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Heritage Places in Cumberland

This page was last reviewed on January 18, 2024.

The heritage values of a community are communicated through the continued presence, use and understanding of its historic places. Cumberland’s heritage values are founded in its downtown, historic town sites, industrial sites, structures, landscapes, people and events, and are central to the Village’s identity.

Local governments have some ability to manage community heritage resources. However, to do so, the heritage resource must by formally identified by the local government as having heritage value by being placed on the community heritage register.

There were two major efforts to inventory heritage buildings and places prior to establishment of the Community Heritage Register in 2017.

In 1997, the Village published “Cumberland Heritage – A Selected History of People, Buildings, Institutions & Sites 1888-1950”, by Jennifer Nell Barr. This was completed in collaboration with the Cumberland Museum and Archives and funded through a grant from BC Heritage Trust.

In 2016, the Village developed a Heritage Management Plan. The Plan includes a Heritage Inventory as a starting point for adding places and sites to the Community Heritage Register.

Community Heritage Register

A Community Heritage Register is an official record listing properties that a local government identifies as having heritage value or character.

In 2017, Village Council established Cumberland’s Community Heritage Register. The Register currently includes 13 properties, and Staff and the Village’s Heritage Committee are working to add further sites to the Register each year.

A Statement of Significance (SOS) is written for each place or feature that is added to the Community Heritage Register. A Statement of Significance summarizes the description, heritage value and character-defining elements of each historic place and explains why it is important.

View the Community Heritage Register here.

Community Heritage Register – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does inclusion on the Community Heritage Register mean?

The Community Heritage Register is an important component of Cumberland’s heritage program. It provides a means of identifying, acknowledging and recording local heritage. The description of the heritage value and character is key to conservation and makes it possible to identify the importance and significance of the heritage resource for past, present and future generations.

Recognition on the Community Heritage Register may also, if both parties are interested, serve as a starting point for a conversation between the Village and owner to protect the heritage value.

Are there exemptions for heritage buildings under the BC Building Code?

The BC Building Code provides a set of alternate compliance methods for heritage buildings as well as the ability to apply alternate solutions that have been developed by a Fire Protection Engineer and approved by the Building Inspector. Buildings qualify for alternate compliance methods if they are on the community heritage register, designated by bylaw or located within a Heritage Conservation Area.

Are properties on the Community Heritage Register able to be developed?

If a property is listed on the Community Heritage Register, it has been recognized by the Village as having heritage value to Cumberland. The Statement of Significance provides a record of the heritage value and character that should be considered in development. It does not provide local governments the authority to prevent the owner of a heritage property from developing, redeveloping, or demolishing a property.

Owners of heritage buildings are encouraged to work with Village staff to retain and protect the property, while ensuring its use, density and function are the best they can be.

The Village may ask an owner to conduct a site visit of a property on the Register to assess its heritage value, the heritage character or need for conservation or to develop a heritage impact assessment regarding possible effects of a building renovation or demolition.

The Village may stay demolition for up to 30 days after an inspection to allow for a report to be presented to Council and give Council the opportunity to provide incentives and enter into discussions with the owner regarding possible voluntary protection measures.

How can I add a site to the Community Heritage Register?

Sites may be nominated for inclusion on the Community Heritage Register. The Village’s Heritage Committee reviews both nominations and the Heritage Inventory (link to Vol 2 of HMP), and makes recommendations for sites to be added to the Community Heritage Register. Once chosen, Statements of Significance are researched and written for the site. Click here for a Community Heritage Register nomination form.

How does the Community Heritage Register fit with provincial and national registers?

When sites are added to the Community Heritage Register, the local government must inform the provincial government so the site can be added to the BC Register of Historic Places, and fully documented sites are then added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places , a searchable database of historic places across Canada.

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