Notice of Intention to Designate: 72 Farquhar Street

Take notice that the Council of the Corporation of the City of Guelph intends to designate 72 Farquhar Street as a property of cultural heritage value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter 0.18.

Description of the property

The property at 72 Farquhar Street is located at the southeast corner of Farquhar Street and Wyndham Street South. The current legal description of the entire subject property is: Part Market Place, Plan 8, Designated as Parts 1 and 4, Reference Plan 61R-21059.

Statement of cultural heritage value or interest (Why the property is being designated)

The subject property is worthy of designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act as it meets three of the prescribed criteria for determining cultural heritage value or interest, according to Ontario Regulation 9/06 made under the Ontario Heritage Act. The heritage attributes of the Drill Hall display: design or physical, historical or
associative and contextual value.

The Drill Hall was constructed in 1866 for the use of Guelph’s voluntary militia units and for county agricultural shows. It also functioned as a general purpose community hall, hosting various private and public meetings and events. The building’s historical value lies in its association with the first active militia units in Guelph and more broadly with development of the Canadian army at the time of Confederation. The Drill Hall is also associated with the  development of Guelph as a regional centre for agriculture and stock breeding.

The building was designed by Thomas W. Cooper, a local Civil Engineer and Provincial Land Surveyor. The building’s construction was originally initiated by a petition from local ratepayers, with funds provided by Wellington County Council, Guelph Town Council, and the Wellington County Agricultural Societies. Wellington County Council also supported the construction of drill sheds/agricultural halls in the neighbouring communities of Fergus, Elora, and Orangeville in the same period, albeit to different designs.

In the late nineteenth century, the City of Guelph refitted the Drill Hall and lended it to private companies for industrial and commercial uses, thereby supporting the development of Guelph as an important regional centre for manufacturing. The Drill Hall has important historical associations with a number of manufacturers, including: Williams, Greene and Rome Company (1889-1893), Louden Machinery Co (1903- 1908), Aspinwall Manufacturing Company (1908-1923), Zephyr Looms & Textiles / Textiles Industries Limited (1945-1981), and J. P. Hammill & Son Ltd (1981-2010).

The Drill Hall supports the historic character of Guelph’s downtown district, forming part of the core of landmark civic buildings established in the original Market Grounds in the nineteenth and early-twentieth century, including the original City Hall, the Winter Fair building, the
Armoury, and the Railway Station. The position and orientation of the Drill Hall is historically linked to the location of Guelph’s original Fair Ground, and the 1856 alignment of the Grand Trunk Railway.

The Drill Hall is a rare and representative example of a mid-nineteenth century community hall in Guelph. The design is plain, and much of the original fabric of the building has been replaced or modified; however, the imposing form and mass of the original heavy timber frame building is readily apparent, and its historic function can be interpreted, as a local community hall designed for military drills and agricultural shows.

Description of heritage attributes (What is being protected)

The following are to be considered as the heritage attributes of 72 Farquhar Street:






  • original building form and gable roof of main block and extended centre bay in west elevation;
  • original arrangement of window openings on the north, south and west elevations;
  • large segmentally arched, 2-light window on second floor of west elevation;
  • heavy timber, post and beam construction elements.

It is intended that non-original features may be returned to documented earlier designs or to their documented original without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.

Staff report to Council

View the June 27, 2011 staff report to Council (pages 452-463) [82 MB]

For more information

Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner
Planning Services
519-822-1260 extension 2496

Any person may, before 4:30 p.m. on the 24 day of May, 2018, send by registered mail or deliver to the Clerk of the City of Guelph, a notice of objection to these proposed designations, setting out the reason for the objection and all relevant facts. If a notice of objection is received, the Council of the City of Guelph shall refer the matter to the Conservation Review Board for a  hearing.

Stephen O’Brien
City Clerk
City of Guelph
1 Carden Street, Guelph ON N1H 3A1