City of Regina
Saskatchewan CA

EX Public Report.

Heritage Grants and Tax Exemptions 2023


Department:Planning & Development ServicesSponsors:
Category:Not Applicable

Report Body



The properties seeking incentives are listed in Appendix B of this report and are eligible for financial assistance under the Heritage Incentives Policy to assist in recovering costs associated with conservation of their heritage value.


The applications were reviewed for eligibility by Administration and prioritized by the Heritage Sector Reference Group. The recommended funds are based on the estimated cost of the eligible conservation work. An agreement between the City of Regina (City) and the property owner will secure the City’s interests in ensuring the building is properly conserved and maintained.




Financial Impact

Upon approval of the recommended funds, the full 2023 heritage conservation grants budget of $250,000.00 will be allocated. The recommended total tax exemption is $326,670.07, the municipal portion is $196,444.


Incentives provided under the Heritage Incentives Policy may be stacked with other incentives offered by the Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments.


Policy/Strategic Impact

Municipal investment in the conservation of heritage resources has cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits. Active use of well-maintained heritage buildings creates a tangible link to the stories associated with Regina’s growth and development and creates visual interest in streetscapes and neighborhoods. Well maintained and actively used heritage buildings contribute positively to vibrant communities and the revitalization of core neighbourhoods.


The Heritage Incentives Policy supports the City’s Strategic Priority of Vibrant Communities, specifically to “prioritize a vibrant city centre”. Many of Regina’s heritage properties are found within the City Centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, which are areas prioritized by Council for investments to encourage renewal, intensification, and increased public safety and vibrancy.


Environmental Impacts

Restoring and preserving heritage buildings can prevent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions resulting from demolition of the existing structure and construction of a new building. For example, the retention of an existing building prevents the generation of construction waste and demolition waste that would have been disposed of at the landfill. Some of the materials disposed at the landfill would also generate GHG gas emissions.




1.      Approve the recommendation with a reduced dollar value of the grants or tax exemptions or remove certain properties from the recommendation. Removal of certain properties from the recommendation would not maximize the City’s conservation efforts for the year and could delay rehabilitation and maintenance of the property and negatively impact revitalization in core neighbourhoods.


2.      If City Council has specific concerns with the recommendation, it may refer the report back to Administration to address or make additional recommendations. It should be noted that heritage grants are funded from the operating budget and these funds will not be available for allocation following year-end without approval from Council.




On January 31, 2023, a call for Heritage Incentive Applications was mailed out to 111 designated properties, and 207 properties listed on the Heritage Inventory.




Heritage properties hold historical, cultural, and architectural significance and support unique neighbourhood character and are a fundamental component of our community's identity. Rehabilitation and maintenance of heritage properties is often specialized and can result in additional costs for property owners. To offset this cost, the Heritage Incentives Policy provides up to $50,000 in grants and 10 years of tax exemptions for designated properties. The Heritage Incentives can be complemented by the Revitalization Incentive Program, that also provides cash grants and a maximum of five years of tax exemptions for a broader range of eligible projects.


Heritage Incentives Applications - 2023

Seventeen Heritage Incentives Applications were submitted by the deadline of March 31, 2023. Each of these applications was individually assessed to determine their eligibility. The work proposed in each of these properties includes aspects of preservation, rehabilitation, and restoration and represents a total project cost of $1,584,564.61 and total commitment of $576,670.07, of which $446,444 is City funding including both grants and tax exemptions. The proposed work was prioritized based on the following criteria:


1.      Viability

a.      Structural Viability: This criterion assessed whether the heritage property requires structural repairs (e.g., foundation repair).

b.      Financial Viability: This criterion assessed if the investment on the building improves financial viability of conservation over the long term.


2.      Heritage Value

a.      Unique Heritage Value: This criterion assessed the uniqueness of the heritage value/thematic framework of the heritage property and if there are other heritage properties that possess this kind of heritage value.

b.      Investment focus on Character Defining Elements: The criterion assessed whether the conservation work is being carried out on the character-defining elements.

c.      Urgency: The criterion assessed the urgency of the conservation work.


3.      Public Benefits

a.      Public Visibility: This criterion assessed the degree to which the public can experience a heritage property.

b.      Public Access: This criterion assessed whether the public can access the heritage property


On May 9, 2023, members of the Heritage Sector Reference Group met to review the applications and provided a recommendation for the allocation of funding for the grants and tax exemption. The exact amount of disbursement will be based on the actual cost of the conservation work as identified in the future submitted invoices.




Designated heritage properties have had access to tax exemptions since 1991. Prior to 2014, heritage properties could receive a maximum of five years of tax exemption, with a cap of $250,000 for downtown properties and $150,000 for properties outside the downtown area. However, changing market conditions were making heritage projects less financially attractive, as increasing construction costs and escalating land values were making it challenging to achieve a competitive rate of return without increased incentives. In response, the City engaged a consultant to investigate the current development costs for rehabilitation and the effectiveness of the existing Heritage Building Rehabilitation Program. The study found that existing incentives were inadequate and not in alignment with current market conditions, which threatened buildings with heritage value. Consequently, in 2014 City Council approved an increase in the tax exemption from five to ten years and removed the monetary cap, providing more significant incentives for heritage building rehabilitation.


Placing a cap on tax exemptions for heritage properties could have negative impacts on conservation efforts. Currently, the heritage tax exemption incentive has been beneficial and has assisted in the maintenance of many heritage properties, particularly commercial and multi-family units in the downtown area. If the tax benefits are limited, property owners may be discouraged from investing in the rehabilitation of their heritage properties or defer maintenance of their properties. This could result in a lack of investment in heritage properties, leading to deterioration and the potential loss of important historic buildings. Commercial and multi-unit properties in the City Centre and surrounding neighbourhoods benefit from the tax exemption incentive, and reduced access to this benefit could slow progress on revitalization of these areas.




Council approved the reviewed Heritage Incentive Policy (CR 22-30) (Appendix C) on March 16, 2022.


Council approved the following bylaws under the heritage incentives policy for the properties listed below.


·         Bylaw 2023-11: Major Grants and Bylaw 2023-8: Tax Exemption for 2125 11th Avenue.

·         Bylaw 2019-5: Tax Exemption for 3225 13th Avenue.

·         Bylaw 2019-68: Tax Exemption for 1431 Victoria Avenue.

·         Bylaw 2023-31: Maintenance Grants for 77 Leopold Crescent.

·         Bylaw 2015-36: Tax Exemption for 2398 Scarth Street.

·         Bylaw 2004-13: Tax Exemption for 2105 Hamilton Street.

·         Bylaw 9914: Tax Exemption for 1852/56 Scarth Street.

·         Bylaw 2006-77: Tax Exemption for 205 Leopold Crescent.



Respectfully Submitted,              Respectfully Submitted,




Autumn Dawson, Director              Deborah Bryden, Executive Director

Planning & Development Services              City Planning & Community Development


Prepared by: {ResUserUser1:First Last, Title}