Montréal is a city full of culture. Not only does the city provide a lot of cultural events; the architecture itself is a veritable cultural exhibition. Many houses were built in the 18th or 19th century and are still inhabited today, and a number are now undergoing restoration, as a means of conservation. The city of Montréal is aware of the importance of these buildings and wants to maintain their state. In fact, Montréal encourages people to take care of their buildings and sites of significant heritage interest. The government of Québec’s cultural heritage fund, or Fonds du patrimoine culturel québecois, was put in place in order to protect and celebrate the province’s heritage, including historic buildings in Montréal. Within this fund there are five components, such as the conservation of artwork, the realisation of museum exhibitions, and also the protection of buildings and sites of interest with cultural significance. Buildings in need of restoration, which are classified under the Cultural Heritage Act, may receive funding or a subsidy from the government through their restoration program.
As the Fonds du patrimoine culturel québecois says, the goal of this restoration program is to “preserve evidence of our rich, unique history for the benefit of present and future generations.”
To benefit from a subsidy, there are some conditions which must be met.
You must own:
- a building of significant heritage interest designated in the Master Plan and subject to regulatory conservation measures;
- a building of heritage interest in an area designated in the Master Plan and subject to regulatory conservation measures;
- a building that is protected or in an area protected under the Cultural Property Act.
Other conditions apply to the building itself:
- The building must have been built before 1975
- The minimum cost of the restoration work is $5,000
- Eligible work to restore a heritage building includes work required to:
- preserve the exterior appearance of the building, such as repairs to doors, windows, cornices, facing, roofs, windows and other decorative elements, and the cleaning of its façades;
- replace irreparably damaged or missing elements, in keeping with their original configuration and materials, to enhance Montréal’s built heritage;
- repair its foundations, structure and envelope, except work to waterproof flat roofs;
- conduct archaeological excavations on a property that is part of an identified archaeological site (complete).
The subsidy application must be submitted before any work is started on the property. All necessary permits must be obtained beforehand.
The subsidy itself:
- The assistance represents 30% of the actual cost of eligible restoration work, except for property classified under the Cultural Property Act;
- The maximum subsidy amount is $250,000.
Photo credits: Wikipedia (Montréal city hall)