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What We Do

The National Trust for Canada is a national charity that inspires and leads action to save historic places, and promotes the care and wise use of our historic environment. Our sites, projects and programs enhance community and quality of life and inspire Canadians to identify, conserve, use, celebrate and value their heritage buildings, landscapes, natural areas and communities for present and future generations.

The National Trust has a long track record for raising awareness for heritage conservation, saving heritage properties across Canada, and engaging Canadians in keeping their own historic places alive. It has successfully encouraged governments at all levels to adopt programs, policies and legislation for the protection and stewardship of historic places, heritage buildings and cultural landscapes. Programs like Main Street Canada trained a generation of heritage practitioners and continue to help communities revitalize their downtowns. 

The Governor General of Canada has been the National Trust's patron since the organization's inception. For more information about His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M., C.O.M., C.D., Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, visit his website.

Engaging and inspiring Canadians

Our beautiful quarterly magazine Hēritage celebrates places that matter to Canadians, provides in-depth coverage of current heritage issues and success stories, and shares practical tips for homeowners.  

The National Trust’s National Heritage Awards Program recognizes individuals and organizations whose work gives new life to Canada’s historic places. The National Trust awards include those created in collaboration with His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, Madame Gabrielle Léger, and Canada’s Lieutenant Governors.

The National Trust leads the nation in celebrating Heritage Day on the 3rd Monday in February each year.  

National Trust members can visit Historic Places owned and operated by the National Trust and its partners in Canada, as well as in the United States, Australia, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Jersey.

The National Trust’s Top 10 Endangered Places List is released annually to bring national attention to sites at risk due to neglect, lack of funding, inappropriate development and weak legislation. It has become a powerful tool in the fight to make landmarks, not landfill.

Sharing tools and resources

The National Trust's website,,is a national clearinghouse of information about historic places, conservation issues, best practices, tool kits and success stories, with links to local organizations, funding sources and more.   

The National Trust's annual National Heritage Conference is the premier educational and networking event for members of Canada’s heritage conservation practitioners and advocates. Participants will include architects, municipal planners, developers, public policy makers, elected officials and property owners. 

Through two successful programs – Main Street® and Heritage Regions® – the National Trust brings proven heritage-led revitalization strategies to Canadian provinces, regions and communities. The National Trust offers extensive experience, a legacy of local and regional projects across the country, and a stable of experts in economic development, marketing, design, heritage conservation, tourism and community organization.

The National Trust supports careers in heritage through the Young Canada Works program, which gives students and recent graduates the opportunity to acquire valuable work skills and experience in the field of heritage, and helps heritage organizations complete important projects. 

The National Trust supports Canadian students and young professionals pursuing studies or working in built heritage by administering the Herb Stovel Scholarship Fund.

Agora-L is a free, e-mail based tool for discussing issues and exchanging ideas about heritage conservation in Canada.

Building coalitions and partnerships

The National Trust builds National Networks that tackle pan-Canadian challenges and issues, including the National Trust's National Council and the National Roundtable for Heritage Education.

Influencing policies and laws

The National Trust takes on issues and campaigns in the pursuit of better heritage programs, such as the need for financial incentives and legal protection.

Read the National Trust's Annual Report.