St. Mary’s, Ontario – My Top 14 Picks

St. Mary’s, Ontario – My Top 14 Picks

St. Marys is a town in southwestern Ontario located southwest of Stratford. The north branch of the Thames River flows through St. Marys and is the heart of the town. St. Marys’ early economic success depended on the mills, powered by the water in this river.  The town’s prosperity was also helped by the presence of accessible limestone, taken in blocks from the riverbed and from quarries along the riverbanks. The name “Stonetown” is an apt moniker for St. Marys, as the town is filled with unique architecture featuring locally-quarried limestone. The stone buildings reveal much about the town’s history, and the development of the town can be witnessed in the architecture.

John Grieve Lind (1867-1947) was closely associated with the start of the St. Mary’s Cement Company.  St. Marys was chosen as the location for the plant because of its abundance of limestone, clay and water, it was on two national railway lines, and it had access to hydro-electric power from Niagara Falls. The plant opened in 1912.

Once the cement plant was in operation, Lind turned his attention to parks and recreation. He purchased the seven acre Cadzow Park on Church Street South and build Cadzow Pool. Lind Park has a statue of Arthur Meighen, Canada’s ninth prime minister.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

145 Church Street North – Gothic Revival, verge board trim and finial on gable, corner quoins, wood turned porch supports, sidelights and transom window surrounding door – St Marys Book 1

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

112 Church Street North – pediment with decorated tympanum, wraparound veranda

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

15 Church Street North – 1905 – Beaux Arts style, Public Library built of St. Marys limestone – pediment with dentil molding, pillars with Corinthian capitals

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

163 Church Street South – Queen Anne style, turret, dentil molding, dichromatic tile work, wraparound verandah

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

217 Jones Street East – Italianate style – 1875 – verge board trim on gable, cornice brackets, pediment with decorated tympanum, pillars with Doric capitals supporting verandah, bay window with iron cresting above, corner quoins, curved window voussoirs with keystones

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

236 Jones Street East – Ercildoune was originally built as a wedding gift to George Carter’s daughter Charlotte when she married Henry Lincoln Rice in 1880. The home is built in the Second Empire style, a very rare style of home in St. Marys.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

67 Peel Street South – built in 1883 for James Carter (wife Mary Box), only son of George Carter, a successful grain merchant in St. Marys – steep gable roofs, tall windows and chimneys with decorative brickwork – Queen Anne style – St Marys Book 2

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

175 Queen Street East – St. Mary’s Town Hall – This Romanesque Revival building was built in 1901 of local limestone with red sandstone as the contrasting elements for window arches and checkerboard effects in the façade. The massive entrances on the south and west façades of the building and the two towers on the south add to its lasting beauty. Due to its prominent location on the north side of the main street, and dominating as it does the sky-line of the Town, it plays an important role in the character of the downtown area.

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

96 Robinson Street – built around 1875 for Leon Clench and his wife Eunice Cruttenden. It is now the Riverside Bed and Breakfast. Clench was a lawyer, a builder, inventor, violin-maker, musician and furniture-maker. Italianate style – St Marys Book 3

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

226 Water Street South – corner quoins, bay window with iron cresting above, pediment

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

17 Water Street South – The Post Office and Customs House built in 1908 – Romanesque style

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

92 Wellington Street North – Italianate – paired cornice brackets, 2½ storey tower-like bay with verge board trim on gable, iron cresting above entrance porch – St Marys Book 4

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

146 Wellington Street North – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable, bric-a-brac and stenciling on porch

Architectural Photos, St. Marys, Ontario

127 Wellington Street South – spindled and stenciled bric-a-brac on wraparound verandah; Palladian type window with window hood and stained glass window

 

Thamesford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Thamesford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Oxford County is located in the heart of Southwestern Ontario and is made up of eight lower tier Municipalities. Zorra Township is located at the north-west corner of Oxford County.  It is a rural municipality, and was formed in 1975 through the amalgamation of East Nissouri, West Zorra and North Oxford townships.  The township includes the communities of Banner, Bennington, Brooksdale, Brown’s Corners, Cody’s Corners, Dicksons Corners, Dunn’s Corner, Embro, Golspie, Granthurst, Harrington, Harrington West, Holiday, Kintore, Lakeside, Maplewood, McConkey, Medina, Rayside, Thamesford, Uniondale, Youngsville, and Zorra Station.

Kintore, Medina, Thamesford and Uniondale are included in this book of photos.

Thamesford is located on the western boundary of Oxford County, half way between London and Woodstock on Highway 2 (County Road 68) and between St. Mary’s and Ingersoll on Highway 19.

Thames Centre is a municipality in Middlesex County east of the City of London.  It was formed on January 1, 2001, when the townships of West Nissouri and North Dorchester were amalgamated.  Communities in the township include: Avon, Belton, Cherry Grove, Crampton, Cobble Hill, Derwent, Devizes, Dorchester, Evelyn, Fanshawe Lake, Friendly Corners, Gladstone, Harrietsville, Kelly Station, Mossley, Nilestown, Oliver, Putnam, Salmonville, Silvermoon, Thorndale, Three Bridges, and Wellburn. Putnam is included in this book of photos.

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

128 Delatre Street West – St. Andrew’s Manse 1897 – “sleeping porch” on second floor, turned wood spindle supports, fretwork, pediment with decorated tympanum

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

118 Delatre Street West – decorative gable and pediment, Romanesque style window voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

George Street – Gothic Revival – within peak of gable is a decorative arch with applied scroll work, spindles and circular piercing

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

Washington Street – Edwardian, decorative gable

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

144 Washington Street – Regency cottage

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

155 Allen Street – gambrel roof

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

205 Allen Street – Gothic Revival – stone architecture, corner quoins

Architectural Photos, Thamesford,Ontario

Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable with finial

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

Amherstburg, Ontario – My Top 10 Picks

Amherstburg, Ontario – My Top 10 Picks

Amherstburg is located near the mouth of the Detroit River in Essex County about twenty-five kilometers south of the United States city of Detroit, Michigan. The British military garrison, Fort Malden, was established here in 1796.  The town was developed by Loyalists who were granted land by the Crown in Ontario after the British lost the American Revolutionary War. The Loyalists built many of their houses in the French style of a century before, giving the new town a historic character.

The local public high school in Amherstburg is General Amherst High School and is named after Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst of Montreal, who served as an officer in the British Army and as Commander-in-Chief of the Forces. Amherst is best known as the architect of Britain’s successful campaign to conquer the territory of New France during the French and Indian War when he led the British attack on Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in June 1758. Amherst led an army against French troops on Lake Champlain, where he captured Fort Ticonderoga in July 1759, while another army under Sir William Johnson took Niagara also in July 1759, and James Wolfe besieged and eventually captured Quebec with a third army in September 1759.

From July 1760, Amherst led an army down the St. Lawrence River from Fort Oswego, joined with Brigadier Murray from Quebec and Brigadier Haviland from Ill-aux-Noix in a three-way pincer, and captured Montreal, ending French rule in North America on September 8.  In recognition of this victory, Amherst was appointed as the first British Governor General in the territories that eventually became Canada.

From his base at New York, Amherst oversaw the dispatch of troops under Monckton and Haviland to take part in British expeditions in the West Indies that led to the British capture of Dominica in 1761 and Martinique and Cuba in 1762.

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

Dalhousie Street – Greek Revival, two-storey Doric pillars, pediment, second floor balcony, side lights beside door – Amherstburg Book 1

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

495 Dalhousie Street – Argyle Castle – 1894 -Arts and Crafts style, Palladian style window with window hood, turret – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

199 Dalhousie Street – Bondy House Bed and Breakfast – Century old Victorian Queen Anne home, turret called “Widow’s Walk” for a great view, trichromatic siding – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

214 Dalhousie Street – Pensioner’s cottage – the oldest house in Amherstburg (1796) – moved here from River Rouge, Detroit in 1798 by merchants Leith, Shepherd & Duff; purchased in 1838 by Thomas F. Park and owned by the Park Family (tinsmiths) until 1945 – moved to this site in 1972 and restored by the Rotary Club of Amherstburg as the Park House Museum – very early example of solid log, French frame construction; three dormers, Victorian style – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

232 Sandwich Street South – Amherstburg Carnegie Public Library – built in 1911 of limestone from the old Huron Indian Quarry in Anderdon Township – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

36 Sandwich Street South – Gothic Revival, verge board trim on gable, iron cresting above windows, cornice brackets, dormer above one storey section – Amherstburg Book 2

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

140 Richmond Street – Michigan Central Railway Station – 1892 – dichromatic brickwork – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

273 Ramsay Street – Dunbar House – 1849 – Georgian – two-storey brick, pediment above doorway with dentil moulding below, transom window – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

207 Gore Street – James Caldwell House – This original one-storey log house was built between 1835 and 1840 by James Caldwell. Caldwell served with the British Army during the Revolutionary War. At the end of this war, he was given a large tract of land in Amherstburg for his service. Georgian style – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Amherstburg, Ontario

9399 North Town Line Road – St. Joseph Church – 1910 – French-Canadian Church – a landmark at the centre of the former community River Canard – entrance with Corinthian capitals on columns, voussoirs and keystones, decorative brickwork in gable – Book 2

Windsor, Ontario – My Top 13 Picks

Windsor, Ontario – My Top 13 Picks

Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada. The Detroit River is to the north of the city, which separates it from Detroit, Michigan. Windsor was settled by the French in 1749 as an agricultural settlement. In 1794, after the American Revolution, the settlement of “Sandwich” was founded. It was later renamed Windsor, after the town in Berkshire, England.

Sandwich, Ford City and Walkerville were separate towns until 1935 when they were annexed by Windsor. They remain as historic neighborhoods of Windsor. Walkerville was incorporated as a town in 1890.

The former Town of Walkerville was founded by Hiram Walker in 1858. The New England-born distiller bought two French farms on the south shore of the Detroit River, and the growth of his industry and the town it supported continued for seven decade under his family’s guidance.

Railroads played an important part in Walkerville’s history. First, the Great Western’s extension to Windsor in 1854 opened up opportunities for commercial expansion. Then Walker built his own line in 1885 with government financing, the Lake Erie Essex & Detroit River Railroad, which connected Walkerville with lake shore towns and farms, and extended as far as St. Thomas. The availability of rail transportation attracted other industrial enterprises to the area, and brought great prosperity to the Walker family and their town.

The Walkerville Land & Building Company was incorporated in 1890 with Hiram’s oldest son, Edward Chandler, as president. The Town passed a by-law in 1894 to provide temporary tax exemptions to attract new industries, and to encourage individuals wishing to build homes in Walkerville. Rental properties for the distillery’s employees were built. All of the community’s amenities were provided by Walker – a fire brigade and police, streetlights, sewers, paved roads and sidewalks, parks, a music hall, a school, library and church.

Walker Road’s east side was devoted to industrial manufacturing facilities. Its western edge had modest, brick, semidetached houses; Monmouth Road’s semis and terraces replaced rows of cottages, and employees were originally required to rent from the distillery. Argyle Road had a mix of terraces and vernacular houses for a higher rank of employee. Devonshire Road became the main street, with Romanesque Revival semis for management and the clergy. Later, distinctive houses of various architectural styles, popular in the protracted Edwardian Period (1900 to the 1930s), rose on the street, and spilled over onto Kildare Road. The concept was fully realized with the landscaped “island” developed as the site of St. Mary’s Anglican Church – the sons’ memorial to their parents, and the erection of Willistead Manor on the former Country Club and park lands.

The Arts and Crafts Movement, a philosophy of design founded in England about 1850, emphasized handmade architecture in an age when factory mass-production was taking hold. Every home Albert Kahn designed shows Arts and Crafts influence. Kahn believed that historic period styles were best suited to homes and public institutions, while factories should be utilitarian, brightly illuminated and devoid of ornament.

Hiram Walker was born in East Douglas, Massachusetts, and moved to Detroit in 1838.  In 1847 at the age of 30, he married Mary Abigail Williams and they had 7 children, two daughters, Julia Elizabeth and Jennie Melissa, and five sons, Willis Ephraim, Edward Chandler, Franklin Hiram, Alfred (infant), and James Harrington. Edward Chandler, his second son, commissioned the development of Willistead Manor.

He was an American entrepreneur and he purchased 460 acres of land across the Detroit River in the town of Sandwich, near Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  In 1858 the flour mill and distillery were completed. The flour produced in his mill benefited the County of Essex’s farming community with farmers from all around using the mill.

Mid-summer in 1858 marked the opening of Hiram Walker’s whisky operation. The same process which he had used in Detroit was now used in Windsor to distill his alcohol. Spirits were leached through charcoal, a process widely used at the time.  Walker began selling his whisky as Hiram Walker’s Club Whisky and it became very popular.  His Canadian industries quickly took precedent over that of his grain business still located in Detroit. As a result, Hiram Walker traveled by ferry to Canada from his home in Detroit on a daily basis. The trip was a lengthy process as the ferry that brought him to Canada dropped him off in Windsor, which left a long ride by horse and buggy to his flour mill and distillery. Throughout his life, Hiram Walker remained an American citizen but in March 1859 Hiram Walker moved to Canada in order to save time traveling to and from his Canadian businesses.

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

350 Devonshire Road – Walkerville Town Hall – 1904 – Classical Revival – symmetrical, belt courses (a continuous row of stones set in the wall), angled quoins, burst pediment above door with coat of arms, dormers, cupola – Windsor Book 1

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

546-548 Devonshire Road built 1890 – Bed & Breakfast – 1889 – Romanesque style arched entrances – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

841 Kildare Road – Miers-Fraser House built this house in 1904 – Edwardian, Palladian window, two-storey bay, Ionic columns supporting a pediment – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

1899 Niagara Street – Willistead Manor – 1906 – 16th-century Tudor-Jacobean style of an English manor house was commissioned by Edward Chandler Walker, the second son of Hiram Walker. It has 36-rooms but contained only one bedroom. Edward and his wife never had any children, and the coach houses provided ample room for guests. The exterior of gray limestone, quarried in Amherstburg, was hand-cut at the Willistead work site by Scottish stonemasons specifically imported for the project. Tudoresque half-timbering – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

2100 Richmond Street – Walkerville Collegiate – 1922 – Classical Revival style – Book 1

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

706 Victoria Avenue – Neo-Classical style, symmetrical façade with a prominent columned entry porch sheltering the fanlight and sidelights of the paneled door;
dentiled eaves, dormers in attic – Windsor Book 2

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

719 Victoria Avenue – Treble-Large House – 1895 – Queen Anne Revival style – Book 2

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

942 Victoria Avenue – Georgian with eyebrow window in roof, pillared entrance with rounded pediment

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

2072 Riverside Drive East – Hiram Walker main office building – view from street – 1894 – Florentine Renaissance – Windsor Book 3

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

2072 Riverside Drive East – Hiram Walker main office building, view from water -1894 – Florentine Renaissance – Book 3– symmetrical, belt courses (a continuous row of stones set in the wall), angled quoins, burst pediment above door with coat of arms, dormers, cupola – Book 3

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

2879 Riverside Drive East – Our Lady of the Rosary Church – built 1907-1913 – Romanesque-style brick and stone building could hold about 1,000 people, features two domed bell towers – Book 3

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

3203 Peter Street – Book 3

Architectural Photos, Windsor, Ontario

3277 Sandwich Street – Mackenzie Hall – District Court House and Gaol – when–the British withdrew from Detroit in 1796 they transferred the courts of the Western District to Sandwich (Windsor) – this building constructed in 1856 in Renaissance Revival style; a facade broken with pilasters which give strong vertical lines; the main entrance has side lights and a fanlight; it is constructed of Anderdon limestone and Ohio sandstone. The carving above the main doorway represents the seal of the Western District of Upper Canada. – Book 3

Waterford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Waterford, Ontario – My Top 8 Picks

Waterford is located on Pleasant Ridge Road, or old Highway 24 in Norfolk County, south of Brantford, north of Simcoe and southwest of Ohsweken.  Waterford was established in 1794 with saw and grist mills on Nanticoke Creek. An early major industry was the agricultural implement factory built by James Green, a local merchant. The area surrounding the town is primarily agricultural land with tomatoes, tobacco and corn among the main crops.  With the decline of the tobacco industry, area farmers have suffered, but ginseng is being grown on some farms. In 1979 a freak tornado swept through the town, knocked down trees, and damaged houses and public property.

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

Italianate, hipped roof, dormer, second floor balcony

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

92 Main Street – Italianate, belvedere on roof, paired cornice brackets, verge board and finial on gables, second floor balcony, Doric columns

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

163 Main Street – Vernacular – three storey tower

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

173 Main Street – two-storey tower-like bay capped with barge board trim on gable

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

Italianate – Doric pillars

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

160 Main Street – Second Empire style, mansard roof, dormers

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

Queen Anne – 3½ storey tower

Architectural Photos, Waterford, Ontario

Georgian – six-over-six windows, Doric pillars, widow’s walk on rooftop, sidelights and transom window around door

Collingwood, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Collingwood, Ontario – My Top 9 Picks

Collingwood is situated on Nottawasaga Bay at the southern point of Georgian Bay. Collingwood offers a combination of old time charm and history with recreation opportunities for skiing on Blue Mountain, and golfing.

Collingwood was incorporated as a town in 1858, nine years before Confederation and was named after Admiral Lord Cuthbert Collingwood, Lord Nelson’s second in command at the Battle of Trafalgar, who assumed command of the British fleet after Nelson’s death.

The land in the area was originally inhabited by the Iroquoian Petun nation, which built a string of villages in the vicinity of the nearby Niagara Escarpment. They were driven from the region by the Iroquois in 1650. European settlers and freed black slaves arrived in the area in the 1840s, bringing with them their religion and culture.

In 1855, the Ontario, Simcoe & Huron (later called The Northern) railway came into Collingwood, and the harbor became the place for shipment of goods destined for the upper Great Lakes ports of Chicago and Port Arthur-Ft. William (now Thunder Bay). Shipping produced a need for ship repairs, so it was not long before an organized ship building business was created. On May 24, 1883, the Collingwood Shipyards, formerly known as Collingwood Dry Dock Shipbuilding and Foundry Company Limited, opened with a special ceremony. On September 12, 1901, the Huronic was launched in Collingwood, the first steel-hulled ship launched in Canada. The shipyards produced Lakers and during World War II contributed to the production of Corvettes for the Royal Canadian Navy. Shipbuilding was one of the principal industries in the town, employing as much as 10% of the total labor force. Overseas competition and overcapacity in shipbuilding in Canada led to the demise of shipbuilding in Collingwood in September 1986.

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

296 Pine Street – Italianate style – red brick with buff colored accents

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

One storey wing of 296 Pine Street with fiddler on the roof – The first date Harry and I went on was to see “Fiddler on the Roof”

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

200 Oak Street – This 10,380 square foot Victorian home, the largest and tallest in Collingwood, at the corner of Oak and Third Streets was originally owned by Frank F. Telfer, a leading businessman and ex-mayor of Collingwood. He purchased the property in 1891, and by 1893 the local firm Bryan Brothers Manufacturing Company completed the construction of the Telfer home. In 1925 the Telfer family sold the house, and the “Gowans Home for Missionaries’ Children” was established by the Interior Sudan Mission.
This home displays a variety of architectural features. The three storey structure is of double brick construction laid in a stretcher bond fashion and rests on a cut stone foundation. The three main exterior walls are accented by a repeating Greek style pattern running the full width of the walls below the eaves. The northeast corner of the building is formed by a large round turret with a conical roof. There are eighty windows of various shapes set above limestone sills; they include round, oriel, semicircular, and oval as well as stained glass.

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

242 Third Street – This 2½ storey brick home was built for Charles Pitt, owner of the Bertram Lumber Company. John Wilson was the local Collingwood architect. The house was built in 1908 and is a Georgian influenced Neo-Classical home. A large pediment and column portico adorns the front façade. A balcony protrudes from the second floor within the pediment which has an elliptical window. Brick alternating radiating voussoirs adorn the window and door surround heads on the façade.

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

199 Third Street – Built in the Italianate tradition for the Toner family, early coal and lumber merchants, this home has retained its elegance with minor alterations since 1882. The interior of the home features a circular staircase, marble fireplaces, plaster medallions and a built in buffet.
The exterior brick work laid in the common bond tradition is highlighted by protruding quoins and plinth in lighter contrasting brick. Decorative brick work adorns the original chimney as well as highlighting the window openings. Brick arch work and keystones decorate the window surrounds in a unique three-tiered stepped arch design. The main front façade contains unique, French doors with recessed mullion and molded panels.
The home has a heavily bracketed low hip roof with an east side gable featuring a combination of corniced boxed brackets.

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

185 Third Street – elaborate verge board trim – Gothic Revival style – dichromatic brick work banding and window voussoirs

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

#125 – Neo-Colonial style – gambrel roof

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

203 Pine Street – Italianate style – triangular pediment with decorated tympanum, lighter coloured window hoods, double cornice brackets, frontispiece supported by pillars

Architectural Photos, Collingwood, Ontario

242 Pine Street – Italianate with Gothic style frontispiece, verge board and finial, dichromatic brickwork