, complexes, sites and landscapes).

The énoncé d’intérêt patrimonial [statement of heritage interest] which is the result can help inform decision-making with regard to the future of the place, whether that future consists of its preservation, enhancement, transformation, or official recognition by the municipal administration.

The cahiers d’arrondissement

As part of the development of the Urban Plan, a Cahier d’évaluation du patrimoine urbain (urban heritage notebook) was produced for each borough. Each document was the result of an archaeological and built heritage survey and was designed in particular for citizens and borough managers. The objective is to transmit information about different localities, ensure heritage is taken into account during the definition of projects and better inform decision-making.

Awareness building and exploration

Programs, events, tours, exhibitions, directories and publications promote heritage and encourage citizens to learn more.

Opération patrimoine

Opération patrimoine Montréal is an activity designed to celebrate the material and immaterial heritage found throughout the island of Montréal, raise awareness among Montrealers about the importance of protecting heritage and underline the efforts of owners to maintain their properties.

Learn about the 2019 award winners (in French)

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