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