Ongoing Work in the Queen's Park Heritage Conservation Area

Following adoption of the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area in June 2017, Council endorsed a two year Implementation Program Work Plan. Implementation projects include the development of an Incentives Program and completion of the Special Limited Category Study.

  • Owners of houses in the non-protected category, whose properties they feel have strong enough heritage merit, could change to the protected category by applying to list the house on the Heritage Register. Once a property is included on the Heritage Register it would also become part of the protected category and would be eligible for any incentives adopted. There is no fee associated with the application.

    Staff will continue to find opportunities to encourage interested owners to take advantage of voluntary protection. 

  • A review of the Heritage Conservation Area would be launched approximately two years from adoption, as is best practice. The review would include an assessment of the impact of the heritage protection provisions, a review of the administrative process and procedures, and analysis of the outcomes of the Heritage Conservation Area’s design guidelines.

    Upon the policy review’s launch, indicators would be developed related to the elements of the policy to be reviewed. Those indicators would then be used to analyze data collected over the two year implementation period. Once the review was completed, staff would bring forward the results to Council, and may propose changes to the policy in order to address any issues which might have arisen from the analysis.

    The full scope of the review, including the indicators to be used, would be determined in consultation with Council.

  • Incentives

    A zoning amendment bylaw was adopted by Council on June 19, 2018. The bylaw created a new Single Detached Dwelling District, specific to Queen’s Park, called “RS-4”. Through this new zone, all protected properties now have:

    1. a Floor Space Ratio (FSR) of 0.7; and
    2. the ability to transfer unused density from the principal house to a laneway or carriage house, up to a maximum size of 958 square feet.

    The remaining zoning regulations for both the principal house and the laneway or carriage house (such as height, setbacks, and site coverage) would stay the same.

    Properties within the Heritage Conservation Area which are: 1) already excluded because they are commercial, institutional, or multi-family; OR 2) zoned Single Detached Dwelling Districts (Heritage) (RS-6), were not rezoned as part of this bylaw.

    The new zone does not result in any changes in the existing regulations for non-protected properties. However, the approach of rezoning all properties (rather than just the protected ones) allows flexibility for properties to change protection categories within the Heritage Conservation Area policy.

    The other incentives identified for short term implementation did not require any zoning changes and are already in place. These incentives include: 

    1. Allowing minor relaxations for laneway and carriage house guidelines (similar to those already in place for accessible units and energy efficient design).
    2. Building Code relaxations, at the request of the owner (note: life and safety requirements will not be relaxed).

    Sign up for the mailing list (above) to receive updates on the process.

    More Incentives Coming Soon

    Council also supported moving forward with additional incentives over the medium term. Staff expect to report back to Council about these in the winter of 2018/2019. Additional incentives include:

    • Developing a policy to support additions to buildings that do not conform with the Zoning Bylaw.
    • Allowing multiple unit conversions with up to three rental units in a building on large properties that are already over the permitted density. No laneway house would be permitted on these properties.
    • Developing additional features for the Heritage Conservation Area’s design guidelines, such as suggested renovation options, and further examples of approvable changes.
    • Exploring ways to speed up related permit processes.
    • Developing a system to provide additional services to support owners when they apply to renovate.
    • Refining the Evaluation Checklist for demolition permit applications or applications to remove protection from a property.

    Council also considered allowing the stratification of laneway and carriage houses. Council’s support was mixed, so staff will continue to explore different approaches for this incentive and will report back to Council.

    Some of the other incentives presented during community consultation are not being implemented for protected properties, but will instead continue to be used as incentives for Heritage Revitalization Agreements. These include: larger laneway or carriage houses, stratification of the principal dwelling, and small lot subdivision.


    As part of the implementation of the Heritage Conservation Area, Council directed staff to explore zoning incentives for those properties which would be protected by the policy. 

    To start, three potential incentives were being considered (Increasing Floor Space Ratio, exempting basement floor space and exempting attics from floor space).

    The community and other stakeholders were consulted in December regarding the proposed incentive options. Based on the feedback received, the scope of the incentives program has been expanded to include a wider range of zoning incentives (including the incentives being considered by the City of Vancouver) as well as other categories of incentives (such as process-based incentives or financial-based incentives).

    A range of incentives were researched by the City. The results of this research was presented to Council in March and to the community in April. The reports summarizing the findings are included below under "Incentives Program Process."

    A framework for the implementation of incentives was supported by Council in May. The City is now moving forward with implementation.

    Incentives Program Progress 

    June 13, 2017: Council adopts the Queen’s Park Heritage Conservation Area

    July 2017: Working Group Zoning Incentive Recommendations

    October 16, 2017: Council adopts the QPHCA Implementation Work Plan, which includes zoning incentives for protected properties

    December 4, 2017: Report to Council regarding incentive options and consultation plan

    December 5, 2017: Committee Consultation – Community Heritage Commission

    December 6, 2017: Committee Consultation – Advisory Planning Commission

    December 2017: Consultation Round One – Zoning Incentive Open Houses and Survey

    January 17 and 19, 2018: Realtor Consultation

    January 29, 2018: Report to Council regarding results of December public consultation and next steps

    February 7, 2018: Panel Discussion - Learning from Other Perspectives. Panel Discussion Summary Report and boards presented at the Open House prior to the start of the panel.

    March 5, 2018: Report to Council regarding implementation work program update and proposed direction

    March 12 2018: Report to Council on incentive options research findings and Discussion Paper

    March 27, 2018: Committee Consultation – Advisory Planning Commission

    April 4, 2018: Committee Consultation – Community Heritage Commission

    April 2018: Consultation Round Two Open House Boards

    April 16, 2018: Report to Council on Economic Analysis 

    May 7, 2018: Report to Council on consultation findings and recommended incentives

    May 15, 2018: Advisory Planning Commission Consideration of Proposed Short Term Incentives. Agenda package, on table materials, and staff presentation

    May 28, 2018: Report to Council – Proposed Zoning Amendment Bylaw for incentives identified to be implemented in the short term. 

  • Through the Heritage Conservation Area policy development process, approximately 80 properties were identified for further study and were categorized as Special Limited. An additional 12 protected properties were added through an Expanded Study application period. Through the three phases of the Study, the properties were reclassified as either Protected or Non-Protected, based on detailed analysis of their heritage merit and development options. 

    In Phase One, the City hired heritage professionals to assess the heritage value of the initial properties in the Special Limited category. Based on the results of this work, Council removed Heritage Conservation Area protection from 33 properties in June 2018. The remaining properties continued to Phase Two of the Study.

    Heritage Assessments were then completed for the 12 Expanded Study properties in early 2019. Based on the results of this work, six properties continued to Phase Two of the study. The other six were reclassified to Non-Protected during Phase Three. 

    In Phase Two, the City hired an architectural firm in mid-2019 to assess the potential of each remaining house to reach the maximum floor space permitted on that site in the Zoning Bylaw.

    In Phase Three, the properties were evaluated against the Evaluation Checklist, which weighs criteria for heritage value, development potential and building integrity. Based on the results of this work, Council removed Heritage Conservation Area protection from seven properties on November 25, 2019. The remaining properties became Protected.


    All properties included in the Study have now been reclassified to either Protected or Non-Protected.  The Special Limited category no longer exists. To see the category of a property, please view:

    Phase One

    Phase Two

    Phase Three

  • After the adoption of the Queen's Park Heritage Conservation Area, the Heritage Properties Maintenance Standards Bylaw was revised to ensure the bylaw reflected the new Heritage Conservation Area, other revisions to City policy, and current best practices in heritage conservation.

    The bylaw was adopted by Council on January 29, 2018.