Author: Antoin Diamond

Publication Date: 2004

Edited: 2021


Historic Guelph V43P13Waterloo Avenue facing west from Gordon Street after the street railway was plied (1895).  (Source: Guelph Museum Archives, 2003).


The built landscape is the physical manifestation of the needs, values, and cultural traditions of those who create it. It was formed brick by brick, layer by layer through a combination of individual choices and collective decisions. The streetscape is a microcosm of the built landscape that reveals elements of culture that unconsciously impact the local experience. In turn, this can influence crime rates, pollution, and overall health of a city's residents. Culturally interesting streets encourage greater pedestrian use which inhibits criminal activity that seeks to take advantage of uninhabited areas. Streets also have the potential to unify a city, making people feel more connected and willing to contribute to improvements requiring citizen cooperation. Indeed, people who walk tend to make use of local transit more often which, in turn, reduces pollution from car emissions.


What may not be so evident, however, is how culturally inviting streetscapes are formed in the first place. They do not appear overnight from the municipal planning office or from the genius of one mind; rather they are formed over time through forces both planned and individual from within and beyond the city's boundary. The study of the evolving streetscape of Waterloo Avenue from Gordon Street to the Hanlon Expressway, from 1827 to the present day, is appealing because just as the built environment of Guelph provides a reflection of a growing province, this streetscape exhibits layers of life that mirror the evolving town.



After surveying the town site during the year 1827, one of the most important decisions John Galt made was to build Market Street, now known as Waterloo Avenue. Contracted to Mr. Absolom Shade, it consisted of nothing more than a large opening through an old-growth forest, but upon completion spanned an impressive 132 feet and extended seven miles west to the county of Waterloo. The building of this road provided access to farmland for settlement and a trade route to other more established markets. It also acted as a form of boosterism for Guelph by attracting people from miles around, with some saying that it rivaled Niagara Falls as a tourist attraction.


As part of southern Ontario's well-established settlement system, Guelph was organized around a central place, the market square. Market Street used to extend west from this point, ending at Edinburgh Road, which formed the boundary of the original 'Town Plot.' From there it linked to what was then known as the Waterloo Road, which crossed the western-most boundary of the town-site at Silvercreek Road. By 1876, the entire length of this road which ran from Gordon Street to the town limit at Silvercreek Road was renamed Waterloo Avenue. Figure 1 provides an illustration of this delineated area.


Historic Guelph V43P14Figure 1: Delineated Area (Source: Map base from Johnson 1977, 15 Map 3 Plan of the Town of Guelph, 1827).



By 1833, the Canada Company had managed to sell 60 percent of the 975 town lots in Guelph and 83 percent of the township lots, but development was slow to come. An historical account that provides some visual context of this is when, at that time, a certain Mr. Phin came up the Waterloo Road to Guelph, where there were only one or two solitary houses built. So sparse was settlement that when Mr. Phin asked his driver when they would reach Guelph, he was told that they had already arrived. However, this arterial route would provide the necessary connection for the exchange of goods and services vital for Guelph's economic growth. Road maintenance during the early 1800s was an ongoing affair with most of it being supervised by Pathmasters, who used Statute Labour (about two days per man per year) to carry it out. Due to demands of settlement and farming, there was never sufficient labour available, and roads quickly fell into disrepair. The effort and expense of providing passable transportation routes for merchants was contributing to economic hardships in Guelph, and so a decision was made in 1838 to persuade the provincial government to take over Waterloo Road as a public work, and improvement began quickly.


Subdivision of the land along Waterloo Avenue had begun in 1827 and progressed from the centre in a westerly fashion, but development was primarily influenced by the natural environment. Bounded on the east and south by the loop of the Speed River, construction began during the mid 1840s on the relatively level land as far west as Yorkshire Street. Number one Waterloo Avenue, a two-storey brick house built in 1844 on the north side, is the oldest standing structure on the street. This house features red sand struck brick, 6/6 sash and a pilastered door case with bold entablature, to mention a few of its characteristics. Of course, construction of homes such as this was rare during that period, requiring expensive brick that had to be imported, and also bricklaying skills. As a result, many settlers initially took advantage of the more readily available raw materials such as timber and later, stone.



The abundance of timber provided for the simplest and most utilitarian of all structures at that time, the frame house. They were easily constructed and less expensive to build, and several can be found on Waterloo Avenue (examples being at Nos. 9, 15, 16, 110, and 236). The oldest of these homes date back to the 1850s and have since been wrapped in veneers that range from stucco to aluminum clapboard. Veneering was a common way of improving Ontario buildings through small steps, and an example can be seen at No. 16 where stucco has been used, and more recently a decorative stone face has been added to the front of this building. Of course, 'improvement' often mirrored only what was available in the way of building materials and skills at that particular time. As other materials and skills became accessible, Ontarians' predilection for stone and brick quickly ushered in structures that contribute to one of the most recognizable traits of Ontario's architectural legacy - the stone house.


There are 25 stone structures on Waterloo Avenue that have been built from quarried Lockport Dolomite. Evidence of quarrying can be found on the north side of Waterloo Avenue between Edinburgh and Meadowvale behind numbers 193 to 239, and further down the street, just east and west of the Hanlon, encompassing land that has been commonly referred to as the gravel pit, and on land currently owned by Guelph Dolime. Mr. William Slater is listed in the 1893 Farmers Business Directory as being the owner of one of these quarries and many tradesmen occupied homes nearby on Waterloo Avenue. Mr. George H. Welsford, a stone cutter, lived not too far away at No. 162. Mr. Welsford's property was built in 1863 out of limestone and features tooled sills, bush-hammered lintels and quoins, a stained-glass transom, and shutters. A stonemason by the name of Edwin Humphries originally lived at No. 170 in a limestone, hammer-dressed stone cottage, and a Mr. T. McCoy, a quarryman, lived at No. 218, in an 1865 Ontario Cottage, an image of which can be seen below.


Historic Guelph V43P16218 Waterloo Avenue Neo-Classic Vernacular (1865) 1-storey cottage (Source: lnventory of Heritage Structures, 1997).


Of course, use for Waterloo Avenue's dolomite was not limited to structures on this street. In the mid-to-late 1920s, tradesmen cut stone from the quarry just east of the Hanlon to be used for the spires of The Church of Our Lady Immaculate, one of the most commanding structures in Guelph today.


A demographic shift between 1843 and 1847, which doubled the population of Guelph from 700 to 1,480, brought with it skilled stonemasons and bricklayers, increasing the former from 15 to 21 and the latter from seven to 73, some of whom lived on Waterloo Avenue at that time. Seventy-six brick homes exist on Waterloo Avenue, 17 of which are known to have been built before the turn of the century. Bricks, made from an abundance of clay materials deposited by the Wisconsin glacier, were made by individual brick-makers who advertised the sale of them in the local paper. Mr. David McKersie, who owned and operated his business on Waterloo Road, placed the following advertisement.


 Historic Guelph V43P17Advertisement for Bricks on Waterloo Road. (Source: GPL Guelph Advertiser 1850).



There were many other skilled individuals who made their homes on Waterloo Avenue and are listed in a comprehensive record through the City of Guelph's Inventory of Heritage Structures.



The location of early industry was also influenced by the physical environment. Glacial deposits and bedrock ledges have provided Guelph with fine conditions for the generation of waterpower. A watercolour by David Allan provides us with evidence of an early industry on Waterloo Avenue that was most likely situated to harness the power from Silver Creek at what was then known as the town limit. The 'Red Mill' (so called for its painted wooden boards) was built by Horace Perry in 1831. Mr. Perry originally came to Guelph in 1830 to fulfill a contract to build a grist mill on the west bank of the Speed River for the Canada Company. After construction, he was so taken by the prospects of potential business growth in Guelph that he bought a piece of property on Waterloo Avenue and built a mill for himself. Sawmills, however, were a short-lived economic activity and vulnerable to fires. Subsequently the only remaining evidence is Mr. Allan's painting. Silver Creek still flows from the north through Howitt Park (just east of the Hanlon), and south down to the Speed River. The same creek that provided power for the Red Mill also supplied the Phoenix Mill (1870), located at 358 Waterloo Avenue. Built from local limestone, this gristmill, once owned by M.J. Patterson and A.J. Butt, was strategically located on the periphery of town with frontage on Waterloo Avenue, thus providing linkages to other towns and potential markets. By 1912 the gristmill was converted to serve the Sterling Rubber factory and more recently (in 1991) was renovated into condominiums. The three stages of its evolution reflect a larger set of modernization processes that have led Guelph through an economic transformation. The gristmill typified a subsistence economy, whereas the rubber factory marked a turning point to industrialization. The presence of the condominiums, however, is indicative of a post-industrial economy characterized by a rising middle class and the decentralization of work.


Historic Guelph V43P18


Industrial development in Guelph in the 19th century was promoted extensively and attracted entrepreneurs from all over the world. One such individual was John H. Sleeman who arrived from Britain and purchased property in 1851 on the edge of town on Waterloo Avenue, where he built his Silver Creek Brewery. It was located on the Speed River across from the present-day Manor Hotel (originally George Sleeman's residence).


 Historic Guelph Silver Creek Brewery V43P19Silver Creek Brewery. (Source: GPL Image Database, 2003).


At that time, it produced approximately 12 barrels of beer per batch and provided employment for between 30 and 35 of Guelph's growing population. John's son, George Sleeman, became the manager of the brewery in 1862 and after his father's retirement, sole owner in 1867. The brewery continued to grow well into the 20th century but upon George's death in 1926, it was sold and became the Holliday Brewery. Subsequently, after a series of owners, the brewery was purchased and later demolished by the City of Guelph in 1967 to make way for the Hanlon Parkway.

 Historic Guelph The Guelph Elastic Hosiery Co. Ltd. V43P19The Guelph Elastic Hosiery Co. Ltd. (Source: GPL Image Database, 2003).


Individual buildings on the street have come and gone, each serving a different purpose, and each reflecting innovations and changing needs. The Guelph Elastic Hosiery Co. Ltd. was located on the northwest corner of Glasgow Street and Waterloo Avenue. It occupied the original building that had served as the South Ward School, built around the late 1880s to early 1890s. Around 1913 the school was listed as 'vacant' in the directory and remained this way until 1917, when the Modern Paper Box Company acquired the property. It was not until 1921 that The Guelph Elastic Hosiery Company became the principal occupant of the building, expanded it and remained there until 1960. This building was then demolished and replaced by a service garage currently on the site. Recent clean-up of the site by the new owner, Mr. David White of College Auto Tech, has revealed the old timber foundation of the original building, and he was kind enough to share this history with me.



The variety of buildings on Waterloo Avenue divulges a great deal about not only the diffusion of skills, but also the changing socio-economic climate over the years. A cross-section of the social structure and individual wealth can be seen, as simple limestone cottages stand in juxtaposition with impressive stone structures, which required more money to build. This phenomenon speaks of forces far beyond the boundaries of Guelph. During the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century, two expanding classes arrived in Canada from Britain in search of new opportunities: the wealthy capitalist whose prosperity stemmed from a booming British industrial economy, and the trading firms, with the industrial workers that were employed by them.


Historic Guelph V43P20


Between 1830 and 1860, Guelph was a mercantile city, and development on Waterloo Avenue was a mix of residential and commercial buildings. Grocery and butcher stores, taverns, inns, a brick-maker, a furniture business and bakeries were haphazardly built along its streetscape where merchants hoped to take advantage of travelers entering and departing from Guelph. Numerous tradesmen and service providers lived along this avenue as well, including livery-stable owners, carriage-makers, stonemasons, building contractors, bakers, and millers, all competing for business along this busy route. Evidence of its lively beginnings can be found in the Guelph Heritage Inventory (2003) where No. 7 has been documented as once being a grocery store, No. 91 a grocery store, and No. 36 a clothing store. Mr. Patrick Harnell operated a butcher shop in the limestone building located at No. 196 Waterloo Avenue at the corner of Edinburgh Road. Although over the years the types of goods sold have changed, it has always remained a retail establishment and serves as a variety store today.


The hotel 'Victoria Inn' (1847) owned and operated by William Armstrong (the Guelph Civic Museum since 1980), provided accommodation for the weary traveller, along with Russell's Tavern, built as a wayside inn by order of John Galt in 1829. The only evidence of that tavern is a photograph in the Guelph Public Library archives showing the remains of its fireplace. As for the Victoria Inn, an advertisement in the Guelph Advertiser on May 16, 1850, indicated that it was for sale.

 Historic Guelph V43P21Advertising Auction of Victoria Inn. (Source: GPL 2003 Guelph Advertiser).


The owner, Mr. Armstrong, must have died and difficulties in selling the Inn were experienced. Mr. Knowles, an auctioneer who lived at No. 7 Waterloo Avenue, posted the above advertisement on December 17, 1850, to promote the auctioning of the Victoria Inn and some of the contents. For the next 60 years the building had a wide variety of tenants and owners. In 1910 the Inn was the property of a Mrs. Black who operated it as a rooming house for girls attending Macdonald College. The Knights of Columbus took over the building in 1931 and occupied it for 46 years.


Shifts in the economic structure of Ontario during the 1900s led to a redistribution of wealth, which can also be identified on Waterloo Avenue. Although the practical Ontario cottage has consistently been used for residential purposes over time, some have added attractive additions, as can be seen at No. 222. No. 25, an exceptionally beautiful, Italianate style two-storey building with Flemish bond brick, was built from limestone quarried from Waterloo Avenue. Built in 1862, this building was originally the home and office of a medical doctor. By 1957, it had become the Skipper and O'Drowsky Funeral Home, and then in 1977 the office for Royal City Realty Limited.



Supported by the Railway Guarantee Act of 1849 which provided incentives by way of interest rates that were both attractive and fixed, the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) came to Guelph in 1856. Later called the Canadian National, it provided accessibility and connections fundamental to growth, and quickly became a priority over roads. It left a profound mark on Guelph's urban core, disrupting the integrity of Galt's original plan and transforming the streetscape of Waterloo Avenue. As the new railway line was plied, it resulted in the bisecting of the market centre and furthermore, its requirement for a low gradient along the river resulted in the truncation of Waterloo Avenue at what is now Gordon Street. The introduction of the Great Western Railway in 1857 compounded these changes by creating a by-pass for freight that would ordinarily have been brought into Guelph by road.

 Historic Guelph V43P22Figure 2: Truncation and By-pass of Waterloo Avenue.


The GTR also blocked access to the east and south of Guelph creating new street patterns which channeled growth to the north. The GTR ran parallel to Waterloo Avenue just one block north, inevitably resulting in the circumvention of freight that was once transported along this road. By the end of the 19th century, Waterloo Avenue's role in regional commercial trade was reduced to a local collection and delivery route to the railway, with Alma Street and the Silvercreek Parkway (running north from Waterloo Avenue) providing access to loading points for rail cars along the GTR tracks.



Implementation of the Education Act in 1841 created a Common School Fund which paved the way for the establishment of seven school districts and later, school buildings. St. James Ward School (later Torrance School), located at 151 Waterloo Avenue in district No. 3, was built in 1910. The building of this school was indicative of new societal attitudes to improve lives of the less fortunate by providing education for all children between the ages of five and sixteen years. Up to this point school systems had been comprised of District Grammar Schools which relied on fees that may have been beyond the reach of most of the area's residents. Two such schools were present on and near Waterloo Avenue. The first was built in 1841 in a building behind the Victoria Irur, and, as previously mentioned, the South Ward School on the corner of Glasgow and Waterloo Avenue.

 Historic Guelph V43P23St. James Ward School (Torrance), 1910. (Source: GPL Image Database).



Another emergence that reflected this new awareness was the establishment of a Children's Shelter at No. 35 Waterloo Avenue between 1901 and 1903. It is difficult to say exactly which building it was because mistakes can be made in documentation, and street numbers change over time. For instance, in the directories for 1901-1903 and 1903-1905, the shelter is listed as being on the north side of Waterloo Avenue. In the 1901-1903 directory it is itemized as No. 35; but for 1903-1905, it is No. 36. Between 1905 and 1907, it is listed as No. 39 and then in 1909 at No. 1.


The 1901 and 1911 censuses reveal that the building of Torrance School coincided with a demographic shift that increased the number of residents by 3,679 people, resulting in a 30 percent increase. This kind of growth would not be experienced again until the 1960s and 1970s as illustrated in the graph below, but each would be reflected in the Waterloo Avenue streetscape.

 Historic Guelph V43P24Source: F. Dahms in Matheson and Anderson 2000, 223.


With an increase in population a need for more housing ensued. On May 30, 1912, plan No. 348 for Waterloo Avenue was submitted to the city for the purpose of subdividing part of Township Lot No. 1 in Division A. Following this event five two-storey houses, 'rectangular' and 'foursquare', of pressed red brick and featuring front porches, stone lintels and sills, were built. This grouping of homes can be identified between St. Arnaud Street and Meadowvale on the north side.


Guelph's first local newspaper was published in 1842; Guelph's first library was established in 1850; waterworks and sanitary sewage were introduced in 1879; but the service that had the most profound impact was the introduction of electricity in 1887. The result was not only the reorganization of work, but also the creation of many other services, one being the Guelph Street Railway along Waterloo Avenue, built by George Sleeman.

 Historic Guelph V43P25Guelph Street Railway. (Source: D. Coulman in Matheson, et al. 2000, 4).


It opened on September 18th in 1895 and consisted of two lines with one running from Sleeman's Silvercreek Brewery on Waterloo Avenue to the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Railway stations in the centre of Guelph. With the brewery located at the end of the avenue and the establishment of public transportation, there was potential for strong development on Waterloo Avenue, but unfortunately it did not occur. At the time of its construction and for the following two decades, the street railway functioned primarily as an instrument for civic boosterism. Increasing costs due to maintenance and minimal profits forced it into receivership by 1903. Subsequently on September 28th of that year, through the collaboration of the banks and City Council, the Board of Trade committees and a vote by the ratepayers, the city purchased the line and renamed it the Guelph Radial Railway Company.


Compounded by Prohibition of September 1916, which affected 44 breweries in Ontario, the Silvercreek Brewery closed its doors in 1929. Shortly thereafter, in 1937, the streetcars were removed from service and the only reminder of them is the stone car barns, still visible today at 371 Waterloo Avenue.

 Historic Guelph V43P26Stone Car Barns Waterloo Avenue. (Source: Guelph Inventory of Heritage Homes, 2003).



By the mid 1900s, roads, railways, new services, and the increasing influence of the government had shaped the way in which Guelph had physically expanded. Despite bisecting many of the streets and forcing development more northward, the railways at the turn of the century still maintained a centralizing effect on Guelph, in that goods and people were drawn to its centre. The introduction of the motor vehicle in the 1920s, however, and its flexible transportation routes had a decentralizing effect, which began to push the city limits outward. Zoning was timidly introduced in the early part of the century through new legislation of the Planning Act in 1946 (Zoning, 2003). Its by-laws shaped Guelph as centralized supervision over land development regulated the location of buildings or structures and the types of uses and dwellings permitted.


Once a part of the city's periphery, Waterloo Avenue has experienced significant change as a result of all these factors. The west end of Waterloo Avenue at the Hanlon Parkway has undergone several zoning changes that reflect the powerful forces of nature, technology, and the government. In 1946, flooding from the Speed River forced the city to officially convert land use of this area from industrial to a green belt. By 1954, portions of the green belt had been re-zoned back to industry, but in 1963 Guelph zoning bylaw No. 5418 reduced the zoning to light industrial. Today, this same area has been re-zoned to accommodate high-density apartments and condominiums, and on a strip closer to the Speed River the land has been categorized as both a flood zone and a green belt.



The decision to zone the residential area may have been encouraged by the annexation of several thousand acres of level land in 1966 for the development of the Hanlon Business Park, located south of Waterloo Avenue at Clair and the Hanlon Expressway. Prompted by an unprecedented growth of 78.7 percent from 1961, to 1981 and a projected population growth of 1.85 percent for every year until 2021. It was expected that the business park would provide a much-needed economic base and an increase in employment opportunities. The construction of the Hanlon Expressway, which skirts the western edge of the city, would also provide a vital arterial route extending from Highway 7 to Highway 401. Combined with the development and improvement of Wellington Street and the completion of the Hanlon-Wellington interchange in 2001, the impact on Waterloo Avenue appears to have resulted in a second truncation that has almost completely severed it from its past. This transition is illustrated in Figure 4. This population surge may also explain the decision to zone parts of Waterloo Avenue to dense residential and approve the construction of six large condominium and apartment blocks between 1970 and 1987, located at 240, 270, 358, 364, 380, and 400 Waterloo Avenue.

 Historic Guelph V43P27Figure 3: The Building of the Hanlon Expressway. (Source: Compilation of Information derived from GHS 2002 and Guelph Planning Dept., 2003).



Waterloo Avenue reflects over 175 years of imposed human will and ingenuity that have transformed the land from a natural to a cultural landscape. The street has never been static, often displaying the push and pull between individual decisions such as the building of a single cottage, to the imposed necessity of a school. Today the decisions remain quite similar. As we move into the future, a need for more affordable housing has predisposed Guelph city planners to favour a proposal to build 32 apartments on the site of the Calvary Baptist Church located on the corner of Glasgow Street and Waterloo Avenue. A similar proposal has been put forward for the site of the Salvation Army building on the corner of Birmingham and Waterloo, and again at Gordon and Waterloo. Walking along Waterloo Avenue it is evident that it lends itself to 'infill.' Use of the natural environment and the cycles of development have left their imprint in the form of convenient blocks of level land such as that at Essex and Gordon Street where the Royal Organ factory was located. The width of Waterloo Avenue that impressed so many people 175 years ago has the potential to accommodate increased public transportation and traffic flow. But the movement towards 'infill' raises concerns for the integrity of the street since development may jeopardize the heritage value of the road and its structures. Through the framework of the Ontario Heritage Act, 1974, a number of homes on Waterloo Avenue have plaques near the front door indicating their historical legacy. These small acknowledgements of our past, however, can be overshadowed quickly if aggressive development is permitted. Waterloo Avenue tells an interesting story through an eclectic streetscape which retains evidence of the many stages of growth in Guelph, thus providing us with a culturally enriched environment that deserves our protection. Careful, thoughtful, environmentally, and socially conscious construction is demanded by the residents to ensure that not only the streetscape of Waterloo Avenue, but also those of Guelph in general, remain as vital and appealing as they ever were.


Table 1: Buildings on Waterloo Avenue

House # North Side

Year Significant Features Use: Past/Present
1 1844

Red sand, struck stock brick. Neo-Classic, Vernacular, 2-storey

Residential / Drop-in Centre Corporation


3 1913

Pressed red brick, 2 1/2 storey, Four squared

Residence multi-unit

7 1853

Limestone, Neo-Classic Vernacular, 2-storey

Merchant grocery store / Residential

9 1860

Frame, rough stucco, Neo-Classic, Vernacular, 2-storey

Listed in Business Directory 1909 as bakery/ Residential

21 1847

Limestone, Largest structure of its time. Exceptionally fine stone craftsmanship. Georgian style

Hotel "Victorian Inn," 1910 Mn. Black's Boarding house/ 1951 Knights of Columbus Hall 1980 Guelph Civic Museum

25 1862

Limestone, Italianate, 2-storey, Flemish bond, exceptionally beautiful large building

MD office / Funeral Home / Real Estate Office

35 1890

Pressed red brick, Queen Anne Revival, 2 1/2-storey

Residential / rear carriage house converted to apartments, 2002.

43 1856

Red and White Brick (local clay), Italianate, 2-storey

Residential owned by building contractor / multi-family residential

49 1905-07

Brick house


19 Glasgow 1930's

Calvary Baptist Church located on the corner of Waterloo Avenue and Glasgow

Church / plans to rezone to R.4D dense apartment containing 43 units. March 2003

51 1940's

Initial structure a wood shack that served as cobbler, current structure brick single storey with business below

Cobbler/ shoe repair and residence school / Commercial


Public School (1800s) Guelph Hosiery (1920s) Guelph Box Co., College Auto Tech (2003)

87 1900

Red pressed brick, Queen Anne Revival, 2-storey

Residential owned by building contractor / commercial and residential

91 1855

Limestone, Neo-Classic Vernacular 2-storey

Residential/ grocery store/ Residential/ Prof. 91 Commercial


Brick, single storey


107-109 1905-07

Pressed red brick, four squared, with addition

Multi-unit Residential

111 1910

Pressed red brick


115 1898

Pressed red brick


117 1870

Pressed red brick

Apartment & shops / 4-unit terrace


Modem condominiums

Multi-unit Residential

133 1895

Pressed red brick, Queen Anne revival, 2 1/2-storey


139 1900

Pressed red brick, Queen Anne Revival, 2-storey

Listed as grocery or general store in 1909 business directory/ Residential

143 1900

Red pressed brick, Queen Anne Revival, 2 1/2-storey


151 1910

Limestone, ashlil tooled and smooth, red pressed brick, Edwardian Baroque, impressive structure

Tonance Public School / Montessori School

161 1881

Limestone, Neo-Classical Vernacular (ltalianate), 2-storey

Institutional office/vacant
163 1870  White sandstruck stock brick Residential owned by a builder/ Residential
173 1874  White sandstruck stock brick with addition  Residential owned by a carriage maker/ Residential
179 1903  Red pressed brick, late Ontario Cottage

Residential owned by James E. Carter Mayor/ Residential

185 1872  White sandstruck stock brick, neo-Classical Vernacular, 1 1/2-storey Residential
191 1870

Pebble-dash stucco, Neo-Classical Vernacular, 1 1/2-storey

Residential owned by a stone cutter/ Residential
193 1910

Pressed red brick, 2 1/2-storey, Four squared

197 1910

Pressed red brick, 2 1/2-storey, Four squared

205 1910

Pressed red brick, 2 1/2-storey, Four squared

207 1918

Cast concrete blocks, 2 1/2-storey

217/219 1923

Pressed red brick

Two unit residence
223 1905

Pressed red brick, 2-storey, Four squared

Residential owned by a builder
225 1880

Limestone, Neo-Classic Vernacular, 2-storey

Residential quarry owner

Pressed red brick, with addition

233 1875

Limestone, Ontario Cottage, 1-storey

237 1880

Limestone, Ontario Cottage, 1-storey


Stucco cottage corner of Meadowview

251 1932

Buffbrick, stone lintels and sills, 2-storey.
"Spook alley" runs between No. 251 & 255,
Used to be a throughway up to the large Kennedy estate located on Meadowview. It was blocked around 1930s. Now driveway for No. 251 & 255.

 255  1927

1927 Buff brick, stone lintels and sills 2-storey

 257  1923

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2 1/2-storey, "four squared"

 261  1910

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2 1/2-storey, "four squared"

 265  1910

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2-storey, "rectangular"

 267  1910

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2-storey, "rectangular"

 273  1910

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2-storey, "rectangular"

 275  1910

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2-storey, "rectangular"

 279  1910

Red pressed brick, stone lintels and sills 2-storey, "rectangular"

 287  1880

White buff stock brick, Neo-Classical Vernacular 1 1/2-storey (St. Arnaud)


Single storey brick


1-storey + 1/2 brick


Single storey brick

317 1890

White buff stock brick, Ontario Cottage, 1-storey

321 1878

Limestone, Ontario Cottage, 1-storey


Pioneer Transmission


Professional Offices

371 1875

Limestone, Neo-Classical functional, 1-storey

Industrial / Carbarn / Service Commercial

White stucco "Orange Hall"

387 & 411  

Waterloo Avenue Court

Residential Complex

1 1/2-storey siding


1 1/2-storey siding


Single storey brick bungalow style

# ? 1881

Limestone, Gothic Revival, 2-storey

Residential / Conference

Single storey brick bungalow style new addition


Newer brick & siding side split

501 1887

Elaborate, multi-storey, pressed red brick,

Sleeman's residence / Night Club



House # South Side Year Significant Features Use: Past / Present

Wellington Chiropractic Centre

16 1850

Stucco frame cottage, 1 1/2-storey, newer stone veneer

One of the earliest doctor's offices in the city/ Residential


Modern, 2-storey brick veneer


Modern, 2-storey brick veneer

26 1880

Stucco frame cottage, 1 1/4-storey, wood sills, Neo-Classic, vernacular


Pressed red brick 2-storey, keyhole window


Brick 2-storey

36 & 38 1865

Limestone, Neo-Classic Vernacular, 2-storey

Merchant clothing store / Residential, Duplex


Red pressed brick 2-storey


Brick, West End Bakery

Bakers or confectioners 1909/ Commercial


Pressed red brick, 2-storey, Four squared

56 1903

Pressed red brick, Edwardian, 2 1/2-storey

60 1865

Limestone, Ontario Cottage

64 1865

Limestone, Ontario Cottage

68 1875

Frame, aluminum siding, Neo-Classic Vernacular, 2-storey

 Residential owned by builder/ Residential
70/72 1893

Pressed red brick, Queen Anne Revival, 2-storey

Multifamily Residential


Salvation Army Citadel located on the corner of Waterloo Avenue and Birmingham
(address is 21 Birmingham)

Salvation Army Citadel / Plans to sell property for new development made known in March 2003

88/90 1870

Light red pressed brick, stretcher bond, 2-storey

Double dwelling/ Commercial variety store & Residential

92/94 1875

Limestone, Neo-Classic Vernacular, 2-storey

Residential duplex

98 1885

Pressed red brick, late ltalianate, 2-storey



Modern brick, 2-storey


108 1875

Red sandstruck stock brick


110 1855

Frame, vinyl siding, Cottage


118 1856

Limestone, Ontario Cottage,

Residential originally owned by school teacher


Brick, 2-storey


128 155

Limestone, Ontario Cottage



Semi detached 2-storey, brick


136 1905-07

Brick, 2 1/2-storey


138 1905-07

Brick, 2 1/2-storey


146 1857

Limestone, Ontario Cottage, 1-storey



Frame vinyl siding, 1-storey

Residential duplex


Frame 2-storey house with siding on the second storey and newer brick on the first, old foundation


Pressed red brick 2 1/2-storey

162 1863

Limestone, Neo-Classical Vernacular, 1-storey

Residential owned by stone cutter/ Residential

Pressed red brick, 2 1/2-storey, Four squared

168 1859

Limestone, Ontario Cottage

170 1865

Limestone, Ontario Cottage

Residential owned by stone mason


Pressed red brick, 2 1/2-storey, Four squared



Pressed red brick, 2 1/2-storey, Four squared

Accountant business


'Newer' single storey commercial block

Dentist business

18? No #  

Vacant single storey commercial block


Single storey cottage brick veneer


196 1859

Limestone, Neo-Classic, Vernacular, 2-storey

Butcher shop/ grocery store and residential/ variety store


Brick, 2-storey, 2-units


Red pressed brick, 2-storey, Four squared


Red pressed brick, 2-storey, Four squared


Semi detached 'newer' brick, 2-storey


Brick, 2-storey (rainbow)

218 1865

Limestone, Neo-Classic Vernacular, 1-storey

Residential owned by a quarryman/ Residential
222 1875

Limestone, Neo-Classic Verncular, 1-storey with addition


Steel or wood frame, white brick dense apartment


Pressed red brick, 2-storey


Frame, siding, single storey

240 1971

Dense Apartment Block


2 units single storey pre-dates no. 240

270 1970

Dense Apartment Block


Bungalow style brick


1 1/2-storey siding

310 1890

Red pressed brick, 1 1/2 Neo-Classical Vernacular, 1 1/2-storey


Red pressed brick, 2-storey


2-storey siding


Pressed red brick 'rectangular', 2-storey


Red pressed brick, 1 1/2-storey


1 1/2-storey brick


Max Variety Store (1997)

358 (a) 1870

Limestone, random course rubble, Neo-Classic Functional

(1870) Phoenix Grist Mill (1912) Rubber factory / (1991) Residential

358 1987

Dense Apartment Block (Phoenix Mills Apartments)

364 1981

Dense Apartment Block (Phoenix Mills Apartments)

380 1978

Dense Apartment Block (Bryden Apartments)

400 1978

Dense Apartment Block (Bryden Apartments)


Source: Compiled from the Inventory of Heritage Structures, City of Guelph Planning Dept' (2003), the Couling lndex (1963-1974) by G. Couling, and Field work conducted by myself (2003).




Byerly, A. E., 1935: The Beginning of Things. Guelph, Ontario.

Bloomfield, E., and G. Bloomfield, with P. McCaskell 1983: Urban Growth and Local Services: The Development of Ontario Municipalities to 1981 University of Guelph, Department of Geography, Occasional Papers, No. 3.

City of Guelph, 2000: Planning Division Population Projection Review, Statistics Canada Census 1996.  Accessed February 27, 2003.

City of Guelph, 2000: Demographic Profile, Population Growth and Projections Accessed February 15, 2003.

Couling, G. 1963-1974: Couling Index of Homes in Guelph, General Binder. Wellington County Museum.

Guelph Tribune, March 11, 2003: Hallett, D. :Church-to-apartments raises.

Guelph Public Library (GPL), 2003: Local History Archives, Archives Image Database. Accessed March 1, 2003.

Guelph Civic Museum, Guelph (GCM) 2003: Wall, K. Assistant Curator. Ms. Walls provided me with selected maps from the archives.

Inventory of Heritage Structures 2003: City of Guelph. Planning Department, City Hall, Guelph.

Irwin R. W. 1998: Guelph: Origin of City Street Names. Guelph Historical Society, Ontario.

Johnson, L. A. 1977: History of Guelph, 1827-1927. Guelph Historical Society, Guelph, Ontario.

Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee (LACAC), 1994: Designated Buildings and Structures of Architectural and Historic Interest in the City of Guelph. Publications Ontario, Toronto.

Matheson, D. and R. Anderson (eds), 2000: Guelph: Perspectives on a Century of Change: 1900 - 2000. Guelph Historical Society, Guelph, Ontario.

Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), 2003: Guelph, Ontario.

White, D., 2003: Personal conversation with David White, owner, and operator of College Auto Tech. 79 Waterloo Ave., Guelph, Ontario.

Zoning 2003: M. Castellan, Planner. Received information and documentation concerning historical zoning on Waterloo Avenue.