Provincial Heritage Places Recognition Program

In Prince Edward Island, there are three types of heritage recognition for historic properties based on level of significance, as follows:

  1. National Historic Site – a property deemed significant on a national level and recognized by Government of Canada.
  2. Provincial Heritage Place – a site or structure that exhibits provincial significance, is recognized by the minister responsible for heritage under the PEI Heritage Places Protection Act.
  3. Municipal heritage recognition - Charlottetown and Summerside each have civic recognition programs for heritage resources within their jurisdiction.

A heritage place can be valued for its historic, cultural, archaeological, paleontological, prehistoric, natural, scientific or aesthetic qualities; and or because of its connection with a person, group or event. 

In Prince Edward Island there are two levels of recognition for historic properties:

  • Designated heritage place is the highest level of recognition and requires approval of the minister responsible for heritage. Places of outstanding or exceptional historic significance are protected under the Heritage Places Protection Act and associated regulations.  Legal restrictions are placed on heritage character-defining elements of the place.  Proposed changes may require a heritage permit.
  • Registered heritage place recognizes the historic values of a place, yet does not place any restrictions on the property owner. A registered heritage place is any site or structure that has been researched and has been deemed to be a provincial heritage resource.

How do I get a property recognized as a heritage place?

Any interested person or group may research, prepare and submit an application to have a place considered for the PEI Register of Heritage Places. The heritage officer will screen a provincial nomination and, if it meets criteria, will forward it to the Heritage Places Advisory Board for review.

For a municipal nomination, contact the Charlottetown or Summerside planning office. For a national nomination, contact the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.

What happens once I submit my application?

The Heritage Officer will review your submission.  The Heritage Places Advisory Board assess applications on a number of criteria and, based on its evaluation, will recommend the property to the minister responsible for heritage for either registration or designation. Applications which do not meet the criteria will be denied a recommendation of heritage recognition.

What criteria are used to assess applications?

The site or structure nominated will be assessed using the following criteria: age; architectural style and  design; architect or builder; streetscape; integrity; construction methods; exterior condition; landmark; historical or site context; event, person or activity connected with the site; and its context as an institution.

How do I know if a property is a recognized heritage place?

The PEI Register of Heritage Places is a searchable database of provincial and municipal historic places, both registered and designated. Recognized PEI heritage resources are also listed on the national Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Provincial heritage designations are registered on the property title. Many designated heritage places display a blue plaque to indicate its status as a protected heritage place. Find more information about the PEI Heritage Plaque Program agreement and Guidelines.

How do I know what changes I can make to a heritage property?

If the property is a provincially designated place, contact the Heritage Officer to determine if a Heritage Permit is required.

The Province of Prince Edward Island, City of Charlottetown and City of Summerside use the Standards & Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada as a key resource for heritage property regulation. The nationally recognized publication helps determine if proposed alterations to a heritage property are appropriate and offers sound, practical advice, including “recommended” and “not recommended” approaches to heritage conservation.

Can I get financial assistance to restore a heritage property?

If the property is located in Charlottetown or Summerside, contact the municipal planning office about financial assistance. Designated heritage places located outside the municipal boundaries of Charlottetown or Summerside may be eligible for financial assistance from the Provincial Heritage Incentive Program.

Who do I contact about heritage places in PEI?

Heritage Officer
Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-5940
Fax: (902) 368-4663

Published date: 
April 4, 2023