April, 2018:

Midland, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Midland, Ontario – My Top 15 Picks

Midland is located on the southern end of Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands about ninety miles north of Toronto.

Huronia was named for the Huron Nation and consists of the areas around southeastern Georgian Bay which include Midland and Penetanguishene.  The area was visited by French Jesuits traveling with the Voyageurs to the Wye River in 1639.  They were welcomed by the Huron tribe who traded furs and skins for metal goods and clothing from France.  They built a settlement named Fort Ste. Marie which thrived for ten years until it was burned to the ground in 1649 by the Jesuits themselves after repeated attacks from Iroquois who were in league with the English who wanted the French share of the fur trade in North America.  Some of the priests were martyred.  The Sainte-Marie among the Hurons site was discovered in 1947, excavated and rebuilt to its original form by archeologists from the University of Western Ontario.

The Jesuits attempted a second site on St. Joseph’s Island, currently Christian Island, and named it Sainte Marie II.  They carried many of their goods by raft to this second site.  After a winter of terrible hardship and starvation, the Jesuits decided to abandon their mission and returned to Quebec in 1650.  Christian Island was later declared a native reservation by the Canadian government.

In 1871 a group of the principal shareholders of the Midland Railway, headed by Adolph Hugel, chose this location as the northern terminus of their line which they ran from Port Hope to Beaverton.  The town site was surveyed in 1872-73.  The railway line was completed in 1879 and soon attracted settlers to the area.  The new community, Midland, achieved its early growth through shipping and the lumber and grain trade.

In and around the center of Midland there are a number of murals most of which were painted by now deceased artist Fred Lenz.

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

320 King Street – The impressive Romanesque style limestone structure which now houses the library was built in 1913 as Midland’s first post office, with customs and excise offices on the second floor. – mansard roof, high central gable, imposing corner porch, and tower; 2½ storey building composed of even course cut stone, with a belt course that goes around the entire building; metal roof has a decorative stone fascia; some semi-elliptical windows, and a corner entrance. In 1963 the post office, needing more space, moved to its new home on Dominion Avenue and the beautiful limestone building sat empty for three years. In 1967, the library moved to the old post office. Setting your watch by the clock tower would be inadvisable as the four faces do not always agree. – Midland Book 1

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

234-236 King Street – Jeffery Block – 1901 – Romanesque Revival style – large number and regular rhythm of windows; extend brick corner quoins and varied brick courses on the window lintels – The Crow’s Nest Pub and Restaurant is now where the hardware store was; second floor YMCA; top floor Odd Fellows lodge meeting rooms

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

203-207 King Street – two storey, flat roofed commercial building – Burton Block, built by the Burton Brothers of Barrie – exterior of the building is made up of board and batten, stretcher brick, poured concrete, and sheet metal siding; frontispiece and decorated panels; brick keystones above windows; blind transom above door. The original stone carvings of Greek gods are still intact above the Taxi Stand door.

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

213-219 King Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers, dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

437 King Street – exterior is stretcher brick with a cut stone foundation; medium hipped roof and two second storey balconies; brick voussoirs; decorative brick below some windows; sidelights; open verandah with open railings and wood piers

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

431 King Street – full basement; low gable roof with a double gable on the façade with a molded fascia; exterior is finished with log; main entrance has an ogee shaped opening with a plain pediment roof above and wood piers on sides

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

414 King Street – late 1800s – 2½ storey brick, Gothic Revival – dichromatic brick patterns, roof gables and dormer with rounded roof, various window shapes and sizes, mixed design verge boards and verandas

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

409 King Street – Palladian window in gable roofed dormer; two-storey bay window; second floor balcony above closed in porch; varied roofline

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

318 Third Street – 1900 – Victorian – irregular layout; medium gabled roof; double gable on façade; fascia and soffit are molded metal; exterior is stretcher brick and vertical plank board; two balconies; brick voussoirs; 4-over-4 window panes; blind transom; open porch with wood posts and pediment – Midland Book 2

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

70 Fifth Street – built 1900, square layout and a wing on the left side; exterior is stretcher brick; upper storey balcony; medium hipped roof has an offset gable end on the façade and a molded frieze; semi-elliptical window on the left; open wooden veranda with decorative railings and support posts

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

613 Dominion Avenue – built in 1900 – Vernacular – irregular layout and several different types of roofs, including flat, medium gable, and medium hipped, a decorated fascia; exterior is stretcher brick and poured concrete; upper storey balcony; windows with brick voussoirs; transom window; open platform veranda with decorated open railing and decorative trim along the roof line; wood piers to support the roof

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

695 Dominion Avenue – built 1890, exterior of panel wood, broken course cut stone, stretcher brick, and terra cotta; medium gable roof, with decorated fascia and several gable ends with half timbering and gabled dormers; brick voussoirs; bay window on second storey; open veranda with open railing, stone, support pedestals, and Ionic capitals

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

657 Hugel Avenue – The Dollar House is the former residence of two of Midland’s leading historical figures: James Dollar and William Finlayson (lawyer, cabinet minister). Decorative gable ends, bracket roof trim, bay windows; medium hipped roof with several gables and gable roofed dormers; window voussoirs; two chimneys

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

423 Hugel Avenue – The Captain’s House Heritage Bed and Breakfast – built 1900 – Edwardian Classicism style, low gabled roof, siding and brick façade, numerous windows and a stone foundation; large bay window

Architectural Photos, Midland, Ontario

401 Manly Street – 2½ storeys; stretcher brick and wood shingle exterior; pyramidal roof with two cross gables; two balconies with open railings and decorative supports; brick voussoirs; Palladian windows in gables; wraparound veranda with stone supports, decorative piers, and open railings

Ottawa, Ontario – My Top 11 Picks

Ottawa, Ontario – My Top 11 Picks

After the union of the two Canadas in 1841, Kingston, Montreal, Toronto and Quebec were in succession the seat of government. During the 1850s these cities contended for designation as the permanent capital of Canada. During Queen Victoria’s long reign, the nation of Canada was created, grew and flourished. Queen Victoria ascended the throne in 1837, the same year that violent rebellions broke out in Upper and Lower Canada with demands for a more democratic and responsible form of government. These rebellions prompted many reforms, including the unification of Upper and Lower Canada into the Province of Canada. In 1857, Queen Victoria chose Ottawa as Canada’s capital, a political compromise as well as a more secure distance from the American border. In 1867, Queen Victoria signed the British North America Act to create the Dominion of Canada, a self-governing nation within the British Empire, established through peaceful accord and negotiation. The Fathers of Confederation reaffirmed the choice and Ottawa as the capital for the new Dominion.

Parliament Hill sits at the heart of Canada’s Capital, overlooking a river that reflects many histories.  From the beginning, Parliament Hill was designed as a workplace for parliamentarians, and also as a place where everyone could come to meet, talk or just relax in a beautiful outdoor setting.  Today there is a scenic promenade which follows the shoreline of the Ottawa River.

The Centre, East and West blocks of the Parliament Buildings were built between 1859 and 1866 (excluding the Tower and Library).  The Parliament Buildings have vaulted ceilings, marble floors and dramatic lighting which create an air of dignity.  The stone walls have a lot of decoration.

Sir John A. Macdonald (1815-1891) was one of the driving forces behind Confederation in Canada, with Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec joining together to form a new country. Macdonald served as the country’s first prime minister. Manitoba, British Columbia and Prince Edward Island entered Confederation under his government, while the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s transcontinental line was hammered into the ground.

The Rideau Canal, a great military engineering achievement of the nineteenth century, was completed in 1832 and opened central Canada to settlement and trade. The canal was planned after the War of 1812 to provide a safe way to transport troops and equipment between Montreal and Kingston. The entrance locks mark the beginning of a 202-kilometer route linking the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario through a system of lakes and rivers connected and made navigable by the channels, locks and dams that the workers constructed.

In the 1890s, when Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier spoke of making Ottawa a “Washington of the North”, he wanted a new architectural style for the Capital that was distinct from American and older British models, in pursuit of grandeur.

In 1982, the Queen and the Right Honourable Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister, signed the Constitution Act, 1982 to make Canada an independent nation.

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

Parliament Hill – Centre Block with Peace Tower – Ottawa Book 1

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

Langevin Block – is an office building facing Parliament Hill. As the home of the Privy Council Office and Office of the Prime Minister, it is the working headquarters of the executive branch of the Canadian government. The building is named after a Father of Confederation and cabinet minister Hector Langevin. Built of sandstone from a New Brunswick quarry between 1884 and 1889 – Second Empire style – Mansard roof, dormers, grotesque sculptures (fantastic or mythical figures used for decorative purposes)

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

1 Rideau Street – Fairmont Chateau Laurier, one of Canada’s landmark railway hotels, built in the Canadian Chateau style

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

44-50 Sparks Street at corner of Elgin – Scottish Ontario Chambers – Italianate design – four-storey brick building with a high ground floor, balanced façade, decorative multi-colored masonry, radiated voussoirs of multicolored brick, fenestration (the arrangement, design and proportioning of windows and doors), roof line with heavy bracketing and decorated cornice – Ottawa Book 2

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

555 Mackenzie Avenue – The Connaught Building – 1913 – Tudor Gothic – named after the Duke of Connaught, third son of Queen Victoria, who served as 10th Governor General of Canada from 1911–16 – faced in rusticated sandstone, embellished with turrets, a crenellated roofline, buttresses, corbelling, niches, carved embellishments, an ogee arched entrance and rows of flat-headed windows accented by dressed quoins

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

Rideau Hall – Thomas MacKay, a wealthy Scottish stonemason and entrepreneur, helped build the Rideau Canal. Following the completion of the canal, McKay built mills at Rideau Falls, making him the founder of New Edinburgh, the original settlement of Ottawa. With his newly acquired wealth, McKay purchased the 100 acre site overlooking both the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers and built a stone villa in 1838 where he and his family lived until 1855. The building, an eleven-room mansion, was known as MacKay Castle. Following Confederation, Rideau Hall was purchased by the Canadian government as a permanent vice regal residence and home for the nation’s first governor general, Lord Monck. Subsequent governor generals expanded and improved the original building to carry out their increasing official duties. Lord Dufferin added the wings on either side of the main entrance in the 1870s. – Ottawa Book 3

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

197 Wurtemburg Street – 1869 – Embassy of the Republic of Turkey – Tudor style – The central portion of the building was a picturesque Gothic Revival structure constructed for W.F. Whitcher, Commissioner of Fisheries. The two wings and the Tudoresque half-timbering were added when the structure served as a Children’s Hospital from 1888-1904.

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

320 Chapel Street – Victorian – three-storey tower, cornice brackets, gable, voussoirs, banding, dormer, composite columns around door – Ottawa Book 4

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

179 Murray Street – a small house of 9 artist studios – aiding the city of Ottawa in developing an artistic and cultural identity – window hoods, Jacobean-type gable, Doric pillars

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

159 Murray Street – Ecole Guigues – The current building opened its doors in 1904 and was one of Ottawa’s largest schools. Two sisters, Diane Desloges and Béatrice Desloges, natives of Ottawa and both teachers at the Guigues elementary school, refused to implement the provisions of Regulation 17, thus defying the ministerial order [issued by the Ontario Ministry of Education] that limited teaching in French to the first two years of elementary school. On January 5, 1916, the Ottawa Separate School Board, with nineteen mothers and the Desloges sisters, stormed the entrance of this school to demand that Franco-Ontarian pupils be educated in their mother tongue. It was not until 1927 that bilingual schools in the province were officially recognized. Thousands of students passed through its halls until it closed in 1979.

Architectural Photos, Ottawa, Ontario

1876 Merivale Road, Nepean – Merivale United Church – built 1875-1876 – Gothic Revival – finials on tower with balustrade; corner quoins

Kingston, Ontario – My Top 23 Picks

Kingston, Ontario – My Top 23 Picks

In October 1783, at Carleton Island, Captain William Redford Carleton of the King’s Royal Regiment of New York, met with the local Mississauga Indians led by the elderly Mynass. Crawford, acting for the British government, purchased from the Mississaugas for some clothing, ammunition and colored cloth, a large tract of land east of the Bay of Quinte. In September 1783, Deputy Surveyor-General John Collins was dispatched to Cataraqui by Governor Haldimand to lay out townships for Loyalist settlers. By the end of the year, the front concessions of four townships stretching from Cataraqui to the Bay of Quinte had been surveyed. A fifth township was laid out the following summer.  The land was subsequently settled by United Empire Loyalists and Britain’s allies who had been forced to leave their homes in the new United States.

Earl Street has a wide range of homes, some originally built for factory workers and others for the wealthy. They include a variety of frame, stone, stone and brick, and all-brick homes. They have different roof lines, porches, trim, chimneys, windows and transoms.

The Kingston Custom House was built 1856-59 for the government of the united Canadas. The symmetrical composition of the two-storey ashlar building, surmounted by a restrained cornice and parapet, draws on the British classical tradition. The orderly design is achieved through repeated use of semi-circular forms for doors and windows. The Custom House and the nearby Post Office are fine examples of the architectural quality of mid-nineteenth century administrative buildings.

The Kingston Penitentiary which opened on June 1, 1835 was Canada’s oldest reformatory prison.  Its layout – an imposing front gate leading to a cross-shaped cell block with workshops to the rear – was the model for other federal prisons for more than a century. It is Classical architecture in local stone.

Kingston Penitentiary represented a significant departure from the way society had dealt with its criminals. Previously, jails were used primarily as places to hold convicts awaiting execution, banishment, or public humiliation. The penitentiary imposed a severe regime designed to reform the inmate through reflection, hard work, and the fear of punishment. Inmates lived in small cells but worked together from dawn to dusk under a rigidly enforced code of silence. Kingston Penitentiary stands as a symbol of this country’s commitment to maintaining law and order.

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

213 King Street East – Italianate – decorative brickwork below cornice and above first floor windows, dormers with fish scale pattern in the gables, pediment, columns with Ionic capitals supporting the verandah – Kingston Book 1

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

197-199 King Street East – Queen Anne – three-storey turret, dormers, second floor sleeping balcony, dichromatic voussoirs, decorative brickwork in large gable

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

52 Earl Street – built by William Henry Smith in 1876 – Grove House – sunburst design on the façade; cornice brackets, oriel window, dormers

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

169 King Street East – designed in 1885 by William Newlands for banker Donald Fraser – three-bay, two-storey house is built on a high foundation; porch with paired columns on brick piers and a plain balustrade was added later; corner quoins with raised panels; channeled hood

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

200 Ontario Street – The Prince George Hotel established 1809 – the façade is actually three separate buildings – the middle part is a stone house built about 1817; new stores were built on each side of the house in 1847 – later became a hotel – third floor with mansard roof added in 1892; iron cresting on the tower; copper roof; decorative woodwork on verandah – Kingston Book 2

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

251 Brock Street – Elizabeth Cottage – Gothic Revival style – built 1840s – steeply pointed gables, projecting bays, oriel windows – accentuate play of light and shadow on smooth stucco walls; applied Gothic decorative details such as verge board trim, crockets, finials and drip moldings heighten the picturesque effect

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

12 Wellington Street – Second Empire, mansard roof, dormers with window hoods, two-storey central verandahs – Doric columns on first storey with semi-circular arch with keystone; Ionic columns on second storey with identical arch

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

80 Barrie Street – Italianate – 2½-storey tower-like bays, cornice return on gables, dormer between gables, cornice brackets, pediment above door, sidelights and transom – Kingston Book 3

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

24 Sydenham Street – Hochelaga Inn – a French Victorian mansion built in 1879 by John McIntyre and his wife Harriet, who was a relative of Sir John A. Macdonald – transformed into an inn in 1985 – three-storey tower, cornice brackets, bay window

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

743 King Street West – Romanesque style, voussoirs and banding, gabled dormer, eyebrow dormer, tall chimneys, corner quoins – Kingston Book 4

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

121 Johnson Street – Greek Orthodox Church – Romanesque style – two-storey frontispiece topped with pediment, corner quoins, dentil molding

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

Johnson Street – Second Empire style – 2½ storey, Mansard roof, dormers, iron cresting on roof, wraparound verandah

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

222 Johnson Street; 226 Johnson Street – Mansard-like roof with dormers, semi-circular and rectangular windows

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

96 Albert Street – Queen Anne style, three-storey turret, Palladian window above two-storey bay window, pediment, voussoirs with keystone – Kingston Book 5

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

208-210 Bagot Street – Edwardian, two-storey tower-like bay, dormers

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

110 Bagot Street – Tudor half-timbering style

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

116 Bagot Street – Second Empire, Mansard roof with dormers and window hoods, second floor balcony, bay windows, cornice brackets, dentil molding, pillared entrance

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

164 Queen Street – Gothic Revival – verge board trim on gables, corner quoins, and dichromatic brickwork

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

King Street West – two-storey tower, lancet and semi-circular windows, transom window above door – Kingston Book 6

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

462 King Street West – Stone Gables, 1924, part of the St. Helen’s Complex, is located on landscaped grounds bordering Lake Ontario. The grand, Tudor Revival, stone building features a steeply pitched gable roof, a projecting gabled frontispiece, prominent gable chimneys, and hipped dormer windows.

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

163 Union Street – two storeys, hipped roof with dormer, four Corinthian pillars supporting a semi-circular roof with balcony above, dentil molding, sidelights and transom windows around door

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

169 Union Street – Mansard-type roof with dormers

Architectural Photos, Kingston, Ontario

81 Lower Union Street – Gothic – 1½ storey brick cottage built in 1875 – narrow sidelight windows, porch with Doric pillars – carved wooden barge board on gable, dormers

Welland, Ontario – My Top 13 Picks

Welland, Ontario – My Top 13 Picks

Welland is located in the center of Niagara. Within a half-hour, residents can travel to Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, St. Catharines, Port Colborne or Buffalo. It has been traditionally known as the place where rails and water meet, referring to the railways from Buffalo to Toronto and Southwestern Ontario, and the waterways of the Welland Canal and Welland River, which played a great role in the city’s development. The city is separated by the Welland River and Welland Canal which links Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.

The city was first settled in 1788 by United Empire Loyalists.

Welland, because of its proximity to the Sir Adam Beck hydroelectric station at Niagara Falls, was historically known for its steel, automotive, and textile industries.  Manufacturing firms were the biggest employers in Welland, with companies like Union Carbide, United Steel, Plymouth Cordage Company, three drop forges, a cotton mill, and the Atlas Steel Company, as well as general manufacturing plants, influencing the shaping of early Welland.

The Plymouth Cordage Company was the first major industrial company to open a plant in Welland in 1906.  It was a rope making company with headquarters in Plymouth, Massachusetts; it became the largest manufacturer of rope and twine in the world.  Plymouth binder twine was popular among farmers to package farm crops such as grass, wheat and straw, and was the inspiration for the naming of the Plymouth brand of automobiles first produced in 1928.  Many workers who relocated to Welland from the company’s operations in Plymouth were of Italian origin. To minimize the potential effects of cultural and language barriers, Plymouth Cordage sent four foremen to Welland: one was Italian, one was French, one was German and one was English.

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

131 Aqueduct Street – Bagar-Bison House – 1880 – Victorian – two-storey tower, pediment, fish scale pattern on upper storey, sidelights around door – Welland Book 1

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

30 Bald Street – Queen Anne style, two-storey turret with cone-shaped cap, second floor sleeping porch

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

24 Burgar Street – The Glasgow-Fortner House – 1859 – Queen Anne style – now Rinderlins Dining Rooms

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

204 East Main Street – Lawrence-Phillips House – c. 1890 – Victorian style with a mixture of Gothic, Tuscan Italianate and Queen Anne elements

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

195 East Main Street – Victorian style

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

102 East Main Street – Welland County Court House – built in 1855-56, four years after the creation of Welland County; Neo-Classical style, built of Queenston limestone – the front of the building is dominated by a huge projecting portico surmounted by a classical pediment and four large Ionic columns, sidelights beside door

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

28 Elgin Street East – Neo-colonial – gambrel roof, shed dormer

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

124 Elgin Street West – Queen Anne style, decorative dormer with walkout balcony, two-storey bay window

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

King Street – Customs and Post Office – built 1901-02 – quoining, buttresses, dormers – Welland Book 2

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

140 King Street – former Welland Public Library – 1923 – dark red Milton brick and Indiana limestone in the Beaux-Arts style

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

123 Merritt Street West – Gothic, verge board trim on gable

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

201 Niagara Street – Cooper Mansion – 1913-1914 – Renaissance Revival style, Jacobean gables (parapet), symmetrical façade with projecting wings, , dormers, stone trim, neoclassical doorway with elliptical fanlight and slender sidelights sheltered by a classical portico supported on six Doric columns

Architectural Photos, Welland, Ontario

71 Elgin Street East – Edwardian – Doric columns, dormer, Palladian-type window in gable