Changes to the Ontario Heritage Act in 2006 allow municipalities to list properties that are not designated on a register.
In 2008, Council endorsed the creation of a register for non-designated properties of cultural heritage value. Owners of listed properties must give the council of the municipality at least 60 days notice of their intention to demolish or remove a building or structure on the property. This allows for the municipality to decide whether to begin a designation process to give long-term protection to the property.
In 1996, Council endorsed the Rating System for Built Heritage Resources. The purpose of this numerical system is to provide a means of assessing and comparing the heritage significance of properties based on standardized criteria; for example, historical, architectural, contextual.
A Priority 1 heritage resource is considered to be of major significance. In those cases, the St. Catharines Heritage Committee (SCHC) will focus its efforts on designation while a Priority 2 heritage resource is of some significance, by comparison.
The essential difference between a Priority 1 and Priority 2 heritage resource is that the SCHC will actively pursue designation through its public relations efforts for the former but will generally react to requests to designate the latter. However, both are considered supportable for designation in most cases, pending further research.