Listowel, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Listowel, Ontario – My Top 6 Picks

Listowel is located in the municipality of North Perth, northwest of Kitchener/Waterloo, and west of Elmira on Highway 86.

Settler John Binning arrived in 1857 and was the first to create a permanent residence in the area. The community was originally named Mapleton, but the name was changed when a post office was established. The new name was chosen by a government official and refers to Listowel, Ireland (a market town in County Kerry situated on the River Feale, twenty-eight kilometers, or seventeen miles, from the county town, Tralee.) The majority of early settlers were of Protestant Irish origin.

In 1871 the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway extended its line to Listowel. It was joined in 1873 by a second railway, the Stratford and Huron Railway, and Listowel became an important shipping point. The population doubled when industries, including a woolen mill, a sawmill, a planing mill and a tannery, were established. In 1891 the Morris, Field, Rogers Company Ltd began to manufacture Morris pianos in Listowel.

In 1907, hydroelectric and telephone services came to the town with the Princess cinema. During World War II the theater was renamed the Capitol and remains Canada’s oldest operating cinema.

The Campbell Soup Company was a major local employer for 48 years, operating a frozen, food service and specialty food plant in Listowel.  The factory closed in April 2008. The surrounding area is mostly agricultural land located on the Perth Plain, dominated by the beef and pork industries.

Architectural Photos, Listowel, Ontario

215 Binning Street West – two-storey, white brick, tower, dormer – originally this was a full three storeys high with a Mansard roof; a fire in 1922 damaged the upper level and a new roof was added in the Queen Anne style; spindle railing around circular balcony, Doric pillars, pediment

Architectural Photos, Listowel, Ontario

415 Inkerman Street West – built in two distinct styles – the larger east half is Italianate with paired cornice brackets, iron cresting above porch and above bay window, decorative gable; the smaller west half is rural Ontario design with a verandah

Architectural Photos, Listowel, Ontario

370 Inkerman Street West – triple gable Gothic Revival

Architectural Photos, Listowel, Ontario

469 Main Street West – Second Empire style, Mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, built of Wallace brick – was once on edge of town and operated as the Last Chance Hotel – last chance for a drink before leaving town

Architectural Photos, Listowel, Ontario

507 Main Street West – Queen Anne style with plenty of windows, chimneys and gables

Architectural Photos, Listowel, Ontario

555 Main Street West – Italianate with four-storey tower, belvedere on roof – site of Listowel’s first settler John Binning’s log cabin; the present house is one of the oldest in town, built in 1860, tower and front half added in 1870