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Wingham, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Wingham, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

In the early 1850s, settlers began moving into the townships in the Queen’s Bush north of the Huron Tract. One of these townships, Turnberry, was surveyed by 1853 and a plot for a market town was designated where two branches of the Maitland River met. Among the earliest settlers on the plot was John Cornyn who was operating a hotel here in 1861. A year later a post office named Wingham was established and by 1866 Wingham had become a prominent supply and distributing center for the agricultural and lumbering area. In the 1870s railway expansion stimulated growth and led to Wingham’s incorporation as a village in 1874 with a population of 700. Five years later with a population of 2000, Wingham was incorporated as a town.

Wingham, located in Huron County at the intersection of County Roads 4 & 86, became part of North Huron municipality in 2001 when the former township of East Wawanosh, the village of Blyth, and the town of Wingham were amalgamated. County Road 86 connects to Kitchener-Waterloo to the east. The main thoroughfare is County Road 4, called Josephine Street within Wingham, which connects to London, Ontario to the south.

Wingham has manufacturing businesses and a variety of retail and service businesses. Wescast Industries has three manufacturing facilities producing auto parts. BI-AX International produces plastic film for use in food packaging and industry. Royal Homes is a manufacturer of pre-fabricated homes. Britespan Building Systems Inc. is a manufacturer of fabric covered steel structure buildings.

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Town Hall A.D. 1890 – mansard roof, dormers, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Queen Anne style – turret, fretwork, voussoirs, keystones

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Edwardian style – fretwork, voussoirs, keystones

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

#251 – Gothic Revival, dormers, cornice return, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

26 John Street East – stone architecture, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

John Street East – verge board trim on gable, cornice brackets under eaves

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

Meyer Block – dichromatic brickwork, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

#221 – Queen Anne style, turret

Architectural Photos, Wingham, Ontario

#13 – Queen Anne style, turret, voussoirs, keystones, fretwork

Port Elgin, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Port Elgin, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Originally, the village of Port Elgin was named Normanton. In 1873, the community was named after James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin, a former Governor-General of the Province of Canada. In the 1990s, Port Elgin was merged into the town of Saugeen Shores.  Port Elgin is close to MacGregor Point Provincial Park and Southampton in Bruce County; the community has several beaches on Lake Huron.

In 1854, Benjamin Shantz acquired a sawmill on Mill Creek from George Butchart. Nearby he built a gristmill and within three years a community of 250 people developed around these mills.  Stores, hotels and tanneries were built and a village plot for Port Elgin was laid out in 1857. Businessmen Henry Hilker, Samuel Bricker, and John Stafford contributed to the development of the settlement.

The original economic development of Port Elgin during the 19th century was based on its harbor facilities on Lake Huron constructed in 1857–1858. This made the village a distribution center for the surrounding agricultural region.  The arrival of the Wellington, Grey and Bruce Railway in 1872 further stimulated the growth of the community. The increasing urbanization of Ontario and the increased importance of the road network for transporting goods resulted in a declining economy and population. More recently, recreation and the nearby Bruce Nuclear Generating Station have dominated the local economy.

The Port Elgin and North Shore Railway is a two foot (610 mm) narrow gauge heritage railway. The railway operates excursion trains along the beach on a one-mile route in downtown Port Elgin. The round trip takes about twenty minutes.

The last picture is from Port Elgin Book 2. There are lots more beautiful homes in Port Elgin Book 2.

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

543 Mill Street – Queen Anne style – yellow brick, quoins, Palladian windows in gables, large fretwork pieces resembling brackets on eaves of second floor porch, decorative window hoods

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

467 Green Street – Italianate style – “Lavrock House” – corner quoins, bay windows

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

500 Green Street – two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with projecting eaves and large fretwork pieces resembling brackets, 2nd floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

464 Mill Street – Ezra Swartz, Merchant – 1900
Gothic Revival – Verge board trim, cobblestone verandah

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

Italianate with belvedere on roof, two storey frontispiece with triangular pediment and arched window hoods, single cornice brackets, bay window on side

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

559 Mill Street – Italianate style, wrap-around porch, second floor balcony, dormer in attic – Henry Ebert, Merchant – 1923

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

#575 – Italianate style with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay with projecting eaves and large fretwork pieces resembling brackets, wrap-around verandah on first and second storeys

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

Gothic Cottage – verge board trim on gable

 

There are lots more beautiful homes in Port Elgin Book 2. Here is one example.

Architectural Photos, Port Elgin, Ontario

704 Gustavus Street – Gothic Revival – elaborate verge boards, Romanesque style arched window voussoirs – yellow brick – Book 2

Neustadt, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Neustadt, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Neustadt is a community in the municipality of West Grey in Grey County in southern Ontario. The village is located south of Hanover on Grey Road 10 and north of Guelph and Kitchener. Neustadt is a picturesque rural Ontario village with German roots and a village history full of vibrant farming culture.

The village’s name is of German origin and it translates to “new town”. It was founded in 1856 by David Winkler, a settler from Germany. He purchased 400 acres from the government, laid out the town-site, dammed Meux Creek and built a sawmill. A flour mill and grist mill were also erected near the dam the following year. Many other German speaking settlers began arriving immediately. Winkler was the founder of many other institutions, including opening the first post office in town in the year 1857. Later he became a Justice of the Peace and Reeve of Normanby Township.

John Weinert, a saddle maker from Prussia, moved into Neustadt in 1859 and established a tannery on the north side of William Street. By 1861, he had added a boot and shoe factory and supplied footwear to the settlers. Henry Huether, an immigrant from Baden, Germany, constructed a wooden frame Brewery; a fire in 1859 destroyed it. The brewery was reconstructed in fieldstone and reopened in 1869.  The brewery continued to be successful until 1916 when it became a creamery. For many years it remained empty until 1997 when it was reopened as Neustadt Springs Brewery which currently brews ten brands of beer.

In the early 1880s, the village saw its peak of development. The opening of a modern school and several new churches, businesses, and industries lead to a growth in population. Many years later, small businesses, farm equipment dealer, creameries, woolen mills, egg grading stations, some stores and later banks began to vanish.  Each closure was critical to the village. Fewer attractions meant fewer visitors; the economy and population began to decline. In 2000, the Village of Neustadt with the Townships of Bentinck, Glenelg and Normanby, and the Town of Durham formed the Municipality of West Grey.

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Robert and Janice Polfuss’ house – Gothic Revival, stone, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Neustadt Springs Brewery – Gothic, stone

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Gothic – stone, cornice return on gable, dormers, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

The Right Honorable John Diefenbaker, son of a local school teacher, was born in this house on September 18, 1895. A distinguished Parliamentarian, he was first elected to the House of Commons in 1940 and served as 13th Prime Minister of Canada, 1957-1963. Gothic Revival, verge board on gable.

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

#720 – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Tudor house

Architectural Photos, Neustadt, Ontario

Stone architecture, pediment

Harriston and Clifford, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Harriston and Clifford, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Harriston is a community in Wellington County located at the headwaters of the Maitland River. In the summer of 1845, the first non-Aboriginal settlers arrived in the area and the Crown made land available for sale in the region in 1854.

The town was named after Archibald Harrison, a Toronto farmer who was granted land along the Maitland River in 1854. Harrison’s brothers George and Joshua built several mills in the area and the community soon grew.

A post office was established in 1856. The southern road leading to Harriston was graveled in 1861, opening easier access to the larger markets of Guelph, Hamilton, and Toronto. By 1867, the village contained many businesses including wagon works and blacksmith shops.

The town became a prosperous commercial and farm-implement manufacturing center following the construction of the Wellington Grey and Bruce Railway, completed to Harriston in 1871. A telegraph link to the community followed soon after. A second rail line, the Toronto, Grey and Brue Railway, intersected the village in 1873.

Harriston was incorporated as a village in 1872, and as a town in 1878. In 1882, the Grand Trunk Railway began shipping through Harriston. A Carnegie Library opened in Harriston in 1908.

Beginning in the late 1860s, Harriston’s citizens began to create friendly service organizations parallel to, as well as outside, of religious groups. In 1868, the Loyal Orange Institution opened a Harriston Lodge; in 1871, the Freemasons established a Lodge.  Other groups followed, such as the Independent Order of Oddfellows (1879), and the Independent Order of Good Templars (active by 1874) and the Royal Templars of Temperance (active by 1900).

The Harriston Minto Agricultural Society was founded in 1859 and continues to operate an annual fall fair on the third weekend in September.

 

Clifford is a community in the Town of Minto in Wellington County. The village of Clifford was founded around 1855 as Minto Village. After the opening of the post office in 1856, the settlement was renamed Clifford by the first postmaster Francis Brown after Clifford in West Yorkshire, England. Clifford was incorporated as a village in 1873.

Clifford is home to Wightman Telecom. The Wightman family has owned and operated a communication system in Clifford since 1908. The company is now involved in high speed fiber-optic internet, cable, and telephone throughout mid-western Ontario.

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

Collison House, established 1876 – bevelled dentil moulding, corner quoins, balcony above entrance, yellow brick

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

house in Harriston

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

138 Elora Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable – William Gordon, Cheesemaker – 1875

Architectural Photos, Harriston, Ontario

Harriston – #123 – Alexander McDougall, Contractor – 1874
W. A. Harvey, M.D. – 1885 – Italianate, hipped roof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Architectural Photos, Clifford, Ontario

Clifford – 1868 – stone, corner quoins, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Clifford, Ontario

Clifford – #101 – Gothic Revival, dichromatic brickwork, verge board trim

Architectural Photos, Clifford, Ontario

24 Elora Street, Clifford – fretwork, two-storey bay window

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario – My Top 7 Picks

Known at various times as Butlersburg, West Niagara, and Newark, its first permanent settlers, Butler’s Rangers and other Loyalist refugees arrived in 1778 when they began crossing from Fort Niagara to settle the west bank of the Niagara River.  A town was laid out in a grid pattern of four-acre blocks and grew quickly, gaining prominence as the first capital of Upper Canada from 1792 to 1796.  The town was captured by American forces on May 27, 1813; upon their withdrawal on December 13, 1813, the American forces burned the town.

Following Niagara’s destruction, the citizens rebuilt mainly in the British classical architectural tradition, creating a group of structures closely related in design, material and scale.  Spared from redevelopment, the town’s colonial buildings eventually became one of its greatest resources.  Beginning in the 1950s, residents rehabilitated and restored old structures, demonstrating an exceptional commitment to the preservation of local heritage.

The Prince of Wales Hotel is a historic Victorian hotel located at King Street and Picton Street.  Built in 1864, the three storey 110 room hotel went by several names (Long’s Hotel, Arcade Hotel, The Niagara House) and was renamed with the current name after famous guests The Duke of York (and Prince of Wales) and The Duchess of York in 1901.  Queen Elizabeth II stayed at the hotel during her visit to the area in 1973.

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

6 Picton Street – The Prince of Wales Hotel established 1864 – Second Empire style, mansard roof, dormers, window hoods, dichromatic brickwork, cornice brackets, second floor balcony – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

26 Queen Street – Niagara Court House built in 1847 for the united counties of Lincoln, Welland and Haldimand – This is the third and only surviving court house erected for the former Niagara district. Constructed between 1846 and 1848, it is in the Neo-classical style. Though the courts were moved to St. Catharines in 1862, this building continued to play an important role in the life of the community. It served as the Town Hall and later as the founding home of the Shaw Festival.

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

17 Byron Street – Queen Anne style, cornice brackets, pediment, tower, third-storey balconies, ionic capitals – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

209 Queen Street – The Charles Inn c. 1832 – Georgian style – The house was constructed in 1832 by Charles Richardson, a barrister and Member of Parliament. He used the house as his principle residence and later as his summer house. -Book 1

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

Victoria Street – Marrakech Mansion – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, pediment, bay window – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

177 King Street – The Romance Collection Gallery featuring the exclusive works of Trisha Romance and Tanya Jean Peterson – Queen Anne style home – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Niagara-on-the-Lake

132 Prideaux Street – c. 1832 – Book 3

Orillia, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Orillia, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Orillia is located in Central Ontario between Lake Couchiching and Lake Simcoe, 135 kilometers (84 miles) north of Toronto.  Both lakes are part of the Trent-Severn Waterway. Travel north on Lake Couchiching, then through three locks and the only marine railway in North America leads to Georgian Bay on Lake Huron.  Traveling south-east across Lake Simcoe, through many locks (including two of the highest hydraulic lift locks in the world) eventually leads to Lake Ontario.  From either of these Great Lakes one can connect to the St. Lawrence and then to the Atlantic Ocean.

Due to logging and rail links with Toronto and Georgian Bay, Orillia became a commercial center and summer resort in the mid-1800s. William Tudhope opened a blacksmith shop in 1864 at Andrew and Colborne Streets.  By the end of the century, William’s son James headed the Tudhope Carriage Company as part of a conglomerate of businesses. In 1866, Thomas Mulcahy launched his mercantile career in dry goods with the opening of his California Store. Mulcahy and his sons were responsible for the construction of many of Orillia’s dwellings and commercial buildings. Andrew Tait was the President of the Huntsville Lumber Company. Tait was a major employer and said to be Orillia’s first millionaire.

Across Lake Couchiching, John Thomson opened his Longford saw milling operation in 1868, using Orillia as a shipping base. By 1900, Orillia was one of the most bustling towns in Ontario. Many of the commercial and residential buildings erected and still standing used red brick trimmed with limestone quarried from Longford.

The town boasted the best Opera House north of Toronto and industrial growth almost unparalleled in the province. With the expansion of the railways, thousands arrived each summer for picnics and holidaying at Couchiching Park.

In 1912, Orillia was the first municipality in North America to introduce daylight saving time and had the first municipal hydro electric transmission plant in North America. This energy powered an industrial boom with sawmills, iron foundries, and a host of manufacturing companies producing farm implements, carriages, and automobiles and shipping these products across Canada.

In Stephen Leacok’s 1912 book Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Orillia was used as the basis for the fictional town known as “Mariposa”. The book was based on Leacock’s experiences in the town and the city has since the book’s release attempted to mimic the fictional location in as many ways as possible.  Orillia is known as the “Sunshine City”. The Stephen Leacock Museum is a National Historic Site in Orillia.

William E. Bell’s 1989 novel Five Days of the Ghost was set in Orillia with many readers recognizing popular local spots, including the Guardian Angels Catholic Church, the Samuel de Champlain statue in Couchiching Beach Park and Big Chief Island in the middle of Lake Couchiching. Orillia is also known as the birthplace of Gordon Lightfoot.

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

24 Penetang Street – St. Joseph House – Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

Gothic Revival, verge board trim, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

84 Brant Street East – E.J. McCrohan, Harness Maker c. 1880 – Second Empire style, mansard roof, iron cresting around roof, finials on dormers, second floor balcony, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

Dormer in attic, pediment above wraparound verandah, second floor bay window

Architectural Photos, Orillia, Ontario

#106 – Gothic Revival, cornice brackets

 

Acton, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Acton, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Acton is located at the intersection of Highway 7 and Halton Regional Road 25. Methodist preachers Ezra and Zenas Adams and their brother Rufus settled on the west branch of the Credit River in the 1820s. A community of pioneer families grew around the Adams family farms. Nicklin’s saw and grist mill and Nelles’ tannery operated here by the early 1840s.

Acton was first named Danville when Settler Wheeler Green opened a dry-goods store in 1828. It was later called Adamsville, after the early settlers. In 1846, the postmaster named the community after the area of Acton in West London, England.

Tanning was an important industry in Acton from 1844 when the first tannery was established. The area was attractive to the leather industry because of the large numbers of trees. Acton was known as the leather capital of Canada. At the turn of the century, it was the largest tanning center in the British Empire. The tannery continued in operation until its closure in September 1986.

The town’s location was chosen because of the good source of waterpower from the Black Creek, and the flour mill established at the beginning is still in operation today, although its source of power has changed. Acton is near the watershed between the Credit River and the Grand River which is just west of the urban area where the Blue Springs Creek begins.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

Queen Anne style, three-storey turret, architraves with keystones, verge board trim on gables, fretwork, ionic pillars

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

39 Willow Street – Knox Manse established 1889 – Italianate with two-and-a-half storey tower-like bay, pediment above pillared porch, fretwork and verge board on gable

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

55 Mill Street East was built in 1879 by William H. Storey who came to Canada as a child in 1845 and came to Acton in 1856 as a saddle apprentice. He branched out on his own and eventually owned the Storey Glove Factory which was located on Bower Avenue (where the Post Office is now). He built this beautiful Victorian Home at 55 Mill Street East for his family. It was called “The Sunderland Villa”. His carriage house was located at 7 John Street and he heated the carriage house and his home via underground steam pipes from the factory. Mr. Storey died in 1898. After the First World War the building was used to house soldiers and then sat derelict for a number of years until Victor Rumley purchased it in 1937 and moved The MacKinnon Family Funeral Home with Shoemaker Chapel to this location.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

105 Mill Street – Italianate, hipped roof, corner quoins, banding

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

129 Mill Street – Gothic Revival, dichromatic brickwork, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

98 Church Street – Moorecroft c. 1896 – Italianate, Doric pillars, dormer in attic, wraparound verandah on lower level, pillared balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

19 Willow Street North – Acton Town Hall opened in 1883 with a grand ball and remained the hub of Acton’s social life for over 80 years. The upstairs auditorium was used for meetings, dances, concerts, Sunday School plays, amateur dramatics, and minstrel shows. The police station, council chambers, library, and practice room for the Acton Citizens’ Band were housed downstairs. In 1974 the regional government moved out of Acton to Georgetown. It is in the Italianate style, cornice brackets, cupola, arched voussoirs with keystones over the windows, cornice return on the gable of the two-and-a-half storey frontispiece; sidelights and transom windows around the front door.

Architectural Photos, Acton, Ontario

69-71 Bower Street – Syndicate Houses built 1882 – Five double houses were built by the Acton Building Association as tenements for workers. Each is remarkable for its distinctive brick pattern

Rockwood, Ontario – My Top 4 Picks

Rockwood, Ontario – My Top 4 Picks

Rockwood is located on Highway 7 between Acton and the city of Guelph.  The Eramosa River runs through the center of the village.

Early settlers to this area were Quakers. John Harris, the first settler, erected a shanty in 1821. In 1840 Colonel Henry Strange settled and brought further development to the area which became known as Strange’s Mills. Strange was the Deputy Provincial Surveyor and he opened a lime quarry which provided stone for building mills.  In the 1850s the community became known as Rockwood which reflected the lovely river valley, mixed forest, high rocky hills, and geological potholes. The Eramosa River provided power for John Gamble’s sawmill which was the first in Wellington County. Grist, flour, oatmeal, stave, and woolen mills followed. A post office was opened in 1853 and the Grand Trunk Railway opened a station in 1855.

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

149 Main Street – limestone house, cobblestone architecture

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

477 Main Street – Rockwood Academy – Georgian style – three-storey stone building with limestone walls, rough-cut quoins, symmetrical five-bay façade with double-hung six-over-six wood sash windows with a central door with a portico and a transom window and sidelights. It has a low-pitched cedar-shingle gable roof with many small brick and stone chimneys. The owner’s bedrooms still exist on the second floor, as do the students’ bedrooms on the third floor. The south wing still has the classroom below the student bedrooms. The west wing remains unaltered and contains a carriage house on the ground floor with a gymnasium above.

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

130 Guelph Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, corner quoins, arched voussoirs, two-storey tower-like bay

Architectural Photos, Rockwood, Ontario

125 Richardson Street – Italianate, hipped roof, dormer in attic

Arthur, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Arthur, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

(There are so many beautiful old homes in Arthur that it was difficult to choose only a few.)

Arthur is located just north of Highway 6 and Wellington Road 109 in the township of Wellington North.

Arthur, named for Arthur Wellesley, Duke of Wellington, was the southern terminus of the Garafraxa “colonization road” to Owen Sound.  Settlers arrived in 1840 with the town site being officially surveyed in 1846.  The establishment of saw and grist mills hastened growth in the community which was also the natural market center for the area’s agricultural production.

In 1851 a post office was opened and the first church and school were organized.  A weekly newspaper, The Arthur Enterprise News, began publication in 1863 and a Division Court met at Arthur.  In 1872, a station of the Toronto Grey and Bruce Railway was opened in the community.

In 1897, Arthur was one of the first villages in Ontario to be served by a power transmission line. There were no meters, but people were charged ten cents for each light bulb used. Power was available in the evenings and was cut off at midnight.

James Morrison, an influential activist in farmers’ causes, lived two kilometers south of Arthur.  He entered politics in the early 1900s, a time when many farmers felt ignored in an increasingly urban and industrial society.  Morrison helped form the United Farmers of Ontario (UFO) and the United Farmers’ Cooperative in 1914.  Morrison advocated cooperative effort among farmers.

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

Gothic Revival, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

131 Frederick Street West – Gothic Revival, stone architecture, cornice brackets, cornice return on gables

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

111 Frederick Street West – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gables, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

135 Frederick Street West – Gothic Revival, dichromatic brickwork, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

261 Tucker Street – Second Empire – mansard roof, dormers, cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

171 Tucker Street – Italianate, hipped roof, balcony on second floor

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

220 Smith Street – corner quoins, 3½ storey tower-like bays

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

240 Smith Street – Bellview – A.D. 1887 – stone architecture, bay windows, dormer on roof, paired cornice brackets

Architectural Photos, Arthur, Ontario

271 Smith Street – Gothic Revival, verge board trim and finial on gables, stone architecture, bay windows, cornice brackets

Tillsonburg, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Tillsonburg, Ontario – My Top 5 Picks

Tillsonburg is a town in Oxford County located about 50 kilometers southeast of London on Highway 3 at the junction of Highway 19 which connects to Highway 401.

The area was settled in 1825 by George Tillson and other immigrants from Massachusetts. A forge and sawmill were erected and roads built which led to the establishment of a settlement on the Big Otter Creek originally called Dereham Forge.

In 1836 the village was renamed Tillsonburg in honor of its founder. It was also in this year that the main street, Broadway, was laid out to its full 100-foot (30 meter) width. Because the village was predominantly a logging and wood product center, the street width was to accommodate the turning of three-team logging wagons. This width has become a benefit toward handling the pressures of modern-day traffic by providing angled parking. The extension of Broadway north was called Plank Line and is now known as Highway 19.

The water system supplied pure water for domestic use, and provided water power to such industries as a sawmill, planing mill, grist mill, spinning mill, pottery and a tannery. Many of these new establishments were owned, started, or financed by George Tillson.

In 1915, a Public Library was built with funds provided by the Carnegie Foundation, and the town’s Memorial Hospital was constructed in 1925. In the 1920s, major enterprises included milk production, manufacture of shoes, tractors, textiles and tobacco.

Architectural Photos, Tillsonburg, Ontario

38 Ridout Street West – Casa di Luca Restaurant – Queen Anne style, verge board trim on gable, turret

Architectural Photos, Tillsonburg, Ontario

299 Broadway Street – two-storey bay windows, cornice brackets, verge board trim

Architectural Photos, Tillsonburg, Ontario

276 Broadway Street – Queen Anne, turret

Architectural Photos, Tillsonburg, Ontario

300 Broadway Street – verge board trim

Architectural Photos, Tillsonburg, Ontario

30 Tillson Avenue – Annandale National Historic Site – Constructed in seven years in the 1880s, this was the farm house for E.D. Tillson’s 600 acre Model Farm. The interior of the house exemplifies the Victorian style of design known as the “Aesthetic Art Movement” which was popularized by Oscar Wilde, and encouraged the use of color and decorative detailing. There are hand-painted ceilings, elaborate inlaid floors, ornate mantles, and stained glass throughout.