These are the basic principles of conservation.
Understanding, knowledge and appreciation come as we discover places, buildings, parks, neighbourhoods, and the ideas and forces that shaped them historically or transform them today. There is also a certain joy in understanding their significance and sharing it with family, neighbours and friends, or even visitors. To properly care for and safeguard significant places, some understanding of the regulations in place to protect and recognize this heritage is also necessary. It is in the public interest to prevent the impoverishment or trivialization of our heritage and to ensure that we pass it on to the next generation, if not intact, at least properly used and even enriched. This often requires forming alliances and strategies to communicate a focused and consistent plan over months. What may sound like an ordeal can actually turn out to prove a stimulating opportunity to co-operate with neighbours, interested citizens, experts and organizations.
(Excerpt from the preface by Gérard Beaudet, A Handbook for Montreal’s Heritage: To Discover and to Protect, Heritage Montreal, 1998.)