Historic places include the buildings, neighbourhoods, trails and cultural landscapes that provide a sense of place and contribute to BC's unique identity. They serve as touchstones to memory and catalysts for community revitalization. Formal recognition of such places builds awareness of our shared heritage.
The BC Register of Historic Places is part of the provincial heritage register of historic and archaeological sites that exists as a statutory requirement of the Heritage Conservation Act. The BC Register of Historic Places is a subset of the records on the provincial heritage register database, and is the province’s official list of post-1846 historic places that have been formally recognized by the Province or by a local government.
The BC Register of Historic Places supports land use decisions, heritage conservation projects, and public awareness initiatives. The database contains over 4,600 entries representing the diversity of historic places across the province. Archaeological sites are not included in the BC Register - contact the Archaeology Branch for information about archaeology in BC.
Under the Local Government Act and the Vancouver Charter, local governments can formally recognize places with local or regional significance, primarily through municipal designation and community heritage register listings. Local governments are required to notify the province of all newly-recognized municipal historic places so that they can be added to the BC Register.
Under the Heritage Conservation Act, the province can protect historic places with provincial-level heritage significance in several ways, primarily through designation as Provincial heritage property (Crown land) or Provincial heritage sites (non-Crown land).
In British Columbia, there are over 50 provincial heritage designations for historic places under the Heritage Conservation Act.
The federal government has responsibility for national-level formal recognition. National Historic Sites and other federal recognitions are not officially part of the BC Register, but may be noted in the database.
The BC Historic Places web map provides selected data from the BC Register about historic places that are formally recognized by the province or a local government. It also includes some sites that are under federal government jurisdiction. Archaeological sites are not included in the dataset.
The map provides basic information for each listing including the Borden Number and registration status on the BC Register. Additional information, if available, may include location, name and level of government providing formal recognition, construction year and brief description.
Note that the map displays the highest level of government that has formally recognized each historic place, but there may be additional types of recognition. Contact Heritage Branch for more information about specific sites.
The Canadian Register of Historic Places is a searchable database of historic places across Canada that have been recognized for their heritage value by local, provincial, territorial and federal governments. The database and website are hosted by Parks Canada on behalf of all the participating jurisdictions.
Historic places from the BC Register that are fully documented, including a Statement of Significance, are added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places by the BC Registrar in Heritage Branch. Listing on the Canadian Register supports celebration of Canada’s historic places, public education and tourism development but does not provide additional protection or National Historic Site status.