The Standards and Guidelines

Masonry cleaning of a historic place
Masonry cleaning of a historic place in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines' treatment of materials.

The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada provide sound, practical guidance to achieve good conservation practice. They establish a consistent, pan-Canadian set of conservation principles and guidelines that will be useful to anyone with an interest in conserving Canada’s historic places. The Standards and Guidelines offer results-oriented guidance for sound decision-making when planning for, intervening on, and using historic places.

Since their initial publication in 2003, the Standards and Guidelines have become an essential tool for heritage conservation across Canada. Together with the Canadian Register of Historic Places, the practice of heritage conservation has been transformed, opening the door to new tools and programs that support the continued use and enjoyment by Canadians of the historic places around them. The Standards and Guidelines have already been adopted by a number of federal, provincial, territorial and municipal authorities as a benchmark for assessing proposed conservation interventions on historic places.

On February 25, 2011, the Government of Canada launched the second edition of the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. The second edition expands and clarifies the information contained in the original 2003 edition. The revisions in this edition:

  • Address comments received from users of the first edition of the Standards and Guidelines;
  • Clarify the relationship between the Standards and Guidelines and a Statement of Significance;
  • Better explain the conservation decision-making process;
  • Provide interpretation of the fourteen Standards to clarify these important principles;
  • Add guidance for typical sustainability-related interventions;
  • Address new topics such as cultural landscapes, including heritage districts;
  • Address recent heritage, including the specific issues of conserving modern materials and assemblies;
  • Improve the guidance provided for engineering works; and
  • Provide a more comprehensive set of Guidelines for Archaeological Sites generally, and in a specific setting.

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