Historic Resource designation

Designation is a form of legal protection that helps to recognize and protect historic places. The Historical Resources Act (PDF, 364 KB) empowers the Government of Alberta to designate a site as a Provincial Historic Resource.

To qualify, historic places must normally be associated with a significant aspect of Alberta’s past and retain the physical site features necessary to convey this significance.

Eligible historic resources

  • structures
  • archaeological sites
  • palaeontological resources
  • other immovable works of humans or nature that have historic, cultural, natural, scientific or aesthetic value

Owner obligations to Provincial Historic Resources

Owners are considered stewards of their properties.

Without approval in writing from the Minister, a Provincial Historic Resource cannot be:

  • destroyed
  • disturbed
  • altered
  • restored
  • repaired
  • removed

Owners of Provincial Historic Resources should discuss any proposed interventions with Alberta Culture and Tourism staff before submitting a formal request to the Minister.

The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada offers guidance for how to make appropriate conservation decisions.

Effective January 1, 2005, the Alberta government discontinued the use of the Registered Historic Resource category as outlined in Section 19 of the Act.

The Alberta Historical Resources Foundation grant program formerly available to owners of Registered Historic Resources has been discontinued. If you’re an owner of a Registered Historic Resource you are required only to notify the Minister 90 days before making any changes to the resource.

Owners of designated Provincial Historic Resources may be eligible for grant funding under the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation.

For more information, please contact the program manager.

Submit application for designation

You may submit an application to have a site evaluated for possible historic resource designation.

Step 1. Contact us

Contact the Provincial Designation Program to discuss the possible designation of a site.

Step 2. Complete application form

Complete the application form and return it to the Provincial Designation Program.

Step 3. Obtain owner consent

Written authorization from the property owner consenting to designation should be included as part of the application package.

Step 4. Evaluation

  • Once the application is received, the significance and physical integrity of the site are evaluated to determine if it meets the criteria for Provincial Historic Resource designation.
  • The results of the evaluation are referred to the Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of the Heritage Division for approval.

Step 5. MLA is notified of the proposed designation

  • A letter is sent to the area MLA to notify them of the proposed designation if the ADM agrees designate the site as a Provincial Historic Resource.

Step 6. Notice of Intention to Designate a Provincial Historic Resource

  • A Notice of Intention to Designate is served to the owner and published in the Alberta Gazette.
  • The Notice of Intention contains a clear explanation of the legal implications of designating the site as a Provincial Historic Resource.
  • 30 days following the delivery of the Notice to the site owner and its publication in the Alberta Gazette, anyone wishing to speak to the designation may advise the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation by writing to the Foundation's Executive Director.
  • If no representations are made, then after 60 days from the date that the Notice is served to the site owner and published in the Alberta Gazette, a formal Designation Order is prepared for consideration by the Minister.

Step 7. Order designating a Provincial Historic Resource

  • If the Minister agrees with the recommendation to designate the resource, the Order Designating a Provincial Historic Resource is signed.
  • A copy of the Order is immediately served to the owner.
  • An original or certified copy of the Order is also registered on the Certificate of Title with the appropriate Alberta Land Titles office.
  • The Order is published in the Alberta Gazette.
  • A Provincial Historic Resource plaque is sent to the owner.

Step 8. Listing on the Alberta and Canadian Registers of Historic Places

  • The resource is listed on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.
  • If the resource is eligible, it will be submitted for listing on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Search historic places

All designated historic places in Alberta can be found on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.


To contact the Provincial Designation Program:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-431-2300 (in Alberta)
Toll free: dial 310-0000 before the number
Fax: 780-427-5598
Email: rebecca.goodenough@gov.ab.ca

Old St. Stephen’s College
8820 – 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P8