Heritage Advisory Committee

The Heritage Advisory Committee is a committee of council with statutory duties set out by the Ontario Heritage Act. Its volunteer members and Member of Council serve the whole community when they provide advice to Council on changes to designated heritage properties and properties within the Bayfield Heritage Conservation District.

The Municipality of Bluewater was a proud host of the Ontario Heritage Conference with the Town of Goderich in 2019. MHAC is a supporter of the Century Farm Sign program administered by the Junior Farmers Association of Ontario.

Meeting Schedule

The Heritage Advisory Committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Please visit the council portal for agendas and minutes.

Meeting Calendar

The yearly meeting schedule is set in advance. However, meeting dates are subject to change. Changes to meeting dates and times will be communicated through our social media pages and the council portal.

The 2024 schedule is:

  • January 9th
  • February 13th
  • March 12th
  • April 9th
  • May 14th
  • June 11th
  • June 13th to 15th—Ontario Heritage Conference, Gravenhurst
  • July 9th
  • August 13th
  • September 10th
  • October 8th
  • November 12th
  • December 10th

More information

A Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee established by Council provides advice on all matters relating to the legal designation and conservation of property of cultural heritage value or interest. The Terms of Reference provides additional detail about this consultative role.  To view obtain a copy of the terms of reference, please contact the Development Services Department.

In 1982, a Heritage Conservation District was designated in Bayfield under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act. It is one of the oldest districts in Ontario.

A Heritage Conservation District Plan is in effect for Main Street, Clan Gregor Square and Elgin Place which is the same area designated under Part V. The policies are intended to reinforce and refine land use planning policies for the Heritage Conservation District and ensure its long-term viability, preservation and enhancement.

Please consult this plan prior to proposing any changes to your designated property and consider the potential impact of your proposal on the Heritage Conservation District in whole and in part. 

A copy of the plan is available through our Plans, Reports and Projects page. The Plan is currently under review.


The Municipality of Bluewater passed By-law 46-2015 to establish a Heritage Property Register. The Register provides the cultural and physical heritage attributes of properties designated under Part IV and Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act as well as properties of cultural heritage value (also known as listed properties). To view the heritage property register, please contact the Development Services department.

There are six parts to the Register:

Part 1 – Bayfield Register

Part 2 – Hensall Register

Part 3 – Zurich Register

Part 4 – Hay Ward Register

Part 5 – St. Joseph Register

Part 6 – Stanley Ward Register

The Bayfield Main Street Streetscape and Open Space Improvements Master Plan was created at the request of the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee to address two decades of changes within the Heritage Conservation District. The Master Plan allows for improvements to parking, walkways, tree collection, lighting and other landscape features. The Master Plan is intended for use in planning future infrastructure improvements. An update was completed in 2010.  

Both the Master Plan and Update may be obtained from the Development Services Department for viewing.

The Ontario Heritage Actrequires that owners of property situated in a Heritage Conservation District or designated under Part IV obtain a permit from the Municipality prior to altering or demolishing any part of the property other than the interior of any structure or building on the property. There is currently no fee to apply for a Heritage Permit.

Completion of the Heritage Permit Application Form allows assessment of the proposed project on likeliness to affect the property’s heritage attributes as set out in the by-law designating the property as well as impact on neighboring properties. The application is provided to the municipal Heritage Advisory Committee. The Committee provides advice to Council that informs the final decision.

Your project may also require other permits such as a building permit, land use planning permission, site plan control and/or encroachment agreement. If you do or unsure whether you do, contact staff to arrange pre-consultation and discussion of your proposed project. Staff will strive to co-ordinate review of all approvals.

If you own or lease property in the Bayfield Heritage Conservation District or that is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and are planning on altering or demolishing any part of the property other than the interior, please review the application information or contact the Development Services Department.

Owners of historical properties are encouraged to express their pride and tell their story by installing an historical plaque.

This Heritage Plaque Program is for recognition purposes. A plaque indicates that the property is historically significant in some fashion, such as being a century farm.

As such, the program leads to the opportunity to list the property and its historical attributes on the Heritage Property Register. The effect of listing is that advance notice of demolition must be provided to Council. However, listing on the Register does not mean the property is designated under the Ontario Heritage Act. Please contact Development Services Staff for more information.

Bluewater is proud of its history. If you’re looking to spend some happy hours admiring both architecture and the tenacity that created it in a new land, then these walking and driving tours of our historic villages – Bayfield, Hensall and Zurich – as well as Hay and Stanley Townships, will delight and entertain you.

The Bluewater Heritage Tours were produced by the Municipality of Bluewater Heritage Advisory Committee in 2018 with the generous assistance of the Huron Heritage Fund.

Municipality of Bluewater
14 Mill Avenue
N0M 2T0
Phone: 519-236-4351
or 1-877-236-4351
Fax: 519-236-4329
Send an Email

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