In consultation with area stakeholders, The City of Calgary is undertaking a project to create heritage guidelines for areas in the North Hill Communities that have concentrated groupings of heritage assets, commonly known as character homes. Heritage assets are privately owned structures, typically constructed prior to 1945, that significantly retain their original form, scale, massing, window/door pattern and architectural details or materials.

This project will develop policy guidelines within specific areas of the North Hill communities. To see what areas have been identified as heritage guideline areas please see the map below.

These guidelines will focus on conserving and enhancing the historic character of these specific areas and help ensure that new development is more contextually appropriate and better fits in with existing character homes there. The guidelines will be included as an update to the recently approved North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (LAP), a long-range planning policy document that guides growth and change within these communities.

Communities in Calgary have sought area-based heritage conservation tools for a long time. In July 2020, Council approved a series of conservation tools and incentives to offer that area-based approach. The North Hill Communities LAP identifies a total of eight heritage guideline areas, the first in the city. The heritage guidelines created as part of this work will inform subsequent heritage guideline areas for other local area plans.

For more information about heritage property tools and incentives, click here.

These are collections of homes, neighbourhoods and streets where at least 25% of properties are privately-owned and built before 1945. The homes must be visually assessed by The City and identified as having most of the original style, design, details and construction materials from their era. These parts of our communities have a collective significance as heritage places that are valued by many Calgarians.

As part of the Heritage Conservation Tools and Incentives Work, a visual ‘windshield’ survey was undertaken across 26 communities, to identify where to apply the new heritage area tools. The 2019-2020 Heritage Asset Windshield Survey identified houses generally constructed before 1945 that substantially retain the identifiable historic architectural style, design, and details. A summary of the survey results is available for review.

Within a Heritage Guideline Area, at least 25% of properties are identified as heritage assets (significantly original homes usually built before 1945).

Calgary's Land Use Bylaw can establish discretionary guidelines for development that apply to specific geographic areas rather than the whole city. The heritage guidelines for North Hill Communities will only apply within the finalized boundaries that will be defined with the input of the Working Group and engagement within the colour-blocked areas of the map.

The Calgary's Land Use Bylaw lists what types of use and developments are allowed for new developments in a location.

Some uses and development types are automatically allowed for a property and these are called permitted uses. As long as the proposal meets all of the Land Use Bylaw rules, development permits for permitted uses have guaranteed approval by The City.

The Land Use Bylaw also lists discretionary uses for a property. Even though there are restrictions on the type of use and development allowed, development permits for things in the discretionary uses list might be approved by The City at its discretion. The discretion is often based on guidelines or other special conditions.

Once the content of the guidelines is finalized, it will be implemented through the North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (LAP) process and sent to Council for review and approval.

When the guidelines are in place, any plans to build or renovate homes within the boundaries must meet the heritage guidelines. Development plans will be approved at the discretion of The City to ensure the relevant historic and character defining elements have been incorporated. The current development permit approvals process doesn't require the same level of scrutiny and approval.

The guidelines will not be in effect until they have been approved by Council.

These will be the first areas in Calgary to benefit from heritage guidelines. The heritage guidelines created as part of this work will inform subsequent heritage guideline areas for other local area plans.


There are opportunities to provide your input and assist us in creating the Heritage Guidelines for North Hill Communities.

Working Group

Working group members work with City Administration to create guidelines that balance the needs, goals and objectives of area residents, local communities, heritage partners, the development industry and City policies such as the Land Use Bylaw, Calgary Heritage Strategy, North Hill Communities Local Area Plan (LAP), and Municipal Development Plan.

The working group is comprised of residents and homeowners in areas the guidelines will apply to in Capitol Hill, Crescent Heights, Mount Pleasant, Renfrew, Rosedale, and Tuxedo, as well as local community associations, representatives of the home building industry, and heritage advocacy groups. Meet the working group members here.

Other ways to get involved

In March in 2022, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft guidelines, including the distinguishing architectural features that have been identified as contributing to the character of the area. More information will be posted here in the new year.

Heritage Guidelines Areas

Map of North Hill LAP area with colour-coded blocks indicating areas with character homes