February, 2018:

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

Essex, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Essex, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Amherstburg and Sandwich, the first towns to be established in Essex County, were first settled in 1796 after the British evacuated Fort Detroit. The populations of both towns were augmented by people immigrating from the United States to the south after the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783), especially from the City of Detroit by those who chose to remain British subjects, people known as “United Empire Loyalists”.

After the American Revolution and the War of 1812 (1812-1815), people continued to migrate north to the area, and came from the east from Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River of Lower Canada seeking land. Settlers began to move eastward along the north shore of Lake Erie.  Land was purchased from the Indians in the southern half of the current county. The British Court made land available for settlement provided that certain improvements were made to the land within a year and that it was not used for speculation. This area became known as the “New Settlement” (as compared to the “Old Settlement” of the towns of Amherstburg and Sandwich).  Settlers in the area included Hessians who fought for the British against the American rebels, and Pennsylvania Dutch (Mennonites).

In 1854 the Great Western Railway connected the Detroit frontier with the east, crossing Essex County. The Canadian terminal was in Windsor, which consequently forged ahead of the other towns of the county. Other railway lines were built that connected settlements in Kingsville, Harrow, Essex and Leamington.

By the late 19th century Essex County had seen fur trading and logging, land clearing and farming, road building and railway development, saw mills and gristmills, railway stations and water ports. By this time the forests were disappearing, replaced by fertile farmland.

Essex is a town in Essex County in southwestern Ontario with its municipal borders extending to Lake Erie.  The Talbot Trail attributed to the growth of Essex in the last half of the 19th century.

Essex was one of the first counties to be settled in Upper Canada mostly by French people in the mid-18th century. Around 1749, the first permanent settlements began to appear on what is now the Canadian side of the Detroit River which despite its name is a strait connecting Lake Huron and the smaller Lake Saint Clair in the north and to Lake Erie in the south, as part of the Great Lakes system.

Essex County is largely composed of clay-based soils, with sandy soils along the beaches and shores. For the most part, Essex County is flat farmland, with some woodlots.  When farmers first arrived, they encountered difficulty in trying to clear the extremely thick forests that covered Essex County. The farmers starved the trees from nourishment by cutting deep gashes in the bark, and burned them to clear the way to get to the fertile soils underneath. The fires were so intense that the reddish glow could be seen from Fort Chicago, 300 miles away, as millions of cords of wood burned.

On August 10, 1907, at the Essex Station there was a large explosion that sent shock waves across the county and into some parts of nearby Michigan.  A train cart containing 5000 pounds of nitroglycerine ignited. The blast sent debris over 600 yards away, killed two people and injured many more. The boom of the explosion caused plaster to fall from the ceilings of buildings in Windsor and windows to rattle as far as Detroit. The Essex Station was very heavily damaged.  The Essex Station was rebuilt to its previous form and remains a recognizable landmark in the town

Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

80 Irwin Avenue – Neo-Colonial style – gambrel roof

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Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

46 Alice Street – vernacular – chipped gable, dormer

Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

78 Fox Street – Gothic/Georgian style – wooden building

Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

Essex Railway Station – stone train station – 1887

Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

Talbot Street North – Italianate, hipped roof, dormers, cobblestone basement walls

Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

36 Centre Street – triple-gable Gothic Revival

Architectural Photos, Essex, Ontario

122 Talbot Street South – Essex Manor Rest Home – two-storey, Queen Anne style

Waterloo, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Waterloo, Ontario – My Top 12 Picks

Waterloo is a city in Southern Ontario. The Conestogo Parkway and Highway 8 connect Waterloo with Kitchener, Cambridge, Highway 7/8, and Highway 401. Waterloo shares several of its north-south arterial roads with neighboring Kitchener.

Waterloo was built on land that was part of a parcel of 675,000 acres assigned in 1784 to the Iroquois alliance that made up the League of Six Nations. Almost immediately, the native groups began to sell some of the land. Between 1796 and 1798, 93,000 acres were sold through a Crown Grant to Richard Beasley, with the Six Nations Indians continuing to hold the mortgage on the lands.

The first immigrants to the area were Mennonites from Pennsylvania. They bought deeds to land parcels from Beasley and began moving into the area in 1804. The following year, a group of twenty-six Mennonites pooled resources to purchase all of the unsold land from Beasley and discharge the mortgage held by the Six Nations Indians.

The Mennonites divided the land into smaller lots; two lots initially owned by Abraham Erb became the central core of Waterloo. Erb built a sawmill on Beaver, now Laurel, Creek in 1808 and in 1816 built the area’s first grist mill which farmers from miles around used to grind their wheat into flour, a very important staple.

In 1816, the new township was named after Waterloo, Belgium, the site of the Battle of Waterloo, which had ended the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. After that war, the area became a popular destination for German immigrants. By the 1840s, German settlers were the dominant segment of the population. Many Germans settled in the small hamlet to the southeast of Waterloo. In their honor, the village was named Berlin in 1833 (renamed to Kitchener in 1916). Berlin was chosen as the site of the seat for the County of Waterloo in 1853.

The inhabitants established Waterloo as an important industrial and commercial center. The village had a council chamber, fire hall, post office, library, and four steam-powered factories, including the Granite Mills and Distillery which became the Seagram Company.

The Grand River flows southward along the east side of the city. Its most significant tributary within the city is Laurel Creek, whose source lies just to the west of the city limits and its mouth just to the east, and crosses much of the city’s central areas including the University of Waterloo lands and Waterloo Park; it flows under the uptown area in a culvert. In the west end of the city, the Waterloo Moraine provides over 300,000 people in the region with drinking water. Much of the gently hilly Waterloo Moraine underlies existing developed areas.

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

50 Albert Street – 1903 – Snyder-Seagram House – Edwardian Classical in parged concrete – superposed sets of Palladian windows and bay windows projecting over both storeys; curved, wraparound verandah with classical columns – Waterloo Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

47 Albert Street – a Tudor Revival (Arts and Crafts) style house built in 1924 by the manager of the Globe Furniture Company, a world leader in furniture manufacturing especially church and school furnishings and religious carvings – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

54 Albert Street – built in 1891 in the late Victorian Queen Anne style for Dr. Charles Noecker, the Medical Officer of Health; buff brick walls have been painted – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

57 Albert Street – Colonial Revival style – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

65 Albert Street – Gothic Revival, gable with pointed window, Stucco over brick house built in 1866 by Elias Snider – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

157 Albert Street – built c. 1846 by Joseph Good – Georgian style – molded trim, shutters, eared window pediments, blind attic window, cornice return on front gable; modified by Allan Shantz in 1896 – semi-circular verandah with newel posts topped by cannon ball finials, stained glass parlor window – give late-Victorian appearance – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

88 William Street West – 1880 – Victorian – 2½ storey projecting rectangular bay, cornice return on gable, bay window with cornice brackets, wraparound verandah, stained glass windows – Waterloo Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

172 King Street South – the original portion, the first homestead in Waterloo, was built about 1812 by Abraham Erb; subsequent additions – white clapboard; wings on either side of center section and second-storey balcony added 1855; 6-over-6 arrangement of window panes is a Georgian characteristic; symmetrical front porch between two wings with latticework, Gothic barge board and Doric columns reflects a Regency influence. – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

227 King Street South – The head office of The Mutual Life Assurance Company of Canada (now head office of Sun Life Financial’s Canadian operations) was completed in 1912. The Renaissance Revival style building is ornamented with features such as the two-storey fluted paired Ionic columns supporting a large segmental arch above the main doors, elaborate window surrounds, and a parapet with a balustrade. It is clad in light brown and yellow Roman brick, and embellished with projecting pedimented bays and quoins. Many of the decorative details on the façade are made from imported English terra cotta. Situated within a Beaux Arts designed landscape, the building is a unique and iconic corporate pavilion. The monumental scale of the building and its rich ornamentation symbolize the importance and stability of Waterloo’s first life insurance company and reflect the town’s early twentieth century prosperity and sense of civic pride. – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

73 George Street – 1882 – Victorian style with Italianate details – fancy brackets under eaves, wood trim below the eaves, bay window; arched windows in the attic of the projecting bay; other windows have rounded corners; double front door; keystones over windows decorated with a motif consisting of a bunch of grapes – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

53 Allen Street East – new rectory – 1928 – Period Revival Style – medieval influences – the gables have loopholes, found in medieval architecture as a place for launching arrows – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Waterloo, Ontario

27 Euclid Avenue – Gothic Revival – Waterloo Book 3