Heritage alteration permit

110 Carrall Street in Gastown

A heritage alteration permit may be needed if:

  • You want to renovate or upgrade your property
  • You want to do repairs or major maintenance work on your property; and
  • Your property is protected under a Heritage Designation Bylaw, Heritage Revitalization Agreement, or is scheduled as protected in a heritage conservation area, and the proposed work applies to elements specifically protected under that bylaw or legal agreement – typically the exterior, but sometimes interior elements. (Properties on the Heritage Register that do not fall under these categories of protection do not require a Heritage Alteration Permit, although the proposed work may still require review by a City heritage planner.)

The heritage alteration permit is in conjunction with another permit such as a development permit, development-building permit, sign permit or awning permit.

We are here to help

For specific information about your situation, contact the Development and Building Services Centre. Our staff will help you determine which permits you need, and help navigate you through the process, so you can speak to your contractor with confidence.


  1. Your permit application will automatically be reviewed by a City heritage planner. Depending on the extent of the proposed work, you may be asked for more information.
  2. The heritage planner will decide whether or not your application needs to be reviewed by a heritage advisory group. This typically occurs when additional guidance is sought for more complex issues.
  3. If necessary, your application will be heard by the appropriate advisory group, depending on where the property is located:
    • Chinatown - Chinatown Historic Area Planning Committee
    • First Shaughnessy District - First Shaughnessy Advisory Design Panel
    • Gastown - Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee
    • Any other part of the City of Vancouver - the Vancouver Heritage Commission
  4. For applications specific to Chinatown, First Shaughnessy or Gastown, once the advisory group has reviewed your project, they may refer it to the Vancouver Heritage Commission for further input. This usually happens when an application involves a large project or when a project could have an impact on the broader community.


Applications that are reviewed by a heritage planner generally do not take longer to be processed than applications that are not reviewed by a heritage planner.

Fees (effective January 1, 2016)

There is no charge for the heritage alteration permit. 

Standard building permit or development permit fees will apply if either a building permit or development permit is needed. The fees schedule has more information.

You can pay for building and development permits when you apply for them. You can pay by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card.

View the fees schedule  PDF

Heritage conservation in Vancouver

The City of Vancouver is working to recognize, preserve, and celebrate our heritage buildings and places.

Learn more here

Did you know?

The Vancouver Heritage Register lists locations that have value or significance in history, culture, or aesthetics.

Currently the register has over 2,300 entries including:

  • Buildings
  • Landscapes
  • Monuments
  • Archaeological sites

Contact the Development and Building Services Centre about building and zoning


Location and mailing address
Development and Building Services Centre
Ground floor
515 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5Z 4A8

Monday, Wednesday, Friday
8:30am to 4:30pm

Tuesday, Thursday
8:30am to 4:00pm

Free 2-hour parking
West 10th Ave parking lot,
between Cambie and Yukon