Mandate of the Ontario Heritage Trust

Pursuant to the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, the Trust is mandated to:

  • advise and make recommendations to the Minister on any matter relating to the conservation, protection and preservation of the heritage of Ontario
  • receive, acquire and hold property in trust for the people of Ontario
  • support, encourage and facilitate the conservation, protection and preservation of the heritage of Ontario
  • preserve, maintain, reconstruct, restore and manage property of historical, architectural, archaeological, recreational, esthetic, natural and scenic interest
  • conduct research, educational and communications programs necessary for heritage conservation, protection and preservation

The Ontario Heritage Trust has a broad, provincewide mandate to identify, protect, promote and conserve Ontario’s heritage in all its forms. The Trust serves as the heritage trustee and steward for the people of Ontario.

In this capacity, it is designated to:

  • conserve provincially significant cultural and natural heritage
  • interpret Ontario’s history
  • educate Ontarians of its importance in our society
  • celebrate the province’s diversity

In 2017, the Ontario Heritage Trust celebrates 50 years of service to Ontarians.

The Trust’s mandate includes three main areas of responsibility:

  • owning, managing and protecting a portfolio of provincially significant heritage properties
  • acting as a centre of expertise on the protection and conservation of provincially and locally significant heritage properties
  • promoting heritage and educating the public in the role and importance of heritage

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 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 Ontario Heritage Trust, established in 1967, is the province’s heritage agency, with a statutory responsibility for identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting built, cultural and natural heritage across the province. The responsibilities and powers of the Trust are set out in Part II of the Ontario Heritage Act.