The Provincial Plaque Program is a cost-sharing activity of the Ontario Heritage Trust. Applicants may submit only one application for a single plaque project in any given year. An original 1,000-word typed essay or background paper on the proposed subject with a list of sources used in its preparation must be submitted with the application. The Trust does not undertake projects that involve more than one plaque or a series of plaques on a given subject (e.g., a series of plaques along a trail or walking tour route).

Provincial interest is the major criterion by which applications for provincial plaques are assessed. The onus for making the case for the provincial interest of a subject rests with the applicant. Judgments about provincial interest are made within the context of a balanced and comprehensive view of Ontario's past.

The following criteria are considered when evaluating provincial interest:

  • the extent to which a particular subject serves as a good representative example of an important theme in Ontario's heritage; this factor is most significant when few plaques to similar subjects exist within the program
  • the degree to which the proposed plaque subject is a rare, unique or early example of its type; claims of this sort must be verified by the Trust's research
  • the contribution that a plaque will make to the promotion and preservation of public awareness of its subject
  • knowledge of the subject, including the availability and reliability of documentary proof and scholarly opinion that supports the claim of provincial interest
  • the extent to which a subject is particular to Ontario or exclusively Ontarian; when all other factors are equal, subjects that are unique to Ontario take precedence over those that are more widespread
  • the suitability of the subject for interpretation by means of a plaque
  • the availability of a site for the plaque that is historically appropriate
  • priority will be given to subjects related to under-represented themes or to the Trust’s thematic approach


The Provincial Plaque Program is a cost-sharing program. At this time, the Trust asks that each applicant contribute to their project a minimum of $6,500 as well as in-kind support. Private corporations and government agencies are asked to contribute the entire amount. There is no application fee for the program.

A commitment to contribute funds should be made by the applicant at the time of application. Payment is not required until after approval of the application and must be received in full prior to the casting of the plaque. The applicant does not acquire any ownership rights to the plaque by making a contribution to its cost. While the contributions of applicants and other sponsors are appreciated and will be acknowledged, only the Ontario Heritage Trust's name appears on the credit line of provincial plaques.

Successful applicants are also expected to assist in the coordination of a public unveiling event at the local level.

Present areas of focus

Since 1982, the Trust has provided both French and English text for all new and replacement plaques. Plaques may also be created in additional languages (e.g., Mandarin, Mohawk, Ojibwe, Gaelic, etc.).

The Trust works in partnership with community groups, governments and corporations across Ontario on provincial plaque initiatives. Please contact us to discuss your ideas.

Over the next several years, the Trust will focus on a thematic approach comprising specific themes and key commemorations, summarized below. The Trust is currently encouraging provincial plaque applications for subjects that fall within one of the following themes during the identified years:

  • 2024: Adaptive reuse

In addition, the Trust encourages provincial plaque applications for subjects following these priority themes:

  • Indigenous heritage
  • Human rights and equality
  • Women’s history
  • Celebrations of diversity and identity
  • Community leaders and innovators
  • Environment and natural heritage
  • Sports and leisure

Subjects that fall outside of these priority areas will be considered on a case-by-case basis.