Property Improvements

Prior to starting a new construction or renovation project, either for the interior or exterior, you must first determine whether you require a building permit.


Building permits

Municipality of Port Hope Building Officials operate under the Planning and Development Services Department to review permit applications, issue permits, and conduct inspections in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, the Municipality of Port Hope Zoning Bylaw as well as, other applicable laws and regulations.



This ensures the standards for construction and plumbing are consistent throughout the Municipality. 


Heritage approvals

Heritage conservation within the Downtown and advising property owners on appropriate conservation practices are important objectives for the Municipality of Port Hope. The Heritage Port Hope Advisory Committee (HPH), a Committee of Council, advises Council on local heritage matters and assists in carrying out our Heritage Conservation Program.


Heritage Approval is needed for changes to designated properties because of their historic and architectural significance under the Ontario Heritage Act.

If you are the owner of a property located in the HBIA Heritage Districts, please remember before investing in building alterations or signage, to ask the Municipal Building Department if a Heritage Application or Heritage Sign Application is required.

Heritage Applications are free of charge and HPH members are available to answer questions regarding the planning of restorations, paint colours, additions, alterations or signage prior to commencement.


5 Step Process

  1. All designated buildings require a Heritage Application before any alterations can be made and a Heritage Sign Application before any signs are erected. Therefore, before painting or erecting a sign, replacing a roof or a window, or making any structural alterations, visit the Municipality of Port Hope Building Department to find out if a building permit is required and to obtain Heritage Applications documents if required.
  2. Consult with HPH to discuss proposed plans or ideas. It’s FREE advice.
  3. After consultation with HPH, submit the Heritage Application or Heritage Sign Application to the Municipality of Port Hope Building Department with detailed drawings, photos and description of the work to be done.
  4. The building department will forward documentation to HPH for review and approval and will notify you when the Heritage Application is approved.
  5. Contact the Municipality of Port Hope Building Department for any further permits and approvals.


Many of the storefronts within Port Hope’s Heritage District were built in the 19th and early 20th century. This architecture presents one of the best-preserved and most complete heritage streetscapes in the province. The quality of store signage plays a significant role in attracting businesses and is a major contribution to the Downtown's distinctive identity and character.



In December 2005, the Municipality of Port Hope passed a by-law regulating signs and other advertising devices in the Municipality.


Careful planning will ensure your signage contributes to the distinctive identity and character of downtown and your own business goals. Be informed, seek guidance before beginning.


Heritage incentive programs

The Municipality of Port Hope encourages the restoration and reuse of designated heritage properties. Ask about the Heritage Grant Program, the Heritage Tax Incentive Program and the Brownfield Heritage Property Tax Incentive program.



For more information click on the following links:

Heritage Incentives Advisory Committee (HIAC) By-law.

HIAC Brochure.

Heritage Grant Application Form.

Heritage Incentive Tax Reduction Application Form.

Heritage Incentive Brownfields Tax Incentives Form.

By-law 71-2005 Brownfield Property By-law.

By-law 72-2005 Heritage Incentive Program By-law.


Helpful Municipal Forms and By-Laws

Sign By-Law

Heritage Port Hope Applications

Sign Permit Applications

Building Permits application

Municipal Outdoor Restaurant & Sidewalk Patio Licensing by-law

Municipal Holiday Hours By-law


All forms and by-laws are available at the Development Team Office at 5 Mill Street South, Port Hope, ON. Monday to Friday 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Call 905.885.2431 or send an email here