A Heritage Designation is the formal recognition of a property that has significant heritage architectural features and/or attachment to a prominent historical citizen. The Designated property is properly and legally drawn up by City Staff in consultation with Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall in accordance with the Ontario Heritage Act.
We have set up a Heritage Plaques Program that honours and recognizes owners that have purchased a heritage property and have sympathetically restored and maintained their buildings. They can purchase a plaque that is inscribed with the date built and/or a significant piece of historical information. We are hoping the plaques affixed to our heritage places will bring awareness and ignite passion for Cornwall’s past. This program is not a Heritage Designation.
The Register of Cultural Heritage Properties of value or interest in the City of Cornwall has recently been updated by Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall. To consult the register click here.
A Canada 150
As a tribute to the 150th anniversary of Confederation, Heritage-Patrimoine Cornwall wishes to focus attention on some of the local buildings constructed pre/circa 1867 in Cornwall. The original owners and people who subsequently lived in these homes were quite often prominent citizens.
Occasionally the materials from one structure were repurposed to another. For example, it may not be known that building materials from St. John’s Presbyterian Church originally located on Pitt Street upon being demolished were used to build the house at 121,123,125 Adolphus St. in 1860. The house is now divided into 3 separate apartments.
Many of the City’s designated heritage buildings in Cornwall were built prior to 1867. Chesley’s Inn, the Grammar School, Cline House, the Court House, and Wood House/Museum are examples of properties that have been designated.
160 Water Street West. Formerly located at 731 Second Street West and known as the Wood House this outstanding example of Classical Revival detailing applied to Loyalist Vernacular form was built in 1840 by William Wood and currently houses the Cornwall Community Museum. Designated in 1984 due to its historical and architectural significance the house has fine proportions and skilled craftsmanship. It was moved from 731 Second St. West to its present site on Water St. in the year 2000 when Domtar’s expanding needs required removal or demolition. Descendants of the Wood family continued to live in the house until 1953 when it was sold to Domtar. In 1957 the house was reopened as the United Counties Museum and operated by the Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Historical Society. Wood purchased the dressed stone originally meant for a proposed blockhouse adjacent to the Cornwall Canal when the British military decided not to proceed with the construction of it. The stone walls are about thirty inches thick. The floor plan of the Wood House is similar to many stone houses built in the area. Mr. Wood likely hired stone masons that were idle at that time due to suspension of work on the canal.
217 Second Street East. The crown patent for this property was issued in 1840 to Thomas Palen. The assessment records indicate the dwelling was constructed in 1848. Thomas Palen sold the property to Archibald McLean in 1873. Archibald McLean was a barrister of law, he was executor for the estate. The property is later purchased by Allan Snetsinger, in 1921. Upon his death the house is sold to his sister Minnie (Snetsinger) Mack, who lives next door at number 223. She will eventually sell the property in 1943. As shown in an earlier sketch, the house has not changed much through the years.
3350 Montreal Road East. Inverarden Regency Cottage was built in 1816 as a retirement home for John McDonald of Garth, a trading partner in the North West Company in Montreal. McDonald sold Inverarden and its accompanying 150 acres, to his daughter Eliza and her husband John Duncan Campbell. The house remained in the family for almost 150 years. Originally a rectangular dwelling, the two side additions were built in the early 1820’s. The building is raised high on its foundation allowing a generous amount of light into the basement. The large casement windows with the massive porch and ornate entrance contribute to the picturesque quality of the building. The pedimented portico supported by pilasters provides an impressive entrance to the Regency cottage. The doorway is lit by an ornate elliptical fanlight and dual sidelights. The location of Inverarden is essential to its classification as a Regency cottage. Built on a hill surrounded by woods and facing the St. Lawrence River, the house is situated in a picturesque setting, in keeping with the Regency style. Inverarden House is a National Historic Site of Canada.
7 Gloucester Street. Built in 1860, the Crown patent for this property was issued in 1831 to David Baxter. Nicolas Farlinger, late of the Indian Reservation, in the Township of Charlottenburg willed this property to his daughter, Emily in 1848 (Registry #50). However it is unclear how Nicholas Farlinger came to own the property. The property stayed in the Farlinger family for 31 years. In 1870 a house was already built on the property. Emily and her husband Cole McDonald sold the property to Frederick Carpenter, a merchant, for $250 (Registry #2128) in 1879. The house is Ontario Gothic Style with contrasting brick and stone quoins detailing. Little of the original details remain of the once intricately carved one and a half storey bay seen in the lower picture. Telltale signs on the façade outside the present vinyl clad bay show where there was once outstanding arch detailing.
125, 129 First Street East. Andrew Hodge House was originally built for Dr. William Bruce and his wife the former Mary Alguire. Awarded a patent by the crown in 1808, Bruce returned to his wife from the war in 1812 in which he served as a lieutenant and constructed the house soon after. Bruce was a renowned physician; one of Cornwall’s earliest Doctors, and had a thriving medical practice. He was involved in the construction of Trinity Church. The house stayed in the Bruce family until 1857 when it was sold to Andrew Hodge, owner of Stormont Cotton Mill. The original home was distinguished by a gabled roof, with corbelled cornice, projecting eaves and exposed rafters and two storey projecting bay with cone shaped roof. A two storey open verandah was supported by the lower verandah’s wood columns and rails. With the passing of time the elegant country home went through diverse changes.
340 Second Street East. The closest date to the actual 150th anniversary of Confederation the assessment records indicate the dwelling was constructed about 1867. A crown patent for this property was issued to George S. Jarvis in 1847. He was a prominent lawyer, volunteer firefighter and a member of the board of health. He was a county judge from 1841-1878. In 1867 William Mack obtained the property and is believed to have built the existing structure. The building has changed hands through the years and now houses a law office. Colourful brick-work characterizes this two storey home with a variety of yellow brick detailing including quoins and voussoirs with keystones along stone sills which enclose double hung windows. Each window is divided into twelve small panes. A classic half round window at the attic level enhances the façade.
7 Water Street West. The central portion of the United Counties Court House and Jail was constructed of stone in the neoclassic style and completed in the summer of 1833. The walls are of smooth dressed limestone, cut in irregular lengths, thinly mortared and laid in eleven courses for the first storey and thirteen courses for the second storey, with a plain stone string course projecting between them. The building’s rectangular mass is broken by a shallow projecting three-bay frontispiece which is centered in the seven bay façade. The gabled dormer above forms a distinctive pediment as its heavily moulded eaves return line is continued to complete the triangle. The Court House is one of the oldest judicial buildings in Ontario and has long been a prominent landmark. Designated in 2001 the Court House and Jail were in operation until 2002
115, 115 ½ Adolphus Street. Built in the 1860’s. The crown patent for this property was issued to John Carpenter in 1847. Records indicate he sold it to Archibald MacLean a barrister of law between 1847 and 1883. This imposing two storey brick home is characterized by a delicate curved verandah and porch. The wood structure is enhanced by spindle work below the entablature and square piers rise to become carved brackets supporting the eaves. A second storey balcony has the same detailing as the lower verandah. A remarkable aspect of the main facade is a rectangular, two storey bay, that is projected away from the main structure. The main doorway, located just below the front balcony, is composed of two paneled doors that are each partly glazed with four panes of glass.
208 Second Street East. Designated in 1979. Cline House was built in 1854 after the marriage of Samuel Cline to Margaret Dickenson. It remained in the Cline family until 1955 until the Library Board took possession. It is a fine example of the Regency style characterized by the low hip roof and central entrance. One of Cornwall’s finest homes, Cline house was once the location of the Simon Fraser Centennial Library. The corner stone on the addition is inscribed with the following: “The Right Honourable L.B. Pearson P.C.M.P Prime Minister of Canada Laid This Corner Stone 6th July 1967”. Cline house is a full two storeys in height with light –red brick laid in common bond with four courses of stretchers between each header row, an indication of the high quality of workmanship apparent in the building’s construction. The building has a balanced three bay façade with French doors on the first floor that likely opened onto a veranda removed long ago. Cline house has recently been purchased and is undergoing a complete rehabilitation.
39 Fourth Street East. The former Grammar School was built in 1856 and moved to its present location in 1877. It was designated in 1987 and is considered to be one of the buildings in the evolution of historic Cornwall Collegiate and Vocational School. The two and one half storey red brick building with contrasting yellow brick corners is situated at the northwest corner of Fourth and Sydney Streets. The buildings front façade features a central doorway flanked by a window on each side and low rectangular porch.
233 First Street East. Built in 1860 this home is known as the James Leitch House. The crown patent for this property was issued to Simon Fraser who sold it to Archibald McLean in 1835 for $50.00. Archibald McLean was a barrister of law. In 1881 McLean sold to James Leitch. The home was built on the property while it was in McLean’s possession as early as 1850. James Leitch was the Chairman of Ontario Railway and Municipal Board and he was also the Mayor in 1886. The structure is Georgian Revival Style with simple rectangular volumes with hipped roof and centre gable dormer. The doors and windows are symmetrical and characterized by chateau styled window hoods with a carved design.
33 First Street East. According to the 1861 Census, George Carleton Wood owned two acres of land on which stood a brick building of two stories high and considered one of the finest homes in Cornwall. The original brick structure rises two stories from its stone foundation to a medium hip roof. A centre gable accentuates the roof and likely marks the front entrance that is no longer distinguishable because of the extension made to the entrance. The east façade is the only exterior wall that is somewhat original. Formerly the Carleton Hotel, the original attributes can be seen in this early picture. Today it sits empty waiting for a new owner to restore the façade to its original beauty. Who knows what lies beneath the black cement block façade?
121, 123, 125 Adolphus Street. This home was built in 1860 from materials salvaged from old St. John’s Presbyterian Church. The crown patent for this property was issued in the early 1800’s to Simon Fraser who sold it to Archibald MacLean in 1835. Archibald MacLean sold it to James Leitch in 1881.
Gothic bargeboards and a bay window with gable roof structure are a few of the architectural elements found on this house. A tall tower rises from the central entrance hall and ascends to a bell-cast roof and spire. The main entrance, located at the base of the tower, is composed of double leaves and a flat, double glazed transom.
9 First Street East. Originally built in 1860’s as a simple two story brick structure, it has sustained many renovations and a close call to demolition from an accident in which a vehicle collided with the front facade. The building has served a variety of functions throughout the years. It was first used as a shoemaker’s domain, then a furniture store, a paint shop, a tailor shop and currently houses the restaurant known as “Ye Old English Fish N’ Chip Shop.” The original red brick is now clad in siding which hides the decorative half-round multipaned window at the attic level of the south façade. The shop is a good example of early buildings established in Cornwall.
40 First Street West. Built in 1814 and designated in 1987, Chesley’s Inn, Cornwall’s first Inn has been brought back to life as its original purpose thanks to Mr. Robert Prowse who has worked relentlessly to rehabilitate it into a Bed and Breakfast. The Chesley family was prominent in Cornwall during the nineteenth century, producing shopkeepers, innkeepers and a former mayor of Cornwall. The structure is a wonderful example of Georgian architecture. The front façade has the characteristic Georgian rectangular shape, with symmetrical five bay façade. The two and one half storey building with its projecting rear wing would have made a very large residence for the time. The medium pitched roof and dual end wall chimneys are common in the Georgian style. The windows are long and narrow and occupy considerable wall space. Over all, the composition of the house relates a sense of simple Georgian elegance and solidity.
302 First Street East. Built in 1840 this home is known as the George Anderson House. George Anderson was a leading officer of the three United Counties Regiments during the 1837-38 Rebellions. Anderson is known for escorting Sir John Colborne out of town after his visit with the Union Standard flag flying on his sleigh. Anderson sold the property to his brother in 1853 who then sold it to John Sandfield MacDonald. The structure is a one and a half storey L-shaped building clad with wood siding. The roof is gabled and the windows are encased by wood framing and capped by plain pedimented heads. Much of the original architectural details have remained.