January, 2019:

St. Catharines, Ontario – Book 1 in Colour Photos – My Top 9 Picks

The Port Dalhousie community is located on a small peninsula that separates Martindale Pond from Lake Ontario. The historical growth of this community around an elongated road grid pattern can be directly attributed to the development of the Welland canals, commerce, industry and Great Lakes shipping during the 19th century. By the end of the 20th century, Port Dalhousie began to be recognized as an area of rich cultural heritage.

The commercial core, located on Lakeport Road, Lock Street and Hogan´s Alley, is characterized by varying architectural styles from the 19th and early 20th centuries, ranging from red and buff brick to Italianate.

The residential area is comprised of dwellings once inhabited by sailors, canal workers, business people, lock tenders, farmers and many other individuals from an eclectic mix of social classes. Architectural styles include Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, and Neo-classical among others.

Port Dalhousie was the terminus for the first three routes of the Welland Canal, built in 1820, 1845 and 1889. The city’s most popular beach, on the shore of Lake Ontario, is located in Port Dalhousie at Lakeside Park. The park is home to an antique carousel which was carved by Charles I. D. Looff in 1905 and brought to St. Catharines in 1921. It continues to provide amusement for young and old alike, at just 5 cents a ride. Port Dalhousie is named for George Ramsay, 9th Earl of Dalhousie, Governor General of British North America from 1820-1828.

At the time of European colonization, the British Crown appropriated the land from the Neutral Indians, and transferred title of the area to Captain Peter Tenbroeck, a United Empire Loyalist officer in Butler’s Rangers, as part of an 800 acre land grant. Tenbroeck and other settlers established farms along the Twelve Mile Creek. Within a few years, ships began to ply the waters of Lake Ontario, but only small craft could navigate to the fledgling mills and hamlet of Shipman’s Corners, later St. Catharines.

The northern entrance to the Welland Canal was at Port Dalhousie. Industries and services to meet the needs of the growing settlement were established. In 1837, a Scottish boat builder called Robert Abbey started a shipyard at Port Dalhousie, building yawls, sailing yachts and eventually steam yachts.

Confederation in 1867 was a major factor in the building of the Third Welland Canal. A new and enlarged waterway was needed for the larger steamers on the Great Lakes. By 1890 almost 300,000 tons of cargo were shipped along the canal each year, primarily wheat, corn, coal and forest products. By 1914, this had increased to almost four million tons. Further canal enlargements were needed and a new Welland Ship Canal was completed in 1930 which bypassed Port Dalhousie.

Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
34 Main Street
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
55 Main Street
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
58 Main Street
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
73 Main Street
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
109 Main Street – two storey, Italianate, hipped roof, keystones and voussoirs above windows and door
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
127 Main Street – pediment, Palladian window in gable
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
Main Street – Tudor timbering on stucco
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
206 Main Street – dormers
Architectural Photos, St. Catharines, Ontario
The factory at 63 Lakeport Road was built between 1899 and 1900 for the Maple Leaf Rubber Company. In 1955 A. Stewart Howes established Lincoln Fabrics Limited as a weaver of specialty fabrics. Stewart’s son David assumed leadership of the company from 1983 until his death in 2015. Both father and son were committed to a family oriented business employing a loyal and skilled workforce from the local community. Both were involved in the community.

Grimsby, Ontario – Book 2 in Colour Photos – My Top 7 Picks

Before written history, the Neutral Indians lived here. It was a perfect home with forests teeming with game, the lake providing fresh fish and transportation, and the fertile plain ideal for agriculture. The Neutrals were wiped out by their enemies by 1650.

In 1787, a group of United Empire Loyalists arrived from New Jersey. They named their little settlement The Forty after the creek which was believed to be forty miles from the mouth of the Niagara River.

John Graves Simcoe, an officer of the British army who served in the American War of Independence, became the first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada (Ontario) from 1792-1796. The naming of the newly surveyed townships was part of his duty, and on a number of them he gave places names from Lincolnshire, England. One of these was Grimsby.

In the early days the many creeks on top of the Niagara Escarpment which flowed into Lake Ontario – each with a waterfall – were named according to their approximate distance from the Niagara River. There is the Twelve Mile creek, the Sixteen, the Twenty, the Forty, etc. It was along these creeks and stretching back from then on either side that the first settlers took up their land and built their log cabins, their saw mills and grist mills. This is how the Settlement at The Forty – later called Grimsby (from the name of the township) – began.

Less than twenty years after the arrival of the first settlers, the United States declared war on Britain and began by attacking Canada from three points – one of them was Niagara. In 1813, the Engagement at the Forty occurred on June 8, 1813. American forces, retreating after the Battle of Stoney creek, were bombarded by a British flotilla under Sir James Lucas Yeo. Indians and groups of the 4th and 5th Regiments Lincoln Militia joined in the attack and created such confusion in the enemy ranks that they abandoned this position and retreated to Fort George.

Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
14 Robinson Street South – Helen Gibson House – Local quarryman and builder, W.F. Gibson, built the first two cement block homes in Grimsby at 14 and 16 Robinson Street South in 1912. In 1921, Mr. Gibson completely rebuilt 14 Robinson Street South. The building was reconstructed in the classical Georgian style with its long sharply pitched roof, internal chimney, symmetrical facade and centre hall layout. Plaster and stucco were then applied to the cement block. Dominating the front entrance is a Neo-Classical vaultro portico.
Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
23 Mountain Street – This home was built in 1855 by John H. Grout, son of Reverend George Grout the rector of St. Andrew’s Church. John became an important citizen, and entrepreneur who established the Grout Agricultural Works which manufactured reapers and mowers, the most modern farm machinery. He became a Reeve in 1876 when Grimsby became a town. Note the fine detail over the windows of the house and the stained glass windows framing the door.
Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
The Gibson house at 114 Gibson Avenue was built circa 1860 by Robert Lillie Gibson using red variegated free stone from his quarries on the escarpment above. He came to Grimsby in search of good stone for quarrying. Robert and the men in this family were stonemasons from Scotland. He settled on the west above Grimsby and established a quarry there. He met and fell in love with Frances Thompson and they were married. Robert built the little house at 102 Gibson Avenue for his bride, but he began work on the lovely stone house by Forty Mile Creek. Robert’s quarry above the house was a success due to the building boom in public structures and railway bridges during that era. Rock was carried from the quarry to waiting ships by means of a little railway that ran from the base of the escarpment to the foot of Maple Avenue where a pier was built for this purpose. In 1870, Robert opened a second quarry in Beamsville. At that time, he brought his 21-year-old nephew, William from Scotland to act as bookkeeper. When Robert died in an unfortunate accident in 1882, William took over the operation of the quarries. In 1891, William ran successfully for Parliament, holding his seat until 1902. He was then appointed to the Senate. Senator Gibson School in Beamsville is named for him.
Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
25 Adelaide Street was constructed in 1911 as a result of an $8,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York whose purpose was to promote the advancement of knowledge. It served as Grimsby’s library until 2003. The three-part façade represents strength, wisdom and beauty. The portico is in the classic Greek design.
Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
18 Nelles Road North – William Boise Nelles built this house on his fruit farm in 1905. Around 1800, William Nelles built The Hermitage on land near Lake Ontario. When he died, the land was divided between his sons, Peter Ball Nelles and John Adolphus Nelles. Peter had the eastern portion of the land, which he called Chestnut Park. John Adolphus had the western part on which he built Lakelawn.
Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
376 Nelles Road North – Lakelawn, named for the grassy stretch between the house and lake, was built in 1846 by John Adolphus Nelles, son of William and nephew of Robert. The house remained in the family until the death of John’s great-granddaughter, Mary Burnham in 1986. John’s brother Peter Ball Nelles shared this property and built a lovely home called Stone Shanty. It was unfortunately razed when the Queen Elizabeth Highway was built.
Architectural Photos, Grimsby, Ontario
13 Fair Avenue – Edwardian style – second floor sleeping balcony