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Heritage Plaque WaterlooNo, although most heritage homes are century old homes. In Kitchener, Waterloo and Cambridge you may have noticed plaques on century homes from various historical committees. These plaques state that the home has it been designated as a heritage home. Some consider the plaques a very prestigious award and many of these homes are located in prestigious areas of the city. Do plaques increase the value of a home? There is, as yet, no firm evidence that plaques add to the value of your property, though they certainly increase its interest. Houses bearing historical plaques stand out. To some extent, it depends on the person who resided in the building.
Kitchener has four Heritage Districts: St. Mary’s, Upper Doon, Victoria Park and Civic Centre.
Waterloo has designated the MacGregor Alberta Neigbourhood, located in Uptown Waterloo as a heritage district.
Cambridge is very active with preservation initiatives. Currently the Main Street District, Blair Village and Dickson Hill are heritage districts. Hespeler Heritage Centre also plays an active role in preservation.
There are restrictions for owners of heritage homes. Home modification is not allowed at their own whim or solely without approval from the committee. If renovations are on your “to do list” this needs to be considered if purchasing either a heritage property or a property located in a heritage conservation district.
A Heritage Permit is required to “alter” your property in any way that affects the reasons why your property was designated. On the plus side heritage grants and heritage tax refunds are available to help maintain, renovate and upgrade a heritage home within guidelines established by the heritage committee. The Act defines the term “alteration” as meaning to change in any manner and includes: to restore, to renovate, to repair or to disturb. A heritage permit is also required for the erection or demolition of a building or structure on a designated property that is likely to affect the reasons for designation.
Protecting heritage buildings, properties and neighbourhoods contribute to the beauty, culture and quality of life in our region.

For further information on various Heritage Committees, please visit:
http://www.kitchener.ca/en/livinginkitchener/heritage.asp
http://www.city.waterloo.on.ca/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=724
http://www.cambridge.ca/article.php?ssid=147

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