Heritage Conservation / Preservation Overview
British Columbia’s historic places – buildings, other structures, landscapes, historic districts, and other places – are crucial to our understanding, appreciation, and sustainability of our communities. By conserving and celebrating these places, we value our communities, our future, and ourselves.
Effective heritage conservation, which involves preservation, rehabilitation, or restoration, considers many perspectives to determine heritage value. This is based on various factors including appearance, historical or spiritual significance, and use. When we know what's important about a place, we know how to care for it.
Most heritage resources in British Columbia are owned by the private sector and require private stewardship. The branch works with its stakeholders to foster a culture of heritage conservation in B.C.
Some of the benefits to conserving our heritage include
- Makes our province even more attractive - We like to live in well-kept, diverse and sustainable communities and travelers like to visit them. Plus heritage tourists stay longer and spend more.
- Helps us breathe easier - By reducing our need to build more, we protect green spaces and farmland. Keeping housing in towns facilitates healthy commuting. Also, by reusing buildings, we produce half the emissions produced by demolition and new construction.
- Keeps us happy - when we conserve our heritage it connects us to our past and strengthens our sense of self, our sense of community and our ability to shape our future.
- Revitalizes our communities - Turning old buildings into restaurants, shops, and offices generates income and keeps them trendy and fun too!
- Keeps the economy booming - Heritage buildings generate jobs during rehabilitation, and draw tourists and commercial activity long afterwards. Creative organizations tend to be attracted to heritage buildings.
- Conserves energy and reduces waste - Reusing historic buildings saves the energy used to build it and maintain it, the building material that was less energy exhaustive than today's building materials, and space in our landfills.