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Heritage Designated Properties

Please navigate the menus below to learn more about Goderich's Heritage Designated Properties, recognized under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act 1974.

57 West Street, "Town Hall"

Goderich Town Hall

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The present town hall situated on West Street was formerly the Dominion Government Post and Customs Office. Built in 1890, the building was designed by Thomas Fuller, one of Canada's leading early architects. It has an imposing and dignified presence enhanced by its setback and detachment from the neighbouring commercial blocks. The predominant building material is stone in the Romanesque style with massive gables. The rusticated stone coursing and wall capping also add to its monumental appearance. The building is of significant value both architecturally and historically and is most worthy of preservation and designation under the Act.

191 Britannia Road West, "Hutchinson House"

191 Britannia Road West, Goderich

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The "Hutchinson House" is designated for architectural and contextural reasons. It is an excellent example of the mid-nineteenth century local version of the Georgian style. Significant architectural features include the local grey brick, the smaller, second floor windows, the adjustable louvered shutters, the semi-circular hood supported by Doric columns and pilasters, and the geometric mullioning of the sidelights and transom. The Hutchinson House closes the vista down Wellesley Street in a handsome manner.

108 East Street, "Captain Dancy House"

108 East Street, "Captain Dancy House"

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The "Captain Dancy House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. Thomas Dancy, a captain on the lake schooners, built the house in the mid-1860s. Although the style of the house, Georgian, is typical of mid-nineteenth century buildings in Goderich, the material of its construction, stone, makes this house quite unusual. The many changes and additions that have taken place have not irrevocably altered this handsome stone building with its symmetrical façade, dressed stone voussoirs over the windows and gable roof.

 156 East Street, "Henry Horton Cottage"

156 East Street, Goderich

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The "Henry Horton Cottage" is designated for architectural reasons. Built by Henry Horton in the early 1860s, it is an excellent example of the Picturesque Cottage, characterized by such details as the peaked projecting frontispiece, the scrolled 'gingerbread', the gothic window in the peak, and the half gothic windows in the gable ends. This is an exceptionally well-preserved example of grout construction; this material was not uncommon in Goderich at one time, but extant examples are scarce.

 58 Elgin Avenue East, "Whitely House"

 58 Elgin Avenue East, "Whitely House"

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The "Whitely House' is designated for architectural reasons. The main house is a typical heavy timber framed Georgian house. The trim on the verandah and bay window is a particularly good example of the type of fretwork and turnery characteristic of the Goderich area. The entire house is beautifully proportioned and fits well into the neighbourhood scheme. Since it is a residential structure that has been converted for commercial use, it forms an excellent buffer between the commercial area to the east and the residential district to the west.

 37 Essex Street, "Lawson House"

 37 Essex Street, "Lawson House"

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The "Lawson House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. Sir Casimir Gzowski, famous civil engineer and military man, is reputed to have used the house as his Goderich field office in the 1860s while it was the residence of Walter Lawson, surveyor. Built around 1857, the house is well maintained and a beautifully proportioned example of the small Georgian home. Significant architectural features include the pilasters, entablature and flanking sidelights around the door, the well-preserved clapboarding, and the smaller second floor windows.

 52 Montreal Street, "Goderich Public Library"

 52 Montreal Street, "Goderich Public Library"

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The Goderich Public Library is designated for architectural and contextual reasons. It is an excellent example of the Romanesque Revival style often used for public buildings at the turn of the century. The large round tower with its special interior space, the round-headed windows, and the irregular roof are all representative of this style. The architecture of the library, with the large tower at the focus of Montreal and Lighthouse streets, is admirably suited to its vista location.

 181 Victoria Street North, "Huron Historic Gaol"

Huron Historic Gaol

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The Huron Historic Gaol is designated for historical and architectural reasons. It is one of the oldest public buildings in Western Ontario and had an instrumental role in the creation of the District of Huron. The gaol, with its unusual plan based on the octagon, is unique in its quality of execution and almost perfect state of preservation. Significant details include the classical portico, tapering passageway, pediments, and glazed cupola. The gaol has been designated a National Historic Site.

20 Wellington Street South, "Strachan House"

20 Wellington Street South, "Strachan House"

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: The "Strachan House" is designated for architectural reasons. Significant architectural features include the mansard-roofed corner tower, the heavily modelled window headings, the patterned shingles, and the delightful iron cresting which crowns the roof. Most important, however, is the building's consistency of detail, for it is "a remarkably unaltered example of late nineteenth century eclecticism, invention, and ostentation -the quintessential Victorian house." -from Ontario Towns, Oberon Press.

169 West Street, "Hands' Bakery"

169 West Street, "Hands' Bakery"

Designated: 1978

Reason for Designation: "Hands' Bakery" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. Built in the early 1840s by D.B.O. Ford, it was the scene of a costume ball mentioned in "In the Days of the Canada Company". Used as a bakery by Henry Hands during the 1850s and 1860s, the house is reputed to have served as a guardhouse during the Fenian raids of 1866. This building is one of the very few examples in Goderich of Greek revival design as shown by its plan with gable end towards the street, pediment with 'Palladian' window and dentellae trim, flush-boarded front, and bold door surround with fluted Doric columns and heavy entablature.

35 South Street, "Polley's Livery Stable"

The Livery

Designated: 1979

Reason for Designation: The former Polley's Livery Stable is designated for historical and architectural reasons. The building is located on South Street immediately to the south of the Bedford Hotel and for many years was a livery stable before becoming an automobile garage and finally a building centre. In 1977, the building was threatened by demolition but was purchased with the intention of being converted into a community cultural centre.

The plan of the stable is rectangular measuring 42 feet in width and approximately 127 feet in depth. The construction material is stone with massive interior wood roof beams. From site observation, it appears to have been built in three stages with the first stage commencing in the mid 1840s and the final stage being completed in 1878. Architecturally, the most imposing stage fronts on South Street and is characterized by a shaped gable, pretentious parapet and unusual windows. The whole is built of cut stone and smacks of design flamboyance akin to the elaborate wooden, boomtown fronts of the period. The south elevation is also of architectural interest, especially the easternmost side with its stone-formed twin gables and upper doors for loading hay. At ground level, still visible, is a row of narrow pointed arch windows. The east and north elevations are simpler in design but hardly visible because of the close proximity of the neighbouring buildings. Originally, three cupola roof vents were located on top of the roof according to a sketch of the stable in the County Atlas (1879). Inside, the roof is supported by massive beams from which hung a floor to store hay feed for the horses. These beams are now visible after the removal of various false ceilings that had been built over the years.

Polley's Livery Stable is of particular value also in the context of the heritage building stock in the Town of Goderich. It is the only surviving livery stable of size, which, combined with its architectural and historical interest, makes it worthy of preservation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

133 St. George's Crescent, "The Griffin/Geary House"

133 St. George's Crescent, "The Griffin/Geary House"

Designated: 1981

Reason for Designation: "The Griffin/Geary House" is designated for architectural reasons. The home is a fine example of the popular asymmetrical plan Gothic Revival house of the 1850s through 1880s. In this case the plan is a 'T' formation. Timber construction is sheathed by ashlar imitation stone block. Other fine wood details include an intricate bargeboard at gable ends, a decorative cornice around the top of the bay window adorned by a decorative railing. Most of the remaining windows have a pedimentry treatment. The familiar pattern of rectangular side and transom lites grace the entranceway. In fine condition, inside and out, this house is worthy of historical designation.

148 Victoria Street North, "The Samuel Platt House"

148 Victoria Street North

Designated: 1981

Reason for Designation: "The Samuel Platt House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. Mr. Platt had the house built on Victoria St. N. in 1865. Built of buff brick, there is a finely tooled foundation beneath this house. Above the foundation is a prime example of the Vernacular Georgian structure that was so common to Ontario in the mid nineteenth century. With a flamboyant choice and placement of design features, it stands bravely in its environment. There is a little gable, pointed arch, four-paned window, and a segmental arch that caps French doors on the second storey. A decorative stringcourse ornaments the two principal facades, west and south.

33 Montreal Street

33 Montreal Street

Designated: 1981

Reason for Designation: Number 33 Montreal St. is designated for architectural reasons. The building is rectangular with a nine-bay front and a central door. The entrance is celebrated in the usual local manner with rectangular lites but, as a mature Georgian design, is not overly elaborate. Internal symmetry is evident in window and chimney placement, the latter incorporated in parapets, which define the gable ends. A further attraction of this building is that although there are a number of homes of this period within Goderich, most are concerned with vertical lines (i.e. exaggeration of height). Thirty-three Montreal St., among these, is outstanding by showing horizontal proportion. In this case, the windows are spaced further apart as they approach the outer edges of the building.

86 Picton Street East, "The Robert Gibbons House"

86 Picton Street

Designated: 1981

Reason for Designation: "The Robert Gibbons House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. The Gibbons house is a cubic Georgian structure. It is constructed of cut stone, tapering in thickness from three feet at the base to one and a half feet at the second level, and covered on the interior by split lath and plaster. Cut locally, the dressed stone on the front façade comes from the Maitland River. The front façade has been restored to its original appearance. Other details include three of four symmetrically placed chimneys on a square, low-hipped roof, six over six windows and a front door with side and transom lites.

34 Albert Street North, "The Warnock House"

34 Albert Street North, "The Warnock House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: The "Warnock House" is designated for architectural reasons. Although John Brackenridge built the house around 1885, the Warnock family occupied it for over half a century. The house is an excellent example of Italianate architecture uncommon to Goderich. This large, brick structure is one of the earlier residences to locate in the east end of town on Albert Street. It has since retained a dignified manner set apart from the neighbouring houses by its unique style and massive lot. On the east end of the lot stands the original coach house.

65 Montreal Street, "The Garrow House"

65 Montreal Street, "The Garrow House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Garrow House" is designated for architectural reasons. This large home is a Georgian style residence proportioned by large front windows and two end chimneys. Other details on the house are impressive including the Palladian window, the decorative brackets and stone lintels and keystones. The first and second storey verandahs surround the house and wind past the side to the garage. The house was once the home of James T. Garrow until he became a Supreme Court Judge and later a Local Judge of the Canadian Exchequer Court.

116 West Street, "The Apartments"

116 West Street, "The Apartments"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: The building known as "The Apartments" is designated for architectural reasons. The building is a fine example of the Neo-classical style of architecture characterized by its rectangular shape and low-pitched roof. Additional Neo-classical details include the elaborate entranceway and the large dormer windows. This frame structure, now blanketed in stucco, at one time possessed a gallery, which stretched the length of the front façade. Although changed, the front entrance is still quite impressive and the finely proportioned windows are no longer hidden.

168 West Street, "The Harbour Park Inn" or "The Park House"

Park House

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Park House" built in the late 1830s, is designated for historical reasons. The inn is one of the oldest buildings in Goderich and was built for Thomas Mercer Jones, Canada Company Commissioner. The inn was once quite an impressive residence and centre of lavish dinner parties, balls and garden parties. There were halls, drawing rooms and many bedrooms heated by ten fireplaces constructed of Italian marble. In 1852, Jones was dismissed by the Canada Company and became an agent for the Bank of Montreal. Jones returned to Toronto in 1857 when Mrs. Jones died and the residence was converted into Bank of Upper Canada offices. A later conversion was to a hotel. The original structure has since been quite altered by change in ownership and by a 1945 fire.

19 Wellington Street South, "The Lewis House"

19 Wellington Street South, "The Lewis House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Lewis House" is designated for architectural reasons. Built around 1865, the house is a classic example of an Ontario Cottage. Ontario Vernacular, the local cottage form, has a spacious porch and low-pitched roof. The building's corner location is among magnificent neighbouring houses set upon large lots. The cottage character is strengthened by these homes and set further apart by its unique shape and handsome window details. The windows, in a variety of sizes, are fully or partially decorated with lead screening. The front entrance is quite detailed and covered by a roofed porch.

110 North Street, "Huron County Museum"

Huron County Museum

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Huron County Museum" is a distinguished work of architecture in the Elizabethan style. Constructed in 1856 as a schoolhouse, the building, which is two storeys in height, has civic grandeur as witnessed by its symmetrical principal facades to the north, south and west as well as its projecting gabled front and twin-gabled wings to the side. The wall material is mostly a warm orange brick reminiscent of the Netherlands (which greatly influenced the Elizabethan style) but with stone banding and framing to the windows and front elevation. On the side elevations, the stone changes to a light buff brick. Tall rectangular chimneys flank the side elevations. The building's principal facades are close to the original design and represent therefore, a fine opportunity to conserve an example of Elizabethan-styled civic building stock.

203 Lighthouse Street, "The Wilson House"

203 Lighthouse Street, "The Wilson House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Wilson House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. This house, built between 1845 and 1850, was influenced by the Regency and Georgian styles. It is an early example of the use of white brick and is similar to smaller urban estates built in England at the same time. Notable features include several original fireplaces, ruby glass in the sidelights, French doors and an arched centre window, which is unique for this area. The house, called Wellesley House, was built for and named by William Bennett Rich, a former Grenadier guard under Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo, who later held positions in the Canada Company, the British-American Insurance Company, the Huron Building Society and served on the Goderich Town Council.

263 Cobourg Street, "The Blake House"

263 Cobourg Street, "The Blake House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Blake House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. This two storey, white brick house, built for George Rumbell between 1859 and 1863, is a good example of a larger Goderich residence. The elegant hipped roof, three bay plan, and balanced chimneys were inspired by contemporary English examples. Also of note is the front wall's trace of the original full width scalloped roof front porch; the addition at the rear, which is of the early red brick period; and the windows with arched heads and two over two glazing. In 1890, William Ogilvie purchased the house. Ogilvie, his brother Senator Andrew Ogilvie, and Matthew Hutchison founded the "Big Mill" in 1875 at the bottom of Harbour Hill. In 1894, the house, deeded to Margaret Hutchison, was named Glengowan.

39 Bruce Street West, "The Duern Residence"

39 Bruce Street West, "The Duern Residence"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Duern Residence" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. The front entrance, transom light, and large street-side windows of this small 1880s cottage indicate a Georgian influence. Its design and materials suggest that the builders were influenced by the design of Scottish crofters' cottages. The textured, uneven brickwork is noteworthy as the brick was locally molded by hand. The house was formerly on Lighthouse Street and was to be torn down. Instead, in 1980, it was moved to its present location. It is probable that at one time the house also served as a one-room schoolhouse.

80 Hamilton Street, "The Sloane/Cooper House"

80 Hamilton Street, "The Sloane/Cooper House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Sloane/Cooper House" is designated for historical and architectural reasons. The house is an excellent example of a turn-of-the-century centre hall plan residence. With its decorative stained glass, woodwork, plaster cornices, two tile fireplaces, and pedimented mantelpieces, it has one of the most elegant interiors in Goderich. The scrollwork on the exterior bay window and porch is unique to this community and the house is one of the last with the original iron cresting on the porch and roof peak. Samuel Sloane, a Goderich grain merchant, built the house in the late 1870s. In 1902, his nephew, A.J. Cooper purchased the house. The Cooper family occupied the building until 1976. In 1984, Robindale's Fine Dining opened a dining room in this heritage building. This restaurant use continues today as Thyme on 21.

35 Nelson Street East, "The Galt House"

35 Nelson Street, Goderich

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Galt House" is designated for architectural and historical reasons. The original red brick house was built c.1855 for Rev. Alex MacKid, the first minister for St. Andrew's Church of Scotland. John Galt VI, grandson of John Galt the founder of Goderich, returned in 1899 as postmaster and settled in the house for 40 years. The structure is quite Georgian with some interesting features that are not commonly found together. The doorway has a classical enframement by using pilasters which frame rectangular side and transom lites. There is also a frieze using a decorative motif to create emphasis beneath a deep soffit. Above is a typical hipped roof with symmetrical chimneys. The interior and exterior of this decorative Georgian house are, in general, extremely well preserved.

85 Essex Street, "The Judges' House"

85 Essex Street, "The Judges' House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Judges' House" is designated for architectural and historical reasons. This is a superb example of a white brick High Victorian structure, with a Gothic Revival flavour and what may variously be described as Tudor Revival or Italianate features. The simple façade derives its elegance from the symmetry of the three-bay façade, which, although rare, is not uncommon as a classic building type of the late 1870s. The symmetry is further emphasized by the square bay windows at the first floor as well as the central porch (which was probably a later addition) under the central dormer. The massing is lightened by the delicacy of the wooden bargeboards and rails over the bay windows. The building's peaks were originally enhanced by decorative gingerbread trim or carpenter's lace. Of the judges who presided over Huron County from Confederation to 1978, four resided successively in this residence. County Judge Wilmot Squier built the residence in 1877 and was followed by His Honour James Masson, Judge E.N. Lewis, M.P., and Judge Glenn Hays.

34 Wellington Street South, "The Ford House"

34 Wellington Street South, "The Ford House"

Designated: 1987

Reason for Designation: "The Ford House" is designated for architectural reasons. This Ontario style cottage is notable for its Palladian dormer and its wood ashlar siding. The design of the dormer adds considerable and unique character to the structure, which was built in the mid-nineteenth century. (The Palladian dormer is thought to be a later addition.) The siding, imitating stone coursing and usually made from pine, is found in Goderich in structures dating from the mid-nineteenth century into the early twentieth century and is a material not commonly found in other parts of Ontario. The simple proportions and elegance of the structure make it an important component of the streetscape of Goderich.

66 Victoria Street North, "The Hunter House"

66 Victoria Street North, "The Hunter House"

Designated: 1989

Reason for Designation: "The Hunter House" is designated for architectural and historical reasons. The house represents a good example of turn-of-the-century Queen Anne style. Typical features of this style are the combination of brick, lower walls with upper floors of wood shingle; decorative diamond-pattern muntin bars in lower floor windows; the round corner turret with finial; and the ornate brick chimneys. The structure is associated with persons of both local and national importance. These include the first Director-General of the Northwest Territories and Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier (who stayed in the house during a visit to Goderich while he was Prime Minister). The house has been used as both residence and office since its construction and has been home or office to prominent local professionals including a lawyer, a doctor, a veterinarian and an architect.

55 Nelson Street East, "The Acheson House"

55 Nelson Street East, "The Acheson House"

Designated: 1990

Reason for Designation: This property is designated for architectural reasons. It is an interesting example of late-nineteenth century design. Of note are the completeness of its decorative chimneys, the decorative soffit brackets and fascia boards, the unique plan layout of the structure (including the bay windows facing the street and on the west side) and the shape and decorative detailing of the twin porches at the exterior. The building is constructed of white marl or lime brick which is a masonry style common to the region in the middle to late portions of the 19th century and which began to be disused towards the turn of the 20th century. It was built by George Acheson, a local builder.

82 Wellesley Street, "The Tom House"

82 Wellesley Street, "The Tom House"

Designated: 1990

Reason for Designation: This residence is designated for historical and architectural reasons. This structure, erected in 1888, is notable for iron cresting, the decorative brackets and fascia boards under the soffits, and the decorative fretwork around the centre gable. The turn-of-the-century metal roofing tiles are of note as is the design of the square bay on the west side of the structure. The house is a late example of the large Georgian structures built throughout Ontario in the latter part of the 19th century. The original profile of the former full width front porch is still visible on the front wall of the building. The recently added vestibule is not included in this designation.

The first owner, Mr. John Elgin Tom, arrived in Goderich in 1886 as the Public School Inspector for West Huron, a position he held for 42 years. After his death, in 1930, his wife Marget lived at the residence until 1943. On the Inspector's retirement in 1928, the Signal-Star recorded, "Recognition was given to his great influence and untiring exertion in the advancement of education in Huron."

Junction of Toronto St. (Huron Rd.) and Britannia Rd., "The Pillars"

Goderich Entrance Pillars

Designated: 1990

Reason for Designation: "The Pillars" are designated for historical and architectural reasons. The pillars are constructed of stone and are an impressive thirteen feet high. They were built in late 1928 or early 1929 (erected 1929) to commemorate the opening of the Huron Road, Highway No. 8, from Goderich to Stratford and the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Town of Goderich and the Huron Tract (1827).

46 West Street, the former "Bank of Upper Canada"

46 West Street, the former "Bank of Upper Canada"

Designated: 1992

Reason for Designation:

This building is a fine example of a mid-nineteenth century Georgian style, commercial main street structure. Although in the 1850s many of the main streets in southwestern Ontario contained such elegant structures, few remain. The exterior proportions, façade, chimneys, the brickwork and the existing windows are all worthy of note. In addition, many interior fittings such as shutters, fireplace and bake oven in the basement, remain from the original use of the building. Of note too, is the interesting pattern of the exterior entrances on the main floor. While Georgian style is typically one of uniform building openings, the middle nineteenth century frequently saw asymmetrical variations in this theme to suit the requirements of tenants. Particularly note the stone voussoir over the window immediately to the west of the entrance.

165 Lighthouse Street, "The Lancaster House"

165 Lighthouse Street, "The Lancaster House"

Designated: 1992

Reason for Designation: Architectural - This house is an excellent example of mid-19th century Georgian Revival. Of interest is the front door, which has a bead down the centre giving the illusion of two doors -an idiosyncrasy of the period. The cut stone window heads and detailing are worthy of note as are the six over six window panes. The parapet walls are distinctive of the period. The brick is a late example of locally fired brick. The previously cedar shingled roof was in keeping with the period.

Historical - The house was built about 1846 for John Lancaster who, with Thomas Dark, owned the first British Exchange Hotel on the corner of Lighthouse and Wellington streets. Both men went to California during the Gold Rush but were unsuccessful in finding gold. Lancaster succeeded later in Australia but, returning home, was drowned at sea. It is reputed that, during his absence, the house was used as headquarters for the Huron Rifles, marshalled to protect the area from the Fenian Raids, which threatened in the mid-1860s.

Spanning the Maitland River, "The Menesetung Bridge"

Menesetung Bridge

Designated: 1993

Reason for Designation: This bridge is designated for architectural and historical reasons. Built during the summer of 1906, this former CPR bridge spans the Maitland River near its entry to Lake Huron. The CPR railway line was constructed from Guelph to Goderich and millions of tons of earth were moved along the one and a half mile embankment. The bridge has six piers and two abutments; each of the seven spans is 104 feet long by 12 feet wide and weighs 38 tons. The total bridge length is 750 feet and it was the longest bridge in Ontario at that time. The destination CPR station was completed in 1907 with the official opening of the line on September 19, 1907. The bridge was converted to a pedestrian bridge in 1992.

2 Beach St., "Former CPR Station"

Beach Street Station

Designated: 2016 (after relocation from 1 Beach St; original designation 2005)

Reason for Designation: Historically the former Canadian Pacific Railway station represents the important economic relationship between railroads and the town and, more specifically with the Harbour Flats on which it stands and where the town first developed. This station was the western terminus of the Guelph and Goderich Railroad which later became part of the CPR network.

Architecturally, the building is an unique example of railroad masonry design at the turn of the 20th century. The conical tower at the north (formerly east) end is topped with a bell-cast, restored slate, roof and is ringed by clerestory windows that were originally above a canopy (now removed). Projecting stone brackets are set into the walls. These originally supported the wooden brackets that held up the cantilevered canopy that encircled the whole building. The red brick walls are enhanced by a limestone band extending around the building which forms the sills. Limestone lintels give the entrance and some windows a distinguished presence. The hipped roof has a west (formerly north) projecting cross gable with a lunette and the word 'Goderich' set in stone. Interior features, now restored, include three ceiling medallions and decorative plaster in the former tower waiting room, interior woodwork and wainscoting in the former waiting rooms and ticket office.

Character-defining Heritage Attributes:

  • location on Harbour Flats as former railway terminus
  • conical tower with restored slate roof
  • red brick with limestone sills and lintels (some arched)
  • clerestory windows in tower .cross gable with lunette
  • 'Goderich' name stone
  • interior decorative plaster
  • interior woodwork
Cobourg Street, "Goderich Lighthouse"

Goderich Lighthouse

Designated: 2009

Reason for Designation:

The Goderich Lighthouse was erected in 1847 and was the first lighthouse on the Canadian shore of Lake Huron. Construction directly aided the development of the Town of Goderich as a significant centre for maritime and port-related industries on Lake Huron.

The short, almost square, tower was an uncommon design for the time. Unlike almost all masonry towers built before and after, it was not tall, round or tapered. Prompted by the inquest of the Great Storm of 1913, it was determined that the light design was not adequate, resulting in the lantern and its lighting apparatus being replaced the following year. Furthermore, the tower was heightened, and the gallery railing and stone lantern deck were replaced. This new deck was similar to the original, but had a slightly wider projection and introduced a cavetto (large cove moulding) to the cornice around the top of the stone wall. While the general appearance of the tower proper has changed very little in the century-and-a-half it has been standing, the removal of its attached dwelling has significantly altered its look.

Character-Defining Elements:

  • built of evenly-coursed stone, with a string course below the gallery and another between the first and second storey
  • tower was built almost square and straight-sided
  • small, narrow windows, one to each floor, are located on the seaward and landward façades.
  • window back moulds described as a flattened Greek ovolo, typical of the 1840s
  • an 8-sided iron-framed lantern, concrete murette, and slab crown the tower
Copper Beach Tree

Copper Beach Tree

Designated: 2014

Reason for Designation: 8 Elgin Avenue East  Plan 457 Pt Lot 318

Copper Beech Tree  Fagus Sylvatica atropurpurea (located on the northwest corner of the property or the southeast corner of the intersection of Elgin Ave E and South St)

Estimated height: 70 feet (typical heights 25-35 m or 80-115 ft some 49 m or 160 ft.)

Trunk diameter: 6 feet (typical diameters 1.5 m or 5 ft. some at 3 m or 10 ft.)

Age (2014): 118+ yrs (typical lifespan 150-200 years some reaching 300 years)

Although not a native species, this tree symbolizes the many towering giants that once covered the Huron Tract. The spreading canopy created by the beechnuts, black walnuts, buttonwoods and red oaks was, in the beginning, almost completely removed by the settlers. This was done out of need for the wood and for land to build on; unfamiliarity with, and fear of, the forest environment; and a longing for the more pastoral settings of their homelands. This copper beech serves to remind us of the monumental task faced by the original settlers in clearing thousands of acres of virgin forest with minimal tools.

This tree was re-planted here from Saltford Heights in 1896, reflecting the changing attitudes of the settlers. By the end of the 19th century, trees and the forest were beginning to be considered as having benefits beyond the commercial, and worthy of keeping and nurturing.

 

1 Beach Street, "Menesetung Mineral Springs"

Menesetung Mineral Springs

Designated: 2014

Reason for Designation: "In 1886 four artesian wells were sunk on the harbour flats to a depth of 240 feet, and the water being found on analysis 'clear, colourless, soft, of great organic purity and excellent quality,'..." (Toronto Daily Mail. Nov. 5, 1892) and   "...free from sulphur and salt", TDM Feb. 4, 1889. Today only one of these springs still flows, all year long, although without the original pure qualities. The wells were sunk on the flats adjacent to Goderich harbour and surrounded by the remaining homes and industries of the original 1827 settlement.

These wells were used as the basis for an "elaborate Water Works system", completed in 1888, "to meet all demands of the next half a century". In addition, an electric light system which, worked in connection with the water works system, supplied outdoor lighting to Court House   Square.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Goderich was considered by many as "a charming watering place on Lake Huron" boasting medicinal, mineral springs, a beautiful setting and cool lake breezes. Summer travellers sought out hotels such as The Sunset and Park House which in turn used the mineral springs to promote their advantages. Earlier the Ocean House Hotel was located near the springs with mineral baths available that would "heal almost anything". These baths drew patrons from far and wide.

Local industries also developed such as Philips & Co. Mineral Water Manufacturers.

Character-Defining Elements: Last remaining artesian well which helped establish tourism as a major Goderich industry.  The spring has run continuously for more than a century.

South Pier, Harbour Quay, "The Fish Shanty"

Fish Shanty, GoderichDesignated: 2015

Reason for Designation: Goderich is the only deep water harbour on the eastern shore of Lake Huron and as a result has been an important port since in 1827. Commercial fishing has been part of this port from the beginning. Reference was made in the New York Times, March 6, 1860, to fish shanties in Goderich being swept away by ice build up in the Maitland River.

In later years, fish shanties, built by fishing families such as the MacDonalds, Leonards, MacKays, Grahams, Bakers, Siddalls and others, lined the south side of the harbour. Although now used for storage, this last remaining fish shanty belonged to fisherman Ed Siddall.   In the winter, fishermen cut ice from the harbour and stored it in sawdust where it remained frozen all summer and kept the fish fresh. When the fish were brought in they were weighed and packed in boxes filled with ice for transportation by rail to towns throughout the province. Currently, fishing tugs use the north side of the harbour to unload their catches directly to refrigerated trucks.Behind and beside the shanties were racks where the nets were dried and repaired ready for the next fishing trip. Fresh fish is still available daily in season from retailers along the pier.

This is the last remaining example of a building that represents a commercial way of life that was the livelihood of many Goderich families for more than a century.

Character-Defining Elements: This modest building measuring 18 feet by 31 feet sits directly adjacent to the Goderich Harbour along the south pier. It is constructed of weathered wood attached vertically to the structural supports and is covered with a corrugated metal roof. The presence of such a building, in its original location along the south pier, authenticates the harbour landscape and provides a visual contrast to the larger port industries that now dominate.

135 Essex Street

135 Essex Street, GoderichDesignated: 1990

Reason for Designation: This residence is designated as an excellent example of a c.1880 lakefront cottage in the Picturesque style. It is a rare surviving example of a building type now nearly vanished in the Town of Goderich. The cottage remains on its original site on the lakefront and is largely unaltered from its original appearance.

Distinguishing features include the prominent pyramidal roof, which extends over the main façade verandah and the glazed sun-chamfered wood columns with decorative brackets. The original beaded board ceiling and pine plank floor are still present. Sun porch windows, installed when the north verandah was enclosed, are of the casement type. The glazing pattern of three narrow vertical panes over a single large pane is commonly found on older houses in the neighbourhood. Original one-over-one sash remains in most of the windows on the house proper.

Features now missing, but evidence of which remains, include cedar shingle roofing; bevel-edge and wood, horizontal, exterior siding; and beaded wood ceiling in the sun porch.

 21 Nelson Street East

21 Nelson Street East, GoderichDesignated: 2017

Reason for Designation: The cultural heritage value of this property lies mainly in the design or physical value of the principal building. It is an outstanding example of Arts and Crafts architecture, a style relatively rare in Goderich, and exhibits many of the characteristic features of the style. Built circa 1915, the building has the appearance of a single-storey structure but with side facing dormers on the second floor, east and west. It shows asymmetrical massing with brick construction using cobblestone accents such as the chimney facing. The overhanging, low-pitched roof shelters a porch supported by massive cobblestone pillars giving a rustic texture to the façade. The approach to the recessed front door includes an Art Deco lamp post in the shape of a goose head and a hitching post. Original interior features remain in remarkable condition.

Cultural heritage value from a contextual viewpoint is also found in this property being located across the street from the Outer Square Heritage Conservation District and within sight of three other individually designated properties, thus contributing to a heritage-related visual consistency for the surrounding area.

Part of the property (Pt Lot 831) was at one time owned by the Galt family, descendants of the town founder, thus giving the property an associative cultural heritage value. 

Exterior heritage attributes include a single-storey appearance closely linking the building to the surrounding property; cobblestone facing on chimneys, porch façade and massive porch pillars; front porch sheltered by roof extension; restrained decoration and rustic texture to the façade .asymmetrical massing; Art Deco lamp post in the shape of a goose head; horse-head hitching post at curb; location across from a Heritage Conservation District and near three other designated properties; part of the property had been owned by descendants of the town founder, John Galt.

Interior heritage attributes include original stained woodwork including ceiling beams in dining room, front and back halls, and front basement room; French doors in dining room (two pair) and living room (two pair) including screens and storms; pocket doors between front hall and living room and dining room; wainscotting in dining room, hall and vestibule; four pillars separating front and back halls; winding oak staircase in back hall; connecting swing door between dining room and butler's pantry; butler's pantry cabinet with flour bin and original hardware; original broom closet in kitchen hallway; vestibule door and sidelites with bevelled glass; two wooden book cases with leaded glass doors in living room; wooden floors in most rooms; mosaic tile floors in vestibule and master bath; original light fixtures in dining room and front hall; cobblestone fireplace covered in panelled surround in living room; cobblestone fireplace in front basement room.

 

 

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Goderich Town Hall: 57 West Street, Goderich, ON N7A 2K5, Phone: 519-524-8344, Email: townhall@goderich.ca
Tourism Goderich: Phone: 519-524-6600, Toll-Free: 1-800-280-7637, Email: tourism@goderich.ca

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