Heritage Conservation

The City of Maple Ridge has a rich and diverse history and heritage conservation is an important part of sharing this history and enhancing community identity. 

Heritage not only includes built heritage sites such as monuments and historic buildings, but also cultural traditions, practices and values. These intangible cultural heritage assets are represented in a multitude of ways from traditional storytelling, place making, and performing arts, to social practices and events. 

The Official Community Plan (OCP) outlines policies for heritage that play a key role in the development of complete and sustainable communities. Heritage policies for specific communities are also addressed within Area Plans. 

Voluntary Municipal Heritage Designation Program

The purpose of designation is to protect a heritage building from unsympathetic alterations and demolition. The process to designate a property as heritage is: 

  1. Contact the Planning Department at planning@mapleridge.ca or 604-467-7341
  2. The property owner(s) complete a Request for Heritage Designation and Waiver of Compensation form*
  3. A Statement of Significance is prepared (reasons why the property is considered to have heritage value or character)
  4. Staff brings the Heritage Designation Bylaw forward for Council Consideration
  5. A Heritage Designation Bylaw requires 4 readings of Council and a Public Hearing. 

Should the Heritage Designation Bylaw be adopted, some changes to the exterior of a designated building may require a Heritage Alteration Permit. Owner(s) are required to complete a Heritage Alteration Permit Application form.

Incentives Review Project

The City of Maple Ridge and the Maple Ridge Community Heritage Commission are exploring opportunities for realistic and effective heritage incentives, regulations and heritage procedures that will promote the conservation of heritage resources throughout the community. 

Heritage can be defined as anything of a physical, cultural or social nature that is unique to, and valued by, a community, and can be passed from generation to generation. Each community's heritage is distinctive, and the retention of heritage character helps instill a sense of community identity and pride, develops a sense of continuity for residents, and promotes an understanding of place character for current and future generations. Heritage conservation is also important economically; protection of heritage resources can protect property value as well as provide opportunities for businesses, property owners and tourism.

The value of conserving a community's heritage is not always immediately recognized, especially if there are perceived financial benefits from redevelopment. Municipal heritage programs provide a balance of regulations  and incentives  based on owner cooperation; in virtually all cases, heritage protection is achieved on a voluntary basis. Where there are external pressures threatening heritage assets, it has been recognized that conservation will be achieved more effectively through incentives rather than by stringent regulation.

The Heritage Incentives Review report will assist the City of Maple Ridge in the utilization of realistic and effective heritage incentives, regulations and heritage procedures that will promote the conservation of historic resources throughout the community. This report outlines a broad range of incentive-based heritage tools, and forms an important step in the proactive management of the City's significant historic places.

The Heritage Incentives Review report can be viewed here.