Elora, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Elora, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Elora is located in Wellington County on the Grand River and is about twenty kilometers north of Guelph, and twenty kilometers northeast of Kitchener-Waterloo.

Elora was founded in 1832 by Captain William Gilkison, a British officer recently returned from India. Gilkison named the community after his brother’s ship, which was itself inspired by the Elora Caves near Aurangabad, Maharashtra, India.

The Elora Gorge, located at the western edge of the village, is one of the most scenic areas in Southern Ontario with its limestone cliffs descending 80 feet into the Grand and Irvine rivers where small caves, rapids, falls and quiet waters beckon visitors.

At the foot of Mill Street stands the Elora Mill, one of the few early Ontario five-storey grist mills still in existence.

David Boyle, born in Scotland in 1842, came to Canada in 1856 and settled in this area.  As a local school teacher, he began an extensive collection of native artifacts and became an archaeological authority.  In 1886, Boyle was appointed the first curator of the Provincial Archaeological Museum in Toronto.  He was dedicated to the study and retention of artifacts and he initiated an active program of excavation and acquisition.  Through his work on Ontario prehistory, Boyle gained international recognition as a leading Canadian archaeologist and anthropologist.

When Elora first established itself as an agricultural supply center in the mid-nineteenth century, farmers coming from the north were greeted by a wagon and carriage factory, a lumber yard, blacksmith shops, and a farm implement enterprise.

Architectural Photos, Elora, Ontario

Reflections

Architectural Photos, Elora, Ontario

Elora Mill Inn – Towering 100 feet above the thundering falls of the Grand River, the Mill at Elora has stood for over 150 years as a symbol of what the combined energies of man and nature can achieve. The Mill was rebuilt mostly of stone after a fire in 1870.

Architectural Photos, Elora, Ontario

120 Mill Street East – Drew House – Italianate style – dormers in attic, single cornice brackets, wraparound verandah with bric-a-brac

Architectural Photos, Elora, Ontario

Geddes Street – Italianate – hipped roof, 2-storey tower-like bay topped with pediment with verge board trim, corner quoins, cornice brackets, voussoirs, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Elora, Ontario

Church Street – Walter P. Newman, Banker c. 1854 – dormers in steeply pitched hip roof, Palladian window in dormer

Fergus, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Fergus, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Fergus is the largest community in Centre Wellington, a township within Wellington County.  It lies on the Grand River about 25 kilometers north of Guelph.

The first settlers to this area were freed slaves who formed what was known as the Pierpoint Settlement, named after their leader, Richard Pierpoint. Along with half a dozen other men, Pierpoint was granted land in Garafraxa Township in what is now Fergus.

Adam Fergusson visited Canada in 1831 to investigate emigration for the Highland Society of Scotland.  In 1833 in partnership with a fellow Scot, James Webster, they purchased over 7,000 acres of uncleared land in Nichol Township.  Attracted by the abundant water power, they laid out the town of Fergus.  Webster took up residence there and supervised the settlement’s early development.  The first house was built in 1833, then a hotel, a saw mill, grist mill, church and school.

They established a vibrant economy using the waterfalls on the Grand River as power for local industry. The Scots built solid stone houses, factories and other buildings which have characterized Fergus to this day. Many of the houses and factories built by these early settlers are still in use today.

Originally Fergus was known as Little Falls, because of the scenic waterfalls downtown between the Public Library and the Fergus Market.

St Andrew Street runs parallel to the Grand River on the north side and is the heart of downtown. On the south side of the river is Queen Street where the newly renovated Fergus Market is located.

Architectural Photos, Fergus, Ontairo

296 St. Andrew Street – Thomas Cumming, Carriage Maker – c. 1891 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, semi-circular window voussoirs with keystones, corner quoining

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Architectural Photos, Fergus, Ontario

265 St. David Street North – James Argo Merchant c. 1867 – Neo-colonial style – hipped roof, two-storey-tall Doric porch pillars topped with pediment with decorated tympanum

Architectural Photos, Fergus, Ontairo

250 St. David Street – Edwardian/Gothic – corner quoins, arched window voussoirs with keystones, pediment

Architectural Photos, Fergus, Ontario

St. David Street – W. G. Beatty, Foundry – c. 1912 – Tudor style

Architectural Photos, Fergus, Ontairo

220 St. David Street – Gothic Revival, corner quoins, single cornice brackets

Eden Mills, Eramosa and Everton, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Eden Mills, Eramosa and Everton, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Eden Mills was established in 1842 with the construction of the first of three mills and called Kribbs Mill.  The mills used water power generated  by the Eramosa River, which splits into two branches at the village then flows on to join the Speed River in Guelph, and finally to the Grand, the great Canadian Heritage River.  When Adam Argo bought the mill he changed the name to Eden Mills, the name for the post office in 1851 with Mr. Argo as the postmaster. In the early days Eden Mills had a hotel, a flour mill, a wagon maker, blacksmith, general store, shoe store, cooper shop and a daily stage. The first church was of the Congregation Faith.  During the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century Eden Mills grew into an important center of commerce. In addition to its three mills, it boasted an imposing three-storey general store, a hotel (both still standing), post office, smithy, electric railway station, gas station and coffee shop.

Eramosa is located at the crossroads of Highway 124 and Wellington Road 29 east of Guelph.

Guelph/Eramosa is a township in Wellington County in mid-western Ontario. It partly encircles the city of Guelph from northeast to south southwest of the city.

Rockwood is the main community in the township. Rockwood is located on Highway 7 between Acton and Guelph. The Eramosa River runs through the center of the village and the river was the source of power for several mills that were built for the original settlement. Limestone was also extracted from the area. The Rockwood Conservation Area is used for swimming, hiking, canoeing, picnicking and camping.

The township also includes the smaller communities of Ariss, Armstrong Mills, Birge Mills, Blue Springs, Brucedale, Centre Inn, Eden Mills, Eramosa, Everton, Marden, Colbertville, Mosborough, Oakvale, Redwood Hills, and Rockcut.

Architectural Photos, Eden Mills, Ontario

Stone building – Gothic Revival – Eden Mills

Architectural Photos, Eden Mills, Ontario

Eden Mills Presbyterian Church – 1887 – Gothic Revival

Architectural Photos, Eramosa, Ontario

Queen Anne style – turret – Eramosa

Architectural Photos, Eramosa, Ontario

Cobblestone – Gothic Revival – Eramosa

Architectural Photos, Eramosa, Ontario

Gothic Revival – corner quoins, bay windows, balconies

Architectural Photos, Everton, Ontario

Gothic Revival – dichromatic brickwork – Everton

Architectural Photos, Everton, Ontario

Log Cabin – Everton

 

Aberfoyle and Morriston, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Aberfoyle and Morriston, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Puslinch is a township in south-central Ontario in Wellington County south of Guelph. The area is rich in natural gas resources. About half of the township is forested, and a conservation area lies to the southwest. Near the western edge of the township, just outside of Cambridge, Ontario is Puslinch Lake, the largest kettle lake in North America.  A kettle lake is a shallow, sediment-filled body of water formed by retreating glaciers or draining floodwaters.

The township includes the communities of Aberfoyle, Aikensville, Arkell, Badenoch, Barbers Beach, Corwhin, Crieff, Killean, Little Lake, Morriston and Puslinch.

Aberfoyle is the administrative center for Puslinch Township and the municipality’s administrative offices and fire station are located here. Aberrfoyle is located at the headwaters of Mill Creek, about ten kilometers south of Guelph. Aberfoyle was first settled in the 1840s and is named for Aberfoyle, Scotland. It is famous for its spring water.

Morriston is located in Puslinch Township at Highway 6 and County Road 36, one kilometer south of Highway 401, and sixteen kilometers southeast of Guelph.  In 1847 Mr. R. B. Morriston opened a store in one end of his blacksmith shop and two years later built a store on the east side of the road.

Architectural Photos, Aberfoyle, Ontario

Aberfoyle Mill

Architectural Photos, Aberfoyle, Ontario

Gothic Revival – cobblestone – cornice return on end gable – Aberfoyle

Architectural Photos, Morriston, Ontairo

Gothic Revival – cobblestone architecture – Morriston

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Architectural Photos, Puslinch, Ontario

Puslinch Heritage Building – Gothic – cobblestone – Morriston

Architectural Photos, Morriston, Ontario

Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gables with finials – Morriston

Seaforth, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Seaforth, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Seaforth is a southern Ontario community in Huron County. Originally known as Four Corners and Steene’s Corners after an early settler, much of the area of what is now Seaforth was acquired by brothers Christopher and George Sparling in anticipation of the construction of the Buffalo, Brantford and Goderich Railway. Developer James Patton of Barrie purchased the land and laid out a town site in 1855.

Seaforth’s Main Street is a Provincially Designated Heritage Conservation District, and architectural critics consider it to be one of the finest late 19th century streetscapes remaining in the Province.

In September 1876, at two o’clock in the morning, a fire broke out in Mrs. Griffith’s Candy and Grocery store raging through Main Street destroying 12 acres of the business section. The town rebounded and Main Street was rebuilt with the brick and block structures which we see today, more than a century later. This architectural composition of two storey brick buildings is unique in its uniformity of scale and character. Through grants and local support, property owners have been encouraged to restore and preserve the architectural characteristics of their buildings so that this valuable resource may continue to be a reminder of Seaforth’s history. The street is lined with uniquely homogeneous buildings and you will always know the time from one of the most lavish clocks of its day.

Seaforth was one among many small southern Ontario towns to prosper from a national shift toward an economy based more on industry and manufacturing. Seaforth had many things to recommend it for the site of a new post office building. It was on a direct railway line between the two busy ports of Goderich and Buffalo. The transportation of goods was a main income source for the town, goods such as the products of its salt wells, woolen, flour and flax mills, sawmill, foundry and cabinet factory. It was an important market town and had been a postal station for many years. There were two telegraph offices and two daily newspapers. As an outport of Goderich, Seaforth collected customs revenues as well as post office revenues.

In 2001, Seaforth was amalgamated with Brussels, Grey Township, McKillop Township and Tuckersmith Township to form the Municipality of Huron East.

Architectural Photos, Seaforth, Ontario

#143 – gable roof, two-storey bay window

Architectural Photos, Seaforth, Ontario

Two-storey tower-like bay with small balcony in gable

Architectural Photos, Seaforth, Ontario

123 James Street – Carnohan House – The one-and-a-half-storey frame house was constructed in 1873. It is a good representation of late Victorian architecture. It has a cross-gabled roof, one-over-one and two-over-two, double hung, sash windows, dormer windows, and decorative wooden window surrounds and detailing.

Architectural Photos, Seaforth, Ontario

#17 – Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gable

Architectural Photos, Seaforth, Ontario

Second Empire – mansard roof with dormers

Architectural Photos, Seaforth, Ontario

52 Main Street – Post Office – Romanesque Revival architecture with square center clock tower and round-headed windows. It was built from 1911-1913. There are dormers in the rooftop.

Stoney Creek, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Stoney Creek, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Stoney Creek is located on the south-western shore of Lake Ontario into which feed the watercourse of Stoney Creek as well as several other minor streams. It was settled by Loyalists after the American Revolution. The Battle of Stoney Creek during the War of 1812 occurred near Centennial Parkway and King Street.  In a surprise night-time attack, the outnumbered British overwhelmed the Americans and forced their retreat to Forty Mile Creek (the present location of Grimsby). In this forty minute battle, hundreds were killed and the two American Generals were captured.  Battlefield Park has a monument and museum to preserve the history of this area.

Branches of the Bruce Trail provide access to Battlefield Park as well as the Devil’s Punch Bowl which is marked by a large illuminated cross and offers an excellent lookout for Stoney Creek and Hamilton.

The Stoney Creek Dairy on King Street, with a stylized Battlefield Monument in its logo, offered frozen treats for decades. In 2013, the dairy was torn down for re-development. Eastgate Square Mall straddles the former border between Hamilton and Stoney Creek.

Due to the temperate environment, the Stoney Creek area is known for fruit growing. Most of the land mass of Stoney Creek remains agricultural. The communities of Elfrida, Fruitland, Tapleytown, Tweedside, Vinemount, and Winona are agricultural areas. Stoney Creek became a center for light industry, road transportation and commuting residences, since its land costs were much lower than in neighboring Hamilton.

E.D. Smith was established in 1878 in the Niagara Peninsula when a young farmer experimented with grapes, onions, hens, cows, sheep, grain, and a little patch of strawberries. The place was 120 acres tucked under the protective shadow of the Escarpment in Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula. He hoped to make a living by harvesting the strawberries and taking the fruit to market. The juicy strawberries that grew so well in this rich soil were the beginning of a food empire.  Its current product line includes jams and spreads, syrups, pie fillings, ketchup, sauces, and salad dressings.

Architectural Photos, Stoney Creek, Ontario

Battlefield Monument stands 100 feet tall and commemorates a century of peace between the British and the Americans.

Architectural Photos, Stoney Creek, Ontario

The Nash-Jackson House was originally located at the north-east corner of King Street East and Nash Road in Hamilton. The house was built in 1818 in the Georgian style. The house was moved to Stoney Creek Battlefield Park in 1999.

Architectural Photos, Stoney Creek, Ontario

The Stoney Creek Dairy Bar, 135 King Street East, opened in 1941 to serve frozen treats. It closed in 2012.

Architectural Photos, Stoney Creek, Ontario

16 Jones Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable, Palladian window

Architectural Photos, Stoney Creek, Ontario

12 Lake Avenue – circa 1890 – Italianate with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bays with cornice return on gables, cornice brackets, verandah on each storey – Former Methodist Parsonage

Architectural Photos, Stoney Creek, Ontario

42 Lake Avenue – Roubos Greenhouses (garden plants) – Italianate with steeply pitched hip roof, two two-and-a-half storey tower-like bays with cornice return on gables, corner quoins, pediment above doorway

Waterdown, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Waterdown, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Waterdown is located east of the junction of Highways 5 and 6, the intersection known as Clappison’s Corners.

Established in 1792, the Township of Flamborough was named after a prominent geographical formation, the Flamborough Head, and the Town of Flamborough in East Yorkshire, England. The most striking aspect of Flamborough Head is the white chalk cliffs that surround it. The chalk lies in distinct horizontal layers with a layer of glacial deposits at the top of the cliffs.

Alexander Brown of the North West Fur Company purchased 800 acres and built a log cabin and sawmill at the top of the Great Falls in present-day Smokey Hollow in 1805. He was the first European settler in the region and was a key figure in the community throughout his lifetime. He moved down Grindstone Creek to the site of present-day LaSalle Park and built “Brown’s Wharf”. Smokey Hollow was the site of saw, grist, and flour mills, a woolen mill, a brass foundry, tanneries, rake, cradle, and basket factories. Brown built the first school of the village in 1815 on the site of the present-day American House, and employed Mary Hopkins as its first teacher. Entrepreneur Ebenezer Culver Griffin arrived in 1823, purchased more than half of Alexander Brown’s property, and had his property surveyed in village lots, the true beginning of the Village of Waterdown.

In 1854, Flamborough was divided into two separate townships, East and West Flamborough. Included within East Flamborough was the town of Waterdown, named because of its close proximity to the place where Grindstone Creek tumbles over the Niagara Escarpment. Mills were built along the creek with the water harnessed to provide power.

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

299 Dundas Street – Second Empire style, mansard roof, dormers in roof, cornice brackets, two-storey tower-like bays

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

292 Dundas Street – Maple Lawn House 1860 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

289 Dundas Street – Queen Anne style

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

315 Dundas Street East – “Chestnut Grove” – Gothic Revival, verge board trim, first floor bay windows, built in 1880, second storey verandah

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

72 Mill Street – Gothic Revival, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

76 Mill Street – the Old Slater House – c. 1890 – Queen Anne style, two-storey octagonal tower, round Doric columns

Architectural Photos, Waterdown, Ontario

419 Parkside Drive – Gothic Revival – verge board trim

New Hamburg, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

New Hamburg, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

New Hamburg was established in the early 1830s by William Scott.  In 1834, cholera killed many of the original settlers of New Hamburg.  A grist-mill built by Josiah Cushman about 1834 formed the nucleus around which a small community of Amish Mennonites and recent German immigrants developed.   More German and Scottish settlers arrived in the late 1830s and early 1840s.  The Grand Trunk railway arrived in the 1850s and the village became an important centre for milling and the production of farm machinery.

New Hamburg is located in the rural township of Wilmot in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. It is bordered by Baden to the east and is within easy driving distance of the cities of Kitchener, Waterloo and Stratford.

The Nith River winds through town and flows through the downtown core, which is home to a 50-foot waterwheel built in 1990, the largest operating water wheel in North America; a symbol of the importance of the Nith River, and of the water-powered mills which were the first industries in pioneer New Hamburg.

Architectural Photos, New Hamburg, Ontario

99 Byron Street – Italianate – cornice brackets

Architectural Photos New Hamburg Ontario

288 Peel Street – Italianate, single cornice brackets, wraparound verandah, balcony on second floor         – Book 1

Architectural Photos New Hamburg Ontario

273 Peel Street – Italianate, cornice brackets, verge board trim, balcony second floor, bay window on side – Book 1

Architectural Photos, New Hamburg, Ontario

231 Peel Street – Queen Anne style – wraparound verandah, arched window voussoirs
– Book 1

Archtiectural Photos, New Hamburg, Ontario

17 Huron Street – The William Scott House – Gothic style with Italianate features was built about 1846 – belvedere on roof, verge board trim on gables with finials. Now The Waterlot Restaurant – Book 1

Architectural Photos, New Hamburg, Ontario

159 Jacob Street – Italianate with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay, iron cresting above porch roof – Book 2

Architectural Photos, New Hamburg, Ontario

305 Wilmot Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable with finial, balcony on second floor – Book 2

Architectural Photos, New Hamburg, Ontario

2 Byron Street – Italianate, cornice brackets, two-storey tower-like bay, dichromatic brickwork – Book 2

Hanover, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Hanover, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Hanover is located on Grey/Bruce County Road 4, east of Walkerton and west of Durham.  Hanover marks the boundary between Grey County and Bruce County. In 1849, the first pioneer, Abraham Buck, stood on the banks of the Saugeen River and looked about him at the thick forest of hardwood timber where the deer, bear and wolf ran free. The sky was filled with wild pigeons and the streams teamed with fish. He expressed the words, “It is good for us to be here.” Edward Goodeve opened one of the first stores. Henry Proctor Adams built the dam and the first mill and drew up plans for the village – a man of vision who could foresee the future growth of the town.

The village grew and prospered with large factories and new businesses manufacturing furniture, knitted goods, cement, milled products and other items. Roads were improved, street lighting was added, and facilities for education and recreation were built.

The coming of the railway enabled the factories to ship their goods from coast to coast and by the 1920s, the town was known for its fine furniture and given the title of “The Furniture Capital of Canada”.  During the depression, the large furniture factories and other associated plants kept on working with a reduced work force.

Hanover moved forward into the 1950s with factories continuing to manufacture fine, hardwood furniture, textiles, flour, processed food and kitchen cabinets.

The milk wagons were pulled by horses plodding from door to door along the shady streets, but this ended as larger grocery stores with refrigeration opened. New schools and additions were needed to meet the expanding numbers of children.

The decades from 1970 to the year 2000 saw the decline of manufacturing, especially in the large factory settings. The older factories producing hardwood furniture could not compete with the cheaper, imported products. Railway freight began to decrease as highways improved and transport trucking took over.

Smaller businesses replaced the giant factory complexes. The unused rail lines are now scenic walking trails.

Architectural Photos Hanover Ontario

Public Library in Beaux Arts style – pillars with capitals, pediment with window in tympanum

Architectural Photos Hanover Ontario

Gothic Cottage

Architectural Photos Hanover Ontario

#512 – Italianate style, cornice brackets, two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with decorative gable

Architectural Photos Hanover Ontario

#503 – Gothic Revival

Architectural Photos Hanover Ontario

539 9th Avenue – Italianate style, dormers in attic

Stratford, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Stratford, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Stratford is a city on the Avon River in Perth County in southwestern Ontario located at the junction of Highways 7-8 and 19. When the area was first settled by Europeans in 1832, the town site and the river were named after Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

In 1832, the Canada Company, a large private land settlement agency, initiated the development of “Little Thames” as the market center for the eastern Huron Tract.  By 1834, a tavern, sawmill, and gristmill were built and a year later a post office called Stratford was opened. With the coming of the railroad in the 1850s and the designation of Stratford as county town, the village was transformed into a thriving administrative and commercial center. Railway repair yards were opened here in 1871, and the town continued to expand. By 1885, Stratford had a population of 9,000 and it was incorporated as a city.

Furniture manufacturing became an important part of the local economy by the twentieth century.

The town is well known for being the home of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival which began in 1953. The annual festival brings hundreds of thousands of theatre goers and tourists to the area. The world-renowned festival takes place in four theaters throughout the city: the Festival Theatre, the Avon Theatre, Tom Patterson Theatre and the Studio Theatre.

The swan has become a symbol of the city. Each year twenty-four white swans and two black swans are released into the Avon River.

Architectural Photos Stratford Ontario

76 Mornington Street – Queen Anne Style – turret

Architectural Photos Stratford Ontario

160 Mornington Street – Italianate, pediment, dormer in attic – Italianate, pediment, dormer in attic

Architectural Photos Stratford Ontario

122 Mornington Street – Gothic Revival triple-gabled home, verge board trim on gables, finials, corner quoins; front door has bracketed transom and sidelight windows

Architectural Photos Stratford Ontario

2 Britannia Street – Queen Anne style – turret with cone-shaped cap

Architectural Photos Stratford Ontario

1 Wellington Street – Stratford City Hall – opened in 1900 – High Victorian building with many Queen Anne features – textural and dichromatic wall materials, Flemish wall dormers, and Neo-Classical cupolas and arches – geometric building with a dodecagon (twelve-sided shape) on either side of the outside triangular stairwell

Architectural Photos Stratford Ontario

Perth County Court House, St. Andrew Street – opened May 9, 1887 – High Victorian architecture with terra cotta details
It combines multi-colored masonry and a variety of building materials with features from different architectural styles. Italianate brackets adorn the cornice, while several Queen Anne features include the medieval tower, molded brick chimneys, and small multiple-paned windows. Romanesque Revival style features include the round arch windows stretching over two storeys, the heavy doors, the contrasting masonry surfaces, the rusticated basement foundation, the wall dormers which peak with a gable at the top, the pinnacle placed off center, Romanesque motifs adorning the soffits, and miniature columns complete with capitals which embellish the arched windows on the front and side facades. The soffits of the cornice immediately above the terra cotta panel are adorned with an intricate rose and maple leaf pattern.
Above the main entrance way is a semicircular transom, with stained glass windows portraying the scales of justice and crossed swords. Two panels with hands giving benediction are also located here. Quoins are used to create a pilaster effect complete with capitals on either side of the entrance, giving a contrast against the buff-colored brick.