Notice of intention to designate 148 Delhi Street (Homewood Health Campus, Riverslea Estate Landscape)

Take notice that the Council of the Corporation of the City of Guelph intends to designate the Riverslea Estate Landscape cultural heritage landscape at 148 Delhi Street as a property of cultural heritage value or interest under section 29 Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter 0.18.

Description of the property

The property at 148 Delhi Street is located on the southwest side of Delhi Street, northwest of Eramosa Road and directly to the west of the Guelph General Hospital. The legal description of the subject property is:

  • firstly: Part Lot 10 Concession 1 Division F, (formerly Township of Guelph), Part Road Allowance between Lot 10 Concession 1 Division F (formerly Township of Guelph) and Broken Front Lot 2, Division F (formerly Township of Guelph), City of Guelph,
  • secondly: Lot 25 South West Side of King Street, Plan 40; Lot 26 South West Side of King Street, Plan 40; Part Lot A, Plan 40, as in CS46446; City of Guelph, and
  • thirdly: Part Lot 10, 11, 12 and 13 First Range Division F, Part Lot 2 Broken Front Division F, part road allowance between Broken Front Division F and first range Division F closed by unregistered bylaw 74 designated as Parts 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13, 61R11639, Lot 1 Plan 221; City of Guelph.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest

The purpose of this designation is to conserve groupings of cultural heritage resources that together have greater heritage significance than their constituent parts. The Homewood campus as a whole includes property on the west and east sides of Delhi Street. Within the larger campus are three distinct yet related cultural heritage landscapes including the Riverslea Estate Landscape.

The subject property is worthy of designation under section 29 of 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 148 Delhi Street display: design or physical, historical or associative and contextual value.

Design/Physical value

The semi-rural, landscaped setting of the Riverslea Estate is located along the Speed River, west of Delhi Street and south of the core campus of the Homewood Health Centre, at the north end of Arthur Street North. The Richardsonian Romanesque style estate building was built facing away from the river on low-lying flatlands within an open space that features carefully placed trees and shrubs, framed and enclosed by wooded areas and the river valley slope to the east. Current conditions suggest the original design of a winding driveway, leading toward the house and interacting with the landscape to create controlled views. A series of extant red brick grounds buildings originally associated with the functioning of the estate are located to the north of the house, and obscured from the main approach views from the south. This composition is representative of country estates from the mid to late-nineteenth century and reflective of the English garden tradition.

Historical/Associative value

This property is associated with two notable Guelph residents: William Clark, a politician who owned the lot in the 1850s, and James Goldie, a member of a successful milling family who constructed Riverslea in 1890-1891. The estate was originally known as ‘Hafod’ when owned by the Goldie family, and later renamed ‘Riverslea’ after the estate’s purchase by the Hall family in 1918. The site was acquired by the Homewood Health Centre in 1949 and has been owned by the prominent mental health institution ever since.

Contextual value

The Riverslea Estate is visually, historically, and functionally connected with the Homewood Health Centre’s therapeutic landscape, the termination of Arthur Street North, and the Speed River, all of which contribute to views and access to the estate. The red brick grounds buildings have contextual value for their functional linkage to the Riverslea Building, serving a supportive role in the operation of the residential estate prior to its acquisition by Homewood in 1949. Their continued presence, along with the surrounding open spaces and winding driveway, maintains the legibility of Riverslea as an estate landscape.

A stone building at the termination of Arthur Street North, marking the southern access to the property, is thought to have operated as a gatehouse. Some evidence suggests that this building predates the construction of Riverslea, and may have originally been constructed as a gatehouse structure associated with the earlier Rosehurst estate house, which had been situated higher up the valley slope on the eastern portion of the property.

Description of Heritage Attributes

The following are to be considered as the heritage attributes of the Riverslea Estate Landscape:

  • Open lawn in which Riverslea is situated, featuring plantings positioned in a picturesque and park like manner;
  • Curving driveway through an expansive lawn with plantings, integrated with the land’s contours and edged by woodlands, that creates controlled views of Riverslea and the landscape as one approaches from the south;
  • The wooded slope to the east of the Riverslea Building, contributing to the semi-rural character of the landscape; and
  • Walking trails through the woodlands traversing the river valley slope, offering a connection to the Homewood Therapeutic Landscape

The significant buildings and structures to be protected as heritage attributes by the heritage designation by-law include:

Riverslea Building*

Exterior Attributes

  • Richardsonian Romanesque style and detailing indicative of estate development within Guelph including the decorative stone banding, rounded towers with conical roofs and the rough surface texture of the masonry;
  • Red sandstone construction;
  • Varied elevations and irregular massing that indicate the distinct programmatic elements of the original composition;
  • Original door and window openings and surrounds including segmental arches and pillars;
  • Hip and gable roof with slate shingles and decorative terracotta hip and ridge tiles;
  • Dentilated cornice.

Interior Attributes

  • Original wood doors, including multi-panel units with wood surrounds and transoms (where extant), pocket doors with wood surrounds, and double doors with stained glass inserts leading between the vestibule and the foyer;
  • Original windows and wood surrounds, including multi-pane, sash, and stained glass windows;
  • Principal staircase, complete with decorative wood railing, spindles, newel posts and coffered undersides along with marble treads and decorative floor tiles from the first floor to intermediate landing;
  • Marble wall paneling located throughout the first floor, and leading to the intermediate landing of the staircase;
  • Wood detailing, including coffered ceilings, picture rails, paneling and baseboards;
  • Decorative plaster detailing, including moldings, arches, corbels, and columns;
  • All original fireplaces featuring marble and wood surrounds, fire boxes, mantles, and mosaic tile and marble hearths (where extant);
  • Terrazzo flooring with decorative marble inlay found within the foyer and vestibule;
  • Second-floor bathroom featuring wood detailing, marble wall paneling, marble vanity, and mosaic-tile floor.

*Riverslea’s 1980s-era addition is not considered to contain either exterior or interior cultural heritage value.

Riverslea Grounds Buildings**

  • Red brick construction;
  • Roof profile and detailing including boxed eaves and returns, dormer, as well as slate shingles (where extant);
  • Rusticated stone and wood sills;
  • Original door and window openings including brick segmental arches.

**The two buildings located to the west of the red brick grounds buildings, as well as the interiors of the red brick Grounds Buildings, are not considered to contain cultural heritage value.


  • Italianate style building with projecting bay containing triple round headed windows;
  • Stone construction using locally quarried limestone;
  • Gable and hipped roofline; and
  • Gate to the east of the gatehouse, which features cone-capped square gate posts and wing walls (the iron gate itself is not original and is not considered a heritage attribute).

***The interior spaces of the Gatehouse are not considered to contain cultural heritage value.

It is intended that non-original features may be returned to documented earlier designs or to their documented original without requiring Council amend the designation by-law.

A more detailed description of the property’s cultural heritage value may be found in staff’s report to City Council (IDE-2018-124, page 373) dated September 10, 2018 and at

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 29th day of October 2018, send by registered mail or deliver to the Clerk of the City of Guelph, a notice of objection to this proposed designation, 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