Midland, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Midland, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Midland is located on the southern end of Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands about ninety miles north of Toronto.

Huronia was named for the Huron Nation and consists of the areas around southeastern Georgian Bay which include Midland and Penetanguishene.  The area was visited by French Jesuits traveling with the Voyageurs to the Wye River in 1639.  They were welcomed by the Huron tribe who traded furs and skins for metal goods and clothing from France.  They built a settlement named Fort Ste. Marie which thrived for ten years until it was burned to the ground in 1649 by the Jesuits themselves after repeated attacks from Iroquois who were in league with the English who wanted the French share of the fur trade in North America.  Some of the priests were martyred.  The Sainte-Marie among the Hurons site was discovered in 1947, excavated and rebuilt to its original form by archeologists from the University of Western Ontario.

The Jesuits attempted a second site on St. Joseph’s Island, currently Christian Island, and named it Sainte Marie II.  They carried many of their goods by raft to this second site.  After a winter of terrible hardship and starvation, the Jesuits decided to abandon their mission and returned to Quebec in 1650.  Christian Island was later declared a native reservation by the Canadian government.

In 1871 a group of the principal shareholders of the Midland Railway, headed by Adolph Hugel, chose this location as the northern terminus of their line which they ran from Port Hope to Beaverton.  The town site was surveyed in 1872-73.  The railway line was completed in 1879 and soon attracted settlers to the area.  The new community, Midland, achieved its early growth through shipping and the lumber and grain trade.

In and around the center of Midland there are a number of murals most of which were painted by now deceased artist Fred Lenz.

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

320 King Street – The impressive Romanesque style limestone structure which now houses the library was built in 1913 as Midland’s first post office, with customs and excise offices on the second floor. – mansard roof, high central gable, imposing corner porch, and tower; 2½ storey building composed of even course cut stone, with a belt course that goes around the entire building; metal roof has a decorative stone fascia; some semi-elliptical windows, and a corner entrance. In 1963 the post office, needing more space, moved to its new home on Dominion Avenue and the beautiful limestone building sat empty for three years. In 1967, the library moved to the old post office. Setting your watch by the clock tower would be inadvisable as the four faces do not always agree. – Midland Book 1

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

234-236 King Street – Jeffery Block – 1901 – Romanesque Revival style – large number and regular rhythm of windows; extend brick corner quoins and varied brick courses on the window lintels – The Crow’s Nest Pub and Restaurant is now where the hardware store was; second floor YMCA; top floor Odd Fellows lodge meeting rooms

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

203-207 King Street – two storey, flat roofed commercial building – Burton Block, built by the Burton Brothers of Barrie – exterior of the building is made up of board and batten, stretcher brick, poured concrete, and sheet metal siding; frontispiece and decorated panels; brick keystones above windows; blind transom above door. The original stone carvings of Greek gods are still intact above the Taxi Stand door.

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

213-219 King Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

437 King Street – exterior is stretcher brick with a cut stone foundation; medium hipped roof and two second storey balconies; brick voussoirs; decorative brick below some windows; sidelights; open verandah with open railings and wood piers

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

431 King Street – full basement; low gable roof with a double gable on the façade with a molded fascia; exterior is finished with log; main entrance has an ogee shaped opening with a plain pediment roof above and wood piers on sides

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

414 King Street – late 1800s – 2½ storey brick, Gothic Revival – dichromatic brick patterns, roof gables and dormer with rounded roof, various window shapes and sizes, mixed design verge boards and verandas

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

409 King Street – Palladian window in gable roofed dormer; two-storey bay window; second floor balcony above closed in porch; varied roofline

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

318 Third Street – 1900 – Victorian – irregular layout; medium gabled roof; double gable on façade; fascia and soffit are molded metal; exterior is stretcher brick and vertical plank board; two balconies; brick voussoirs; 4-over-4 window panes; blind transom; open porch with wood posts and pediment – Midland Book 2

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

70 Fifth Street – built 1900, square layout and a wing on the left side; exterior is stretcher brick; upper storey balcony; medium hipped roof has an offset gable end on the façade and a molded frieze; semi-elliptical window on the left; open wooden veranda with decorative railings and support posts

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

613 Dominion Avenue – built in 1900 – Vernacular – irregular layout and several different types of roofs, including flat, medium gable, and medium hipped, a decorated fascia; exterior is stretcher brick and poured concrete; upper storey balcony; windows with brick voussoirs; transom window; open platform veranda with decorated open railing and decorative trim along the roof line; wood piers to support the roof

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

695 Dominion Avenue – built 1890, exterior of panel wood, broken course cut stone, stretcher brick, and terra cotta; medium gable roof, with decorated fascia and several gable ends with half timbering and gabled dormers; brick voussoirs; bay window on second storey; open veranda with open railing, stone, support pedestals, and Ionic capitals

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

657 Hugel Avenue – The Dollar House is the former residence of two of Midland’s leading historical figures: James Dollar and William Finlayson (lawyer, cabinet minister). Decorative gable ends, bracket roof trim, bay windows; medium hipped roof with several gables and gable roofed dormers; window voussoirs; two chimneys

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

423 Hugel Avenue – The Captain’s House Heritage Bed and Breakfast – built 1900 – Edwardian Classicism style, low gabled roof, siding and brick façade, numerous windows and a stone foundation; large bay window

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

401 Manly Street – 2½ storeys; stretcher brick and wood shingle exterior; pyramidal roof with two cross gables; two balconies with open railings and decorative supports; brick voussoirs; Palladian windows in gables; wraparound veranda with stone supports, decorative piers, and open railings

Ottawa, Ontario – My Top 11 Picks

Ottawa, Ontario – My Top 11 Picks

After the union of the two Canadas in 1841, Kingston, Montreal, Toronto and Quebec were in succession the seat of government. During the 1850s these cities contended for designation as the permanent capital of Canada. During Queen Victoria’s long reign, the nation of Canada was created, grew and flourished. Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, the same year that violent rebellions broke out in Upper and Lower Canada with demands for a more democratic and responsible form of government. These rebellions prompted many reforms, including the unification of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada. In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as Canada’s capital, a political compromise as well as a more secure distance from the American border. In 1867, Queen Victoria signed the British North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada, a self-governing nation within the British Empire, established through peaceful accord and negotiation. The Fathers of Confederation reaffirmed the choice and Ottawa as the capital for the new Dominion.

Parliament Hill sits at the heart of Canada’s Capital, overlooking a river that reflects many histories.  From the beginning, Parliament Hill was designed as a workplace for parliamentarians, and also as a place where everyone could come to meet, talk or just relax in a beautiful outdoor setting.  Today there is a scenic promenade which follows the shoreline of the Ottawa River.

The Centre, East and West blocks of the Parliament Buildings were built between 1859 and 1866 (excluding the Tower and Library).  The Parliament Buildings have vaulted ceilings, marble floors and dramatic lighting which create an air of dignity.  The stone walls have a lot of decoration.

Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) was one of the driving forces behind Confederation in Canada, with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec joining together to form a new country. Macdonald served as the country’s first prime minister. Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island entered Confederation under his government, while the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s transcontinental line was hammered into the ground.

The Rideau Canal, a great military engineering achievement of the nineteenth century, was completed in 1832 and opened central Canada to settlement and trade. The canal was planned after the War of 1812 to provide a safe way to transport troops and equipment between Montreal and Kingston. The entrance locks mark the beginning of a 202-kilometer route linking the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario through a system of lakes and rivers connected and made navigable by the channels, locks and dams that the workers constructed.

In the 1890s, when Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier spoke of making Ottawa a “Washington of the North”, he wanted a new architectural style for the Capital that was distinct from American and older British models, in pursuit of grandeur.

In 1982, the Queen and the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister, signed the Constitution Act, 1982 to make Canada an independent nation.

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

Parliament Hill – Centre Block with Peace Tower – Ottawa Book 1

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

Langevin Block – is an office building facing Parliament Hill. As the home of the Privy Council Office and Office of the Prime Minister, it is the working headquarters of the executive branch of the Canadian government. The building is named after a Father of Confederation and cabinet minister Hector Langevin. Built of sandstone from a New Brunswick quarry between 1884 and 1889 – Second Empire style – Mansard roof, dormers, grotesque sculptures (fantastic or mythical figures used for decorative purposes)

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

1 Rideau Street – Fairmont Chateau Laurier, one of Canada’s landmark railway hotels, built in the Canadian Chateau style

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

44-50 Sparks Street at corner of Elgin – Scottish Ontario Chambers – Italianate design – four-storey brick building with a high ground floor, balanced façade, decorative multi-colored masonry, radiated voussoirs of multicolored brick, fenestration (the arrangement, design and proportioning of windows and doors), roof line with heavy bracketing and decorated cornice – Ottawa Book 2

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

555 Mackenzie Avenue – The Connaught Building – 1913 – Tudor Gothic – named after the Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria, who served as 10th Governor General of Canada from 1911–16 – faced in rusticated sandstone, embellished with turrets, a crenellated roofline, buttresses, corbelling, niches, carved embellishments, an ogee arched entrance and rows of flat-headed windows accented by dressed quoins

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

Rideau Hall – Thomas MacKay, a wealthy Scottish stonemason and entrepreneur, helped build the Rideau Canal. Following the completion of the canal, McKay built mills at Rideau Falls, making him the founder of New Edinburgh, the original settlement of Ottawa. With his newly acquired wealth, McKay purchased the 100 acre site overlooking both the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers and built a stone villa in 1838 where he and his family lived until 1855. The building, an eleven-room mansion, was known as MacKay Castle. Following Confederation, Rideau Hall was purchased by the Canadian government as a permanent vice regal residence and home for the nation’s first governor general, Lord Monck. Subsequent governor generals expanded and improved the original building to carry out their increasing official duties. Lord Dufferin added the wings on either side of the main entrance in the 1870s. – Ottawa Book 3

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

197 Wurtemburg Street – 1869 – Embassy of the Republic of Turkey – Tudor style – The central portion of the building was a picturesque Gothic Revival structure constructed for W.F. Whitcher, Commissioner of Fisheries. The two wings and the Tudoresque half-timbering were added when the structure served as a Children’s Hospital from 1888-1904.

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

320 Chapel Street – Victorian – three-storey tower, cornice brackets, gable, voussoirs, banding, dormer, composite columns around door – Ottawa Book 4

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

179 Murray Street – a small house of 9 artist studios – aiding the city of Ottawa in developing an artistic and cultural identity – window hoods, Jacobean-type gable, Doric pillars

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

159 Murray Street – Ecole Guigues – The current building opened its doors in 1904 and was one of Ottawa’s largest schools. Two sisters, Diane Desloges and Béatrice Desloges, natives of Ottawa and both teachers at the Guigues elementary school, refused to implement the provisions of Regulation 17, thus defying the ministerial order [issued by the Ontario Ministry of Education] that limited teaching in French to the first two years of elementary school. On January 5, 1916, the Ottawa Separate School Board, with nineteen mothers and the Desloges sisters, stormed the entrance of this school to demand that Franco-Ontarian pupils be educated in their mother tongue. It was not until 1927 that bilingual schools in the province were officially recognized. Thousands of students passed through its halls until it closed in 1979.

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

1876 Merivale Road, Nepean – Merivale United Church – built 1875-1876 – Gothic Revival – finials on tower with balustrade; corner quoins

Kingston, Ontario – My Top 23 Picks

Kingston, Ontario – My Top 23 Picks

In October 1783, at Carleton Island, Captain William Redford Carleton of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, met with the local Mississauga Indians led by the elderly Mynass. Crawford, acting for the British government, purchased from the Mississaugas for some clothing, ammunition and colored cloth, a large tract of land east of the Bay of Quinte. In September 1783, Deputy Surveyor-General John Collins was dispatched to Cataraqui by Governor Haldimand to lay out townships for Loyalist settlers. By the end of the year, the front concessions of four townships stretching from Cataraqui to the Bay of Quinte had been surveyed. A fifth township was laid out the following summer.  The land was subsequently settled by United Empire Loyalists and Britain’s allies who had been forced to leave their homes in the new United States.

Earl Street has a wide range of homes, some originally built for factory workers and others for the wealthy. They include a variety of frame, stone, stone and brick, and all-brick homes. They have different roof lines, porches, trim, chimneys, windows and transoms.

The Kingston Custom House was built 1856-59 for the government of the united Canadas. The symmetrical composition of the two-storey ashlar building, surmounted by a restrained cornice and parapet, draws on the British classical tradition. The orderly design is achieved through repeated use of semi-circular forms for doors and windows. The Custom House and the nearby Post Office are fine examples of the architectural quality of mid-nineteenth century administrative buildings.

The Kingston Penitentiary which opened on June 1, 1835 was Canada’s oldest reformatory prison.  Its layout – an imposing front gate leading to a cross-shaped cell block with workshops to the rear – was the model for other federal prisons for more than a century. It is Classical architecture in local stone.

Kingston Penitentiary represented a significant departure from the way society had dealt with its criminals. Previously, jails were used primarily as places to hold convicts awaiting execution, banishment, or public humiliation. The penitentiary imposed a severe regime designed to reform the inmate through reflection, hard work, and the fear of punishment. Inmates lived in small cells but worked together from dawn to dusk under a rigidly enforced code of silence. Kingston Penitentiary stands as a symbol of this country’s commitment to maintaining law and order.

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

213 King Street East – Italianate – decorative brickwork below cornice and above first floor windows, dormers with fish scale pattern in the gables, pediment, columns with Ionic capitals supporting the verandah – Kingston Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

197-199 King Street East – Queen Anne – three-storey turret, dormers, second floor sleeping balcony, dichromatic voussoirs, decorative brickwork in large gable

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

52 Earl Street – built by William Henry Smith in 1876 – Grove House – sunburst design on the façade; cornice brackets, oriel window, dormers

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

169 King Street East – designed in 1885 by William Newlands for banker Donald Fraser – three-bay, two-storey house is built on a high foundation; porch with paired columns on brick piers and a plain balustrade was added later; corner quoins with raised panels; channeled hood

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

200 Ontario Street – The Prince George Hotel established 1809 – the façade is actually three separate buildings – the middle part is a stone house built about 1817; new stores were built on each side of the house in 1847 – later became a hotel – third floor with mansard roof added in 1892; iron cresting on the tower; copper roof; decorative woodwork on verandah – Kingston Book 2

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

251 Brock Street – Elizabeth Cottage – Gothic Revival style – built 1840s – steeply pointed gables, projecting bays, oriel windows – accentuate play of light and shadow on smooth stucco walls; applied Gothic decorative details such as verge board trim, crockets, finials and drip moldings heighten the picturesque effect

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

12 Wellington Street – Second Empire, mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, two-storey central verandahs – Doric columns on first storey with semi-circular arch with keystone; Ionic columns on second storey with identical arch

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

80 Barrie Street – Italianate – 2½-storey tower-like bays, cornice return on gables, dormer between gables, cornice brackets, pediment above door, sidelights and transom – Kingston Book 3

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

24 Sydenham Street – Hochelaga Inn – a French Victorian mansion built in 1879 by John McIntyre and his wife Harriet, who was a relative of Sir John A. Macdonald – transformed into an inn in 1985 – three-storey tower, cornice brackets, bay window

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

743 King Street West – Romanesque style, voussoirs and banding, gabled dormer, eyebrow dormer, tall chimneys, corner quoins – Kingston Book 4

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

121 Johnson Street – Greek Orthodox Church – Romanesque style – two-storey frontispiece topped with pediment, corner quoins, dentil molding

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

Johnson Street – Second Empire style – 2½ storey, Mansard roof, dormers, iron cresting on roof, wraparound verandah

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

222 Johnson Street; 226 Johnson Street – Mansard-like roof with dormers, semi-circular and rectangular windows

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

96 Albert Street – Queen Anne style, three-storey turret, Palladian window above two-storey bay window, pediment, voussoirs with keystone – Kingston Book 5

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

208-210 Bagot Street – Edwardian, two-storey tower-like bay, dormers

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

110 Bagot Street – Tudor half-timbering style

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

116 Bagot Street – Second Empire, Mansard roof with dormers and window hoods, second floor balcony, bay windows, cornice brackets, dentil molding, pillared entrance

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

164 Queen Street – Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gables, corner quoins, and dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

King Street West – two-storey tower, lancet and semi-circular windows, transom window above door – Kingston Book 6

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

462 King Street West – Stone Gables, 1924, part of the St. Helen’s Complex, is located on landscaped grounds bordering Lake Ontario. The grand, Tudor Revival, stone building features a steeply pitched gable roof, a projecting gabled frontispiece, prominent gable chimneys, and hipped dormer windows.

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

163 Union Street – two storeys, hipped roof with dormer, four Corinthian pillars supporting a semi-circular roof with balcony above, dentil molding, sidelights and transom windows around door

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

169 Union Street – Mansard-type roof with dormers

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

81 Lower Union Street – Gothic – 1½ storey brick cottage built in 1875 – narrow sidelight windows, porch with Doric pillars – carved wooden barge board on gable, dormers

Welland, Ontario – My Top 13 Picks

Welland, Ontario – My Top 13 Picks

Welland is located in the center of Niagara. Within a half-hour, residents can travel to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Port Colborne or Buffalo. It has been traditionally known as the place where rails and water meet, referring to the railways from Buffalo to Toronto and Southwestern Ontario, and the waterways of the Welland Canal and Welland River, which played a great role in the city’s development. The city is separated by the Welland River and Welland Canal which links Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The city was first settled in 1788 by United Empire Loyalists.

Welland, because of its proximity to the Sir Adam Beck hydroelectric station at Niagara Falls, was historically known for its steel, automotive, and textile industries.  Manufacturing firms were the biggest employers in Welland, with companies like Union Carbide, United Steel, Plymouth Cordage Company, three drop forges, a cotton mill, and the Atlas Steel Company, as well as general manufacturing plants, influencing the shaping of early Welland.

The Plymouth Cordage Company was the first major industrial company to open a plant in Welland in 1906.  It was a rope making company with headquarters in Plymouth, Massachusetts; it became the largest manufacturer of rope and twine in the world.  Plymouth binder twine was popular among farmers to package farm crops such as grass, wheat and straw, and was the inspiration for the naming of the Plymouth brand of automobiles first produced in 1928.  Many workers who relocated to Welland from the company’s operations in Plymouth were of Italian origin. To minimize the potential effects of cultural and language barriers, Plymouth Cordage sent four foremen to Welland: one was Italian, one was French, one was German and one was English.

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

131 Aqueduct Street – Bagar-Bison House – 1880 – Victorian – two-storey tower, pediment, fish scale pattern on upper storey, sidelights around door – Welland Book 1

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

30 Bald Street – Queen Anne style, two-storey turret with cone-shaped cap, second floor sleeping porch

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

24 Burgar Street – The Glasgow-Fortner House – 1859 – Queen Anne style – now Rinderlins Dining Rooms

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

204 East Main Street – Lawrence-Phillips House – c. 1890 – Victorian style with a mixture of Gothic, Tuscan Italianate and Queen Anne elements

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

195 East Main Street – Victorian style

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

102 East Main Street – Welland County Court House – built in 1855-56, four years after the creation of Welland County; Neo-Classical style, built of Queenston limestone – the front of the building is dominated by a huge projecting portico surmounted by a classical pediment and four large Ionic columns, sidelights beside door

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

28 Elgin Street East – Neo-colonial – gambrel roof, shed dormer

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

124 Elgin Street West – Queen Anne style, decorative dormer with walkout balcony, two-storey bay window

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

King Street – Customs and Post Office – built 1901-02 – quoining, buttresses, dormers – Welland Book 2

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

140 King Street – former Welland Public Library – 1923 – dark red Milton brick and Indiana limestone in the Beaux-Arts style

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

123 Merritt Street West – Gothic, verge board trim on gable

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

201 Niagara Street – Cooper Mansion – 1913-1914 – Renaissance Revival style, Jacobean gables (parapet), symmetrical façade with projecting wings, , dormers, stone trim, neoclassical doorway with elliptical fanlight and slender sidelights sheltered by a classical portico supported on six Doric columns

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

71 Elgin Street East – Edwardian – Doric columns, dormer, Palladian-type window in gable

Petrolia, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Petrolia, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Petrolia is a town in Ontario twenty minutes from Sarnia, and fifty minutes from London.

Following the discovery of oil at Oil Springs in 1857, prospectors extended their search to the entire township of Enniskillen. At the site of Petrolia, which contained two small settlements with post offices named Durance and Ennis, a well was brought into production in 1860. The following year a small refinery was opened and the Durance Post Office renamed “Petrolea”. In 1865-66, the drilling of the King well established Petrolia as the major oil producing center in Canada and its population soared from about three hundred to two thousand three hundred.

Oil men from Petrolia traveled to the far reaches of the world (Gobi Desert, Arctic, Iran, Indonesia, the United States, Australia, Russia, and over eighty other countries) teaching others how to find and extract crude oil.  Some oil fields in the area are still operational to this day.

Oil enticed people to come here, but Petrolia was created, nurtured, and sustained by hardworking visionaries, shopkeepers, builders, drillers, laborers, and leaders.

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

416 Warren Avenue – Italianate, hipped roof, cornice brackets, bric-a-brac on verandah

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

429 Ella Street – Lancey Hall built by Henry Warren Lancey – c. 1876 – Gothic Revival – verge board trim and finials on gables, iron cresting above bay window and enclosed front porch

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

#430 – Italianate, hipped roof, corner quoins, iron cresting on roof (widow’s walk), paired cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

4200 Petrolia Line – The original Grand Trunk Railway Station was built in 1903. Designated heritage building now the Robert M. Nichol Library; turrets on each end, center tower

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

Petrolia Line – Romanesque, three-storey turret, decorative iron railing on second floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

Queen Street – heritage building – Second Empire style, mansard roof, window hoods, iron cresting, cornice brackets, pillared entrance, bay windows

Architectural Photos, Petrolia, Ontario

4142 Queen Street – manse for St. Philip’s Church – Italianate, hipped roof, dormers, pillared entrance with Ionic capitals, dentil molding, sidelights and transom window

Sarnia, Ontario – My Top 20 Picks

Sarnia, Ontario – My Top 20 Picks

Sarnia is a city in Southwestern Ontario located on the eastern bank of the junction between the Upper and Lower Great Lakes where Lake Huron flows into the St. Clair River, which forms the Canada-United States border, directly across from Port Huron, Michigan. It is the largest city on Lake Huron. The city’s natural harbor first attracted the French explorer LaSalle, who named the site “The Rapids” when he had horses and men pull his forty-five-ton barque “Le Griffon” up the almost four-knot current of the St. Clair River in August 1679. This was the first time anything other than a canoe or other oar-powered vessel had sailed into Lake Huron.

Captain Richard Emeric Vidal (1784-1854), one of the founders of Sarnia nurtured the little settlement for twenty years from his first visit in 1834. His wife, Charlotte Penrose Mitton (1790-1873) lived her last forty years in Sarnia and three streets bear her name (Charlotte, Penrose, and Mitton Streets).

Paul Blundy was born in Sarnia in 1918.  He served in the Royal Canadian Navy in World War II. Following the war, he co-founded the McKenzie & Blundy Funeral Home. Paul served four years as a member of the Hydro-electric Commission, twenty years as a member of Sarnia City Council, eight of them as mayor. During his time on City Council, he was a strong advocate for the redevelopment of the waterfront. From 1977 to 1981, he served as M.P.P. for Sarnia. He died in 1992.

 

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

303 Brock Street North – Victorian home – 1895 – Sarnia Book 1

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

283 Brock Street North – 1900 – Queen Anne – turret, curved verandah

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

270 Brock Street North – 1890 – Georgian

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

191 Brock Street South – Gothic Revival – 1890

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

435 Christina Street North – 1890 – Gothic Revival – barge board trim on gable with stenciling, arched and rectangular windows with voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

127 Christina Street South – Lawrence Family mansion – Mr. Lawrence was a lumberman – Queen Anne style – 1892

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

1031 Ellwood Avenue – 1890 – Edwardian – Sarnia Book 2

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

254 George Street – McCormack Funeral Home, Stewart Chapel – 1880 – Italianate – three bay two storey yellow brick building with a central frontispiece topped by a gable with projecting eaves; gable has a blinded round window; brick voussoirs over windows with carved oak leaf keystone; semi-elliptical brick arch doorway with a shared transom

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

197 London Road, Mulberry House 1867 – Gothic/Georgian style – 1½ storey yellow brick home, stone foundation; centered on the façade is a frontispiece with a gable roof – Sarnia Book 3

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

223 London Road – 1880 – Italianate – three bay, two storey yellow brick house with a centered frontispiece topped by a gable with a semi-circular arch decorated with barge board

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

424 London Road – 1911 – gambrel roofed gables, sidelights and transom

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

312 London Road – 1922 – Georgian – dormers, transom window

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

144 Maria Street – Tudor style – Elizabethan Manor

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

329 Vidal Street North – vernacular, cornice return on gable, wide cornice overhang, fish scale patterning, dentil molding – Sarnia Book 4

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

280 Vidal Street North – 1872 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, voussoirs with keystones

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

279 Vidal Street North – Edwardian – 1900 – two-storey tower with cone-shaped cap

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

262 Vidal Street North – 1880 – French Canadian home – red and yellow brick detailing, gabled parapets, French bay window

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

251 Vidal Street North – late 1870s – Christian Science Church – bell-cast mansard roof – Second Empire style, vousoirs and keystones, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

240 Vidal Street North – 1900 – Victorian – 3-storey tower with conical roof covered with cedar shingles, fish scale patterning in gable

Architectural Photos, Sarnia, Ontario

183 Vidal Street South – Queen Anne – three-storey turret with cone shaped roof

St. Mary’s, Ontario – My Top 14 Picks

St. Mary’s, Ontario – My Top 14 Picks

St. Marys is a town in southwestern Ontario located southwest of Stratford. The north branch of the Thames River flows through St. Marys and is the heart of the town. St. Marys’ early economic success depended on the mills, powered by the water in this river.  The town’s prosperity was also helped by the presence of accessible limestone, taken in blocks from the riverbed and from quarries along the riverbanks. The name “Stonetown” is an apt moniker for St. Marys, as the town is filled with unique architecture featuring locally-quarried limestone. The stone buildings reveal much about the town’s history, and the development of the town can be witnessed in the architecture.

John Grieve Lind (1867-1947) was closely associated with the start of the St. Mary’s Cement Company.  St. Marys was chosen as the location for the plant because of its abundance of limestone, clay and water, it was on two national railway lines, and it had access to hydro-electric power from Niagara Falls. The plant opened in 1912.

Once the cement plant was in operation, Lind turned his attention to parks and recreation. He purchased the seven acre Cadzow Park on Church Street South and build Cadzow Pool. Lind Park has a statue of Arthur Meighen, Canada’s ninth prime minister.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

145 Church Street North – Gothic Revival, verge board trim and finial on gable, corner quoins, wood turned porch supports, sidelights and transom window surrounding door – St Marys Book 1

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

112 Church Street North – pediment with decorated tympanum, wraparound veranda

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

15 Church Street North – 1905 – Beaux Arts style, Public Library built of St. Marys limestone – pediment with dentil molding, pillars with Corinthian capitals

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

163 Church Street South – Queen Anne style, turret, dentil molding, dichromatic tile work, wraparound verandah

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

217 Jones Street East – Italianate style – 1875 – verge board trim on gable, cornice brackets, pediment with decorated tympanum, pillars with Doric capitals supporting verandah, bay window with iron cresting above, corner quoins, curved window voussoirs with keystones

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

236 Jones Street East – Ercildoune was originally built as a wedding gift to George Carter’s daughter Charlotte when she married Henry Lincoln Rice in 1880. The home is built in the Second Empire style, a very rare style of home in St. Marys.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

67 Peel Street South – built in 1883 for James Carter (wife Mary Box), only son of George Carter, a successful grain merchant in St. Marys – steep gable roofs, tall windows and chimneys with decorative brickwork – Queen Anne style – St Marys Book 2

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

175 Queen Street East – St. Mary’s Town Hall – This Romanesque Revival building was built in 1901 of local limestone with red sandstone as the contrasting elements for window arches and checkerboard effects in the façade. The massive entrances on the south and west façades of the building and the two towers on the south add to its lasting beauty. Due to its prominent location on the north side of the main street, and dominating as it does the sky-line of the Town, it plays an important role in the character of the downtown area.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

96 Robinson Street – built around 1875 for Leon Clench and his wife Eunice Cruttenden. It is now the Riverside Bed and Breakfast. Clench was a lawyer, a builder, inventor, violin-maker, musician and furniture-maker. Italianate style – St Marys Book 3

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

226 Water Street South – corner quoins, bay window with iron cresting above, pediment

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

17 Water Street South – The Post Office and Customs House built in 1908 – Romanesque style

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

92 Wellington Street North – Italianate – paired cornice brackets, 2½ storey tower-like bay with verge board trim on gable, iron cresting above entrance porch – St Marys Book 4

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

146 Wellington Street North – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable, bric-a-brac and stenciling on porch

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

127 Wellington Street South – spindled and stenciled bric-a-brac on wraparound verandah; Palladian type window with window hood and stained glass window

 

Thamesford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Thamesford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Oxford County is located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario and is made up of eight lower tier Municipalities. Zorra Township is located at the north-west corner of Oxford County.  It is a rural municipality, and was formed in 1975 through the amalgamation of East Nissouri, West Zorra and North Oxford townships.  The township includes the communities of Banner, Bennington, Brooksdale, Brown’s Corners, Cody’s Corners, Dicksons Corners, Dunn’s Corner, Embro, Golspie, Granthurst, Harrington, Harrington West, Holiday, Kintore, Lakeside, Maplewood, McConkey, Medina, Rayside, Thamesford, Uniondale, Youngsville, and Zorra Station.

Kintore, Medina, Thamesford and Uniondale are included in this book of photos.

Thamesford is located on the western boundary of Oxford County, half way between London and Woodstock on Highway 2 (County Road 68) and between St. Mary’s and Ingersoll on Highway 19.

Thames Centre is a municipality in Middlesex County east of the City of London.  It was formed on January 1, 2001, when the townships of West Nissouri and North Dorchester were amalgamated.  Communities in the township include: Avon, Belton, Cherry Grove, Crampton, Cobble Hill, Derwent, Devizes, Dorchester, Evelyn, Fanshawe Lake, Friendly Corners, Gladstone, Harrietsville, Kelly Station, Mossley, Nilestown, Oliver, Putnam, Salmonville, Silvermoon, Thorndale, Three Bridges, and Wellburn. Putnam is included in this book of photos.

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

128 Delatre Street West – St. Andrew’s Manse 1897 – “sleeping porch” on second floor, turned wood spindle supports, fretwork, pediment with decorated tympanum

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

118 Delatre Street West – decorative gable and pediment, Romanesque style window voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

George Street – Gothic Revival – within peak of gable is a decorative arch with applied scroll work, spindles and circular piercing

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

Washington Street – Edwardian, decorative gable

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

144 Washington Street – Regency cottage

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

155 Allen Street – gambrel roof

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

205 Allen Street – Gothic Revival – stone architecture, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable with finial

Woodstock, Ontario – My Top 16 Picks

Woodstock, Ontario – My Top 16 Picks

Woodstock is located in the heart of South Western Ontario, at the junction of highways 401 and 403, 50 km east of London and 60 km west of Kitchener.  Woodstock is the largest municipality in Oxford County, a county known for its rich farmland, and for its dairy and cash crop farming.  As well as being “The Dairy Capital of Canada”, Woodstock also has a large industrial base, much of which is related to the auto manufacturing industry.

In 1792, Sir John Graves Simcoe became Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada and made plans for the development of the interior of Upper Canada. He envisioned a series of town sites linked by a military road and a system of rivers and canals, providing inland access during an era when commerce and settlements depended on major waterways. London, Chatham, Dorchester and Oxford were designated town sites with London as the defensible capital. The military road stretching from Burlington Bay through Woodstock to London provided an overland supply route for the safe movement of troops and settlers. Simcoe named this road Dundas Street after Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville, Secretary of State for War and the Colonies.

To speed development in the sparsely populated interior of the province, Simcoe granted whole townships to land companies who were obligated to bring in settlers.

Simcoe passed through the area now known as Woodstock and noted it a suitable “Town Plot” and settlement began here in 1800.

In the 1830s, a different group of immigrants were encouraged to settle in Oxford to ensure this community’s loyalty to the British crown. British naval and army officers placed on half-pay looked to the colonies for a new career at the conclusion of military service.  The first to arrive was Alexander Whalley Light, a retired colonel who came to Oxford County in 1831. He was joined by Philip Graham in 1832, a retired captain of the Royal Navy, and Captain Andrew Drew, on half-pay from the Royal Navy, arrived in Woodstock to make preparations for his superior, Rear-Admiral Henry Vansittart, also on half-pay.  Half-pay officers went to considerable lengths to clear their chosen parcels of land.

Admiral Vansittart commissioned Colonel Andrew Drew to build a church (Old St. Paul’s) in a new area of Oxford that was known as the “Town Plot”. The men later quarreled, which led to the construction of a second church known as “New St. Paul’s”.

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

73 Wilson Street – Italianate/Second Empire – type of mansard roof with dormers, paired cornice brackets, bay window, window hoods – Woodstock Book 1

 

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

500 Dundas Street – the current City Hall was constructed of warm sandstone in 1899 as a post office; for over one hundred years it has been the center of the municipal and social life of Woodstock. The corner tower has four clocks. It housed the local government and served as lecture hall, opera house, and assize court. It is basically eighteenth century Palladian architecture. Round- headed windows with heavy surrounds reflect Italianate Revival – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

Finkle Street – The Oxford Hotel, located across from Market Square and the Town Hall in Woodstock was built in 1880 as “The O’Neill House” in Romanesque style. It saw guests such as Oscar Wilde and Reginald Birchall. – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

39 Victoria Street – Neo-Classical cottage is a 1½ storey buff brick home, hip roof, centred dormer; windows have wooden lintels and brackets supporting the sills; three panel double door on the storm porch has an interesting window shape in the door; field stone foundation – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

447 Buller Street – Colonial Revival, shed dormer – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

126 Graham Street – Park Place Retirement Centre – Second Empire style – mansard roof, window hoods, decorative cornice – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

36 Wellington Street North – two storey turret, dormers, second floor balcony with spindle decorative work – Woodstock Book 2

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

48 Wellington Street – Italianate, hipped roof, paired cornice brackets, window hoods, corner quoining, entrance – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

39 Victoria Street – Neo-Classical cottage is a 1½ storey buff brick home, hip roof, centred dormer; windows have wooden lintels and brackets supporting the sills; three panel double door on the storm porch has an interesting window shape in the door; field stone foundation – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

419 Drew Street – Queen Anne – turret, some Tudor style detailing – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

81 Light Street – triple gable Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gables, pediment – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

415 Hunter Street – County Court House – 1892 – a massive building of sandstone in the Richardsonian Romanesque style, with a complex roof line; oriel window; monkey heads are hidden among the capitals of the red marble pillars at the two front entrances, and there is a monkey at the peak – Woodstock Book 3

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

410 Hunter Street – Central Public School – built in 1880 – two impressive identical entrances, decorative brickwork separating the first and second floors, decorative gables on a steeply pitched roof, cornice brackets, saw tooth dentiling – Book 3

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

393 Hunter Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof with dormers with finials on window hoods, cornice brackets – Book 3

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

84 Vansittart Avenue – Parker House – built in 1864 – Italianate villa, small balconies, round-headed windows in groups, paired ornamental brackets supporting the roof,
3½ storey tower with decorative finial – Book 3

Architectural Photos, Woodstock,Ontario

210 Vansittart Avenue – built in 1895 by Thomas L. Wilson, inventor of the first commercial calcium-carbide process for the manufacturer of acetylene gas. It was the residence of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s until 1975. It is a voluptuous house of irregular shape in Richardsonian Romanesque style using contrasting brick, cut stone and hanging tiles; offset tower with balcony and verandah, portico at the front entrance – Book 3

Kingsville, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Kingsville, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Kingsville is located in Essex County in southwestern Ontario, west of Leamington, south of Lakeshore, southeast of Essex. It is primarily an agricultural community nestled along the north shore of Lake Erie. The terrain is generally flat, and consists of a mixture of various rocks, sand and clay. The town is about 570 feet above sea level.

Kingsville is home to the Jack Miner Bird Sanctuary. Jack Miner was awarded The Order of the British Empire (OBE) for his achievements in conservation in the British Empire. Jack Miner is considered “the father of the conservation movement on the continent”.

The Town of Kingsville is rich in history and Victorian era architecture.

Kingsville bore witness first-hand to General Brock’s historic journey to meet with Chief Tecumseh on August 13, 1812. This meeting led to the capture of Fort Detroit and British control of the Michigan frontier; more than 2,000 muskets were captured and used to arm Canadian militia units. In the later 1800s, Loyalists from the area fought in the Fenian raids; many served in World Wars I and II in an effort to preserve our history, our land, and our stake in the future.

Kingsville’s harbor provides shelter for ships and provides commerce for the area.

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

59 Division Street South – two storey house built in 1909 in the Colonial Revival style – cut field stone foundation, hip roof, Doric columns – Kingsville Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

78 Division Street South– built in 1893 in Queen Anne style, front gable with basket weave cross-bracing with decorative verge boards, fretwork, 2½ storey rectangular bay with herringbone brick pattern to separate second storey from attic, cut field stone foundation, transom windows, large first storey arched window with rough and smooth stone surround – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

98 Division Street – Gothic Revival style, verge board trim on gable, decorative window hood above second floor door, decorative woodwork on verandah cornice and pillars – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

164 Division Street South – Howard Scratch House – 2 storeys – 1886 – Italianate style (Scratch was a local tinsmith and bicycle factory owner) – asymmetrical design; brick quoins on corners; roundel windows in each of three large gables; 2-storey square bay on the front of the house; 1-storey angular bay on the north side; one-over-one double hung wood sash windows – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

176 Division Street – vernacular – Book 1

 

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

76 Main Street East – Annabelle’s Tea House and Restaurant – built in 1859 – Second Empire style – dormers with window hoods in mansard roof, paired cornice brackets – Anna Belle Miriah Brien Evans was Susanne’s grandmother, for whom tea was an essential part of her day. Tea time for her grandma was an institution. At 4 o’clock she proceeded to the kitchen as if reminded by an internal clock. Susanne would get the small china tea set and set the table by the window in the dining room. There, as the sunlight streamed in, they would sip tea, have a biscuit, or two, and talk about the day.

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

93 Main Street – vernacular – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

90 Main Street East – The Jacob Wigle/William Mortan Webb House built 1886 – Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gable, bay window, decorative brickwork including saw tooth designs, hood molds over the windows – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

160 Queen Street – hood above door, bay window, cornice brackets – Kingsville Book 2

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

31 Queen Street – cobblestone architecture, dormer
Arts and Crafts style – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

608 Seacliff Drive – The Adolphus H. Woodbridge House – Bed and Breakfast – built 1881 – triple gable Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables with stenciling, cornice brackets on porch, window voussoirs with keystones, stenciling above windows; cut field stone foundation – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Kingsville, Ontario

119 Main Street West – Gothic Revival, cornice return on gables with cornice brackets, dormer, fish scale patterning in gable and dormer, Doric pillars for verandah supports – Book 2