May, 2017:

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.

St. Thomas, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

St. Thomas, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Colonel The Honorable Thomas Talbot (1771-1853), the founder of the “Talbot Settlement”, was born at Castle Malahide, Ireland. In 1803, after serving in the British Army, he was granted 5,000 acres and settled in Dunwich Township.  He promoted colonization by building mills, supervising the construction of a three hundred mile long road paralleling Lake Erie, and helping establish thousands of settlers in the area. In 1817 St. Thomas, located south of London and north of Port Stanley, was named for him.

St. Thomas, located in Southwestern Ontario at the intersection of two historical roads, was first settled in 1810. It was named the seat of the new Elgin County in 1844 and became a city in 1881. The founder of the settlement was Captain Daniel Rapelje. In 1820, Rapelje divided his land into town lots for a village and he donated two acres of land for the building of Old St. Thomas Church.

On September 15, 1885, Jumbo, the giant African elephant, star of the Barnum & Bailey Circus, met an untimely death when struck in St. Thomas by a Grand Trunk locomotive. A life-size commemorative statue was erected in 1985.

In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century several railways were constructed through the city and St. Thomas became an important railway junction. In the 1950s and 1960s, with the decline of the railway as a mode of transportation, other industry began to locate in the city, mainly primary and secondary automotive manufacturing.

Architecture Photos St Thomas Ontario

1 Wellington Street – built 1878 (McLachlin House) – Queen Anne style – turrets, scroll work, bracketing, dormers

Architecture Photos St Thomas Ontario

4-8 Wellington Street – Elgin County Court House was originally designed by architect John Turner and built in 1854. After a fire in 1898, the original building was repaired and enlarged by architect N .R. Darrach, resulting in the present Palladian style, expressed by its symmetry, rectangular and round-arched openings, and by the use of classic detailing.

Architecture Photos St Thomas Ontario

3 Drake Street – built 1876 – Georgian frame house
– paired cornice brackets

Architectural Photos St Thomas Ontario

71 Metcalfe Street – Georgian with three-bay front, the centre bay projects forward, pediment, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos St Thomas Ontario

72 Metcalfe Street – built in 1875 – Gothic Revival – sharply peaked roof, intricate verge board trim

Kitchener, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Kitchener, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Kitchener is located in Southwestern Ontario in the Grand River Valley. The settlement’s first name, Sand Hills, is an accurate description of the higher points of the Waterloo Moraine which snakes its way through the region and holds a significant quantity of artesian wells from which the city derives most of its drinking water.

In 1784, the land that Kitchener was built upon was an area of 240,000 hectares of land given to the Six Nations by the British as a gift for their allegiance during the American Revolution. The Six Nations sold 38,000 hectares of this land to Loyalist Colonel Richard Beasley. The land that was remote but of great interest to German Mennonite farming families from Pennsylvania. They wanted to live in an area that would allow them to practice their beliefs without persecution. The Mennonites purchased all of Beasley’s unsold land creating 160 farm tracts. By 1800, the first buildings were built, and over the next decade several families made the difficult trip north to Sand Hills. One of these Mennonite families, arriving in 1807, was the Schneiders, whose restored 1816 home (the oldest building in the city) is now a museum located in the heart of Kitchener.

Much of the land, made up of moraines and swampland interspersed with rivers and streams was converted to farmland and roads. Apple trees were introduced to the region by John Eby in the 1830s, and several grist and sawmills were erected throughout the area.

In 1833 the town was renamed Berlin. The extension of the Grand Trunk Railway from Sarnia to Toronto and through Berlin in July 1856 was a major boon to the community helping to improve industrialization in the area. Through the latter half of the 19th century and into the first decade of the 20th, the City of Berlin was a bustling industrial center celebrating its German heritage. When World War I started, that heritage became the focus of considerable enmity from non-German residents, and resulted in the name being changed to Kitchener.

Architecture Photos Kitchener

113 Water Street – Queen Anne style – verge board trim, fretwork brackets, second-floor sun room – Kitchener Book 1

Architecture Photos Kitchener

Water Street – Queen Anne eclectic style – one storey turret with cone-shaped roof, dormer in attic with balcony on second floor, bay window on the side – Kitchener Book 1

Architecture Photos Kitchenr

28 Weber Street – Second Empire style – mansard roof, dormers in roof
Kitchener Book 2

Architecture Photos Kitchener

222 Pandora Crescent – Tudor style – Kitchener Book 2

Architecture Photos Kitchenr

73 Queen Street North – Prosecutors’ Office – Gothic Revival – decorative cornice brackets, arched window voussoirs with keystones, corner quoins – Kitchener Book 2

Architecture Photos Kitchener

148 Margaret Street – Tudor half-timbering, two-storey tower with cone-shaped roof

 

Preston, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Preston, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

John Erb, the founder of Preston, was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, a Mennonite of Swiss ancestry.  He came to Upper Canada in 1805, acquired 7,500 acres of land from the German Land Company and settled on the site of Preston where the Grand and Speed Rivers meet. He built a sawmill and a gristmill and the community grew around them. The town was originally known as “Cambridge Mills” and was later renamed after Preston, England.

Preston’s location on the Great Road into the interior of the province made it a natural stop for travelers and with its eight hotels and taverns attracted more Europeans than any other village in the area.

Preston was a prosperous manufacturing center for stoves, furniture, woolens and shoes. It became known for its mineral springs.

Architecture Photos Preston Ontario

252 Dundas Street, Preston – Gore Mutual Insurance – 1935

Architecture Photos Preston Ontario

706 Queenston Road – Queen Anne style – a two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with gable, three-storey tower with cone-shaped roof

Architecture Photos Preston Ontario

222 Dundas Street, Preston – cobblestone architecture – Italianate with two-storey tower-like bays on either side of the doorway; dormer in attic between the bays

Architecture Photos Preston Ontario

522 King Street – two storey Italianate style with dormer in attic

Architecture Photos Preston Ontario

552 King Street – Italianate style – two-and-a-half storey tower-like bays with projecting eaves and large fretwork pieces resembling brackets

Architecture Photos Preston Ontario

480 Queenston Road – Italianate with a two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with projecting eaves and large fretwork pieces resembling brackets