Willowbank's Diploma Program

Heritage Conservation Diploma Program 

There is a pause in enrollment for 2023 but applications will be open in the new year for the 2024-25 first year cohort.

Current students learn both the why and the how of heritage conservation, taking theory and policy-based courses alongside hands-on heritage trades.

Years one and two are full-time, on-campus; year three is spent in a placement, which can be employment, an internship, or a personal project. After completing the three-year program, students graduate with a Diploma in Heritage Conservation.

Experience our campus                                                                               

 (Note that the former Laura Secord School is no longer part of the Willowbank campus and all classes previously taught there are now taught at the Willowbank Estate).

Book a tour

The best way to get a sense of the the school and the student community is to visit for a campus tour. Book yours now by filling in our form.

Professionalism runs deep

All of our instructors are heritage professionals who visit Willowbank to teach their course, and our small class size means students have the opportunity to really engage with the instructor and begin building their network in the industry with an eye towards 3rd-year placements and beyond. 96% of our graduates go on to employment in the heritage conservation field.

History, community, and architecture merge together at Willowbank. The school fosters passion, dedication, and high attention to detail that will help you craft your future niche career in the conservation field.

Garrett France-Wyllie
Class of 2019 / Heritage Carpenter & owner of France-Wyllie Restorations

Learn in History

Willowbank is located in the picturesque village of Queenston, Niagara-on-the-Lake. Some students who relocate to the area live in the village, renting from local residents, and some find rental accommodation in the surrounding areas including Niagara Falls or St Catharines. 

Willowbank’s historic campus and the combination of theory and hands-on classes are unique. The instructors were extremely passionate about what they do and my classmates were always incredibly supportive. The three-year program was truly inspiring and transformative and has prepared me in unpredictable ways for my career.

Jasoda Silva
Class of 2019 / Historic Preservation Project Assistant, Clinton Brown Architecture Co.

Tuition fees


A non-refundable application fee of $50 (CAD) for domestic applicants / $100 (CAD) for international applicants is due at the time of application.
A $500 non-refundable deposit fee for all students is due within three weeks of acceptance into the program and is then taken off your 1st-year tuition.
Tuition may be paid in instalments.

International Students

Willowbank is pleased to welcome students from around the world. International students are encouraged to submit their diploma program application and begin their visa application process as early as possible. Please note our courses are delivered in English, so a working knowledge of the language is required.

Application Requirments

All applicants must submit the following:

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    Completed application form

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    Official high school transcripts or equivalency certificate

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    Official college or university transcripts (if applicable)

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    Two letters of reference

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    Non-refundable application fee

    $50 CAD for domestic applicants / $100 CAD for international applications

OPTIONAL: Applicants may also submit a portfolio if they have one

Entry Requirements

The minimum requirement for the Diploma Program is a secondary school diploma or equivalent.

The majority of our applicants have previously completed a college or university program, are refocusing their careers or re-training for a new career.

A demonstrated passion for heritage and a commitment to both hands-on and academic exploration of the conservation field is essential.

Entrance Scholarships, Fellowships & Bursaries

Thanks to generous funding from the Dalglish Family Foundation, we offer entrance scholarships to incoming students. Students may apply to receive up to 50% off their 1st-year tuition. For information on how to apply, please contact us.

2nd-year students may apply for various fellowships & bursaries, which pay from $300 - $1500. Information on these is distributed in 1st year.


Equity, Diversity and Inclusiveness Policy

Willowbank School of Restoration Arts (referred to as ‘Willowbank’) values and promotes human rights, adheres to the Ontario Human Rights Code and commits to foster a college community that enables full participation of all students and employees to study and work. Willowbank celebrates the diversity of its students and employees and sees diversity as a strength.

Willowbank recognizes that society and post-secondary institutions historically and systemically have marginalized equity-seeking groups. We acknowledge that this marginalization continues to hinder an individual’s ability to fully, freely, and equitably participate within an academic institution and in society. We strive to ensure socioeconomic status does not hinder someone’s ability to access and be successful in post-secondary education.

As such, the College commits to identify, prevent, and eliminate discrimination and harassment in all its forms with respect to race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, political belief, marital status or family status of that person or that group or class of persons.

Willowbank commits to uphold the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion to foster a barrier-free, respectful, and welcoming learning and working environment.