The Ontario Heritage Trust: Who we are

As the province’s lead heritage agency, the Ontario Heritage Trust is entrusted with keeping Ontario’s heritage alive and meaningful. The Trust gives Ontario’s heritage relevance. The Trust:

  • promotes the importance of heritage conservation
  • preserves and protects provincially significant built, cultural and natural heritage sites
  • upholds and advocates the highest standards of conservation
  • demonstrates the adaptive reuse of heritage properties and promotes sustainable approaches to conservation
  • advises the Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism on the provincial significance and conservation of properties throughout Ontario
  • commemorates important heritage sites, events and people with plaques throughout the province
  • celebrates community heritage
  • maintains a provincial register of all properties and heritage conservation districts designated under the Ontario Heritage Act
  • operates several museums that showcase Trust-owned properties and unique collections
  • encourages young people to get involved in heritage activities
  • raises revenue to support heritage activities
Ontario Heritage Centre interior (Photo: Mark Wolfson)
Credit: Mark Wolfson Ontario Heritage Centre, interior

Together with our many dedicated partners across the province, we celebrate and protect Ontario’s heritage. The Trust demonstrates its commitment to engage all Ontarians in the work and promotion of heritage conservation in a number of ways. We do this by:

  • providing public access to many of our properties
  • recognizing individuals, youth and communities through our annual recognition programs
  • featuring our programs and activities through our e-magazine Heritage Matters
  • hosting special events like plaque unveilings and open houses
  • sharing our expertise through workshops, seminars, conferences and special publications
  • providing technical advice and assistance
  • conducting and documenting significant archaeological work
  • maintaining a database on Ontario’s Places of Worship
  • celebrating Ontario’s Heritage Week the third week of February each year
  • discovering Ontario’s heritage treasures and natural beauty through the popular provincewide Doors Open Ontario program

The Trust’s important work is supported by:

  • gifts and bequests of money, property and cultural artifacts from individuals
  • sponsorships and donations from corporations and community partners
  • income from properties we own – including the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatres — as well as the rental of heritage venues for corporate events, weddings and special events, office space and film locations
  • annual grants from the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Multiculturalism supports a portion of the Trust’s operating and capital costs