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Heritage Designation on Rosedale Homes…But what does that mean?


Many homeowners often find themselves faced with the issue of renovation/demolition restrictions imposed on their “heritage designated” home. But what exactly does that mean? And why does it only exist on certain homes, in certain neighbourhoods of the city?

Take South Rosedale for example. South Rosedale is a clearly defined area in the City of Toronto (east of Yorkville), with significant preserved resources, both in its buildings and in its cultural landscape of boulevards, ravines and open spaces.

I guess you can say the general goal of imposing a heritage designation on homes within a particular neighbourhood is simply to strengthen and protect the neighbourhood’s long-standing unique character. It’s a pretty neat setup if you ask me. There’s something totally cool about driving through a neighbourhood that remains to look exactly the way it did over 100 years ago. It’s almost like going back in time!

Now that we understand a little better what Heritage Designation actually means, let’s talk a bit about the different categories out there and why one home is attributed one type versus another.

In a very broad and general sense, a heritage designated home can fall within one of 3 categories:


Heritage A

Heritage B

Heritage C


What’s The difference???

Don’t worry, it’s simpler than you think:

Heritage A buildings are those that are individually outstanding with national/provincial and/or historical/current significance.

The building must have one or more of the following criteria:

1. One of the earliest remaining buildings in the neighbourhood,

2. A significant design by a prominent architect,

3. A significant construction showing excellence of materials and craftsmanship,

4. A historically significant occupant/owner,

5. Contributes to the heritage character of South Rosedale


Moving on..Heritage B.  

Here lie buildings worth noting for their overall quality and have citywide significance.

The building must have one or more of the following criteria:

1. A pre-1900 building,

2. A post-1900 building designed by a prominent architect, meeting "A" criteria but has

    undergone alterations,

3. A prominently located property,

4. Contributes to the heritage character of South Rosedale


Lastly...Heritage C.

These buildings basically contribute to the heritage character and context of the neighbourhood.


The building must have one or more of the following criteria:

1. Meet "B" criteria but has undergone alterations,

2. No current evidence of design by a prominent architect,

3. Contributes to the heritage character of South Rosedale


There’s one thing left to mention.

Although we’ve covered the 3 categories of Heritage Designation, some of you may be asking how on earth that recently-built home you drove by the other day in Rosedale was ever allowed to be built, seeming it does not meet any of the criteria found in A, B or C, above.

This is where Unrated Properties come into play.

Unrated buildings are those which do not bear any national, provincial, citywide or contextual heritage significance, do not contribute to the heritage character of its neighbourhood or are too recently built to be accurately evaluated for their heritage value.

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