District Of Digby Heritage Property Information Package

This information package explains what is involved in registering your property as a Municipal Heritage Property. After reading the package, if you still have questions regarding your property registration, please contact the Municipal Office at:

Phone: (902) 245-4757
Fax: (902) 245-5748
Email: .

What Is Heritage Registration?

The Municipality of Digby the District of Digby has adopted a by-law entitled the Heritage Property By-Law. Through this by-law, a building, streetscape or area which is of local significance or importance can be identified for its historical, architectural or cultural value. This identification requires a process called registration, a legal device offering protection against substantial alternations or demolition.

Why Do It?

To some homeowners, it is a sense of pride that they own a piece of history. To some homeowners, it is the recognition by their community that their home is uniquely special in their area.

How Do I Get My Property Registered?

  • The property owner must complete the registration form and submit it to the Heritage Property Advisory Committee. The forms can be picked up and returned to the Digby Municipal building.
  • After the registration form is received by the Advisory Committee the property is then put through an evaluation process to determine if it meets the qualifications as a Heritage Property.
  • Upon successful completion of the registration process, the owner may choose to have the property formally designated with a bronze plaque. A plaque ceremony is also offered by the Municipality to honour the occasion.

What Does It Cost Me?

  • The total cost to register your home as a Heritage Property at the Registry of Deeds is $200.00
  • The plaque ceremony and bronze plaque are paid for by the Municipality.

What Restrictions Are Placed On Alterations To My Property?

  • The Heritage Property designation is only concerned with the exterior of the building.
  • Interior renovations are not under the guidance of the Advisory Committee.
  • A request in writing must be submitted to the Heritage Advisory Committee for approval regarding all exterior renovations.
  • Exterior renovations should be such that the alterations are an improvement, maintaining the architectural integrity of the building.
  • If the Heritage Advisory Committee determines the exterior alterations are not in the best interest of the building's architectural integrity then they will suggest alternatives more in keeping with the building's heritage qualities.
  • It should be noted that as a Municipal Heritage Property the designation as a Heritage property continues even if the property is sold or transferred to another person.

Can I Get Any Rebates Or Financial Assistance For Work That Is Done To My Building?

  • There is a provincial portion rebate deducted from the 15% HST (No Maximum)  towards materials, labour and scaffolding when renovating or maintaining the exterior of a Municipal Heritage Property.( Available to Not-for-Profit Organizations only ) 
  • It is important to note that to receive the rebate the homeowner must fill out the appropriate forms and submit them to the Heritage Advisory Committee for approval. This must be done before the work commences.
  • In addition, there is assistance available to help the owner obtain the services of a qualified architect or engineer. A grant is available to cover up to 50% of the architect's or engineer's fees to a maximum of $3000.00.
  • If the building is owned by a church organization or a registered non-profit group, then there is a grant available at this time to assist with exterior maintenance. The grant provides 50% of eligible costs, to a maximum of $7500.00 every two years on labour and materials. Applications must be approved by the Heritage Advisory Committee before the work commences.

Can I Deregister My Building?

  • The owner of a Municipally Registered Heritage Property can deregister a property by submitting a request to the Heritage Advisory Committee. It is the owner's responsibility to submit the appropriate information to the Heritage Advisory Committee. (The Committee reviews the condition of the property with the Municipal Council, then conducts a public meeting to discuss the proposed deregistration and make a decision.)
  • * It is important to note that a property can not be deregistered under the reason(s) of financial or from neglect.
  • In special instances, the Municipal Council can also request the deregistration of a Heritage Property. This could occur if the property was destroyed or damaged by any cause and then become inappropriate as a Heritage Property.

Heritage Registration Questionnaire

The following is a list of questions that will assist in documenting the history and historical significance of your property. As part of the registration process of a heritage property in Digby District, a report is prepared for the Heritage Advisory Committee. It is asked that you complete this questionnaire to the best of your knowledge. Where possible, it is helpful to provide supporting documents concerning your property such as old deeds, newspaper articles, photographs, etc. Please send only copies of these documents rather than originals. It would also be helpful if staff from the Municipality could meet with you in your home so that you might point out special features that add to the authenticity of the construction date.

When Was The Building(s) Constructed?

  • Who constructed the building(s)?
  • Why was the building(s) constructed originally and what was the building(s) used for over time? Explain with specific dates, persons or events if possible.
  • Where did the materials used in the construction of the building(s) come from?
  • How much did it cost to construct the building(s)?
  • What is the overall condition of the building(s)? poor / fair / good / excellent
  • What repairs are needed to restore the building(s) to the original condition (especially repairs needed to the exterior of the structure)?
  • Is the building(s) on the original site of construction, if not, where was the original site?
  • Has the building(s) ever burnt down? if so, when?
  • Has the exterior of the building ever been structurally altered or cosmetically altered from its original appearance? Please note the type of alteration(s) and the date(s).
  • Were there any other building(s) that have been removed from the property?
  • Does the building(s) have a distinct design that is unique in the local area?
  • Why was the particular style or design of the building(s) chosen by the builder?
  • How do other building(s) in the local area compared to your building(s) in terms of age, condition, style, design, etc.?
  • Does your building(s) relate to a specific individual, group, organization or institution of note in local, provincial or national history? Explain.
  • Does your building(s) relate to a specific event(s) in history that was notable on a local, provincial or national level? Explain.
  • How did the surrounding properties relate to your building(s)? Please explain in terms of the original size of the parcel of land.
  • How do the current surroundings relate to your building? (for example: has the property over time been subdivided into building lots?)

If you have any questions regarding the Heritage Property Questionnaire. Please call Robert Hersey, at the Digby Municipal office. (902) 245-4757 E-mail .