Notice of intention to designate a heritage property 120 Huron Street

Take notice that the Council of the Corporation of the City of Guelph intends to designate the former Northern Rubber Company building at 120 Huron 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 120 Huron Street is located on the east corner of Huron and Alice Streets. The legal description of the property is Guelph Division F, Range 2, Part Lots 1 and 2; RP 61R21616, Parts 1 to 3 and 6.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest

The former Northern Rubber Company building at 120 Huron Street is a prominent example of early 20th century industrial Guelph and has long been a landmark building at the east corner of Huron and Alice Streets.  St. Patrick’s Ward was developed in the early 20th century through J. W. Lyon’s plan to create an industrial neighbourhood in Guelph. Situated east of the Speed River and north of the Eramosa River, the Ward extends to Eramosa Hill. In 1906, Lyon bought 400 acres on both sides of York Road from the Speed and Eramosa Rivers to Victoria Road and proceeded to secure development by giving away 12 to 16 acres of land free of charge to industries willing to locate in Guelph. The attraction of free land brought companies such as the International Malleable Iron Company and the Guelph Stove Company to the Ward. Remaining properties not suitable for industry were subdivided into smaller plots subsequently sold to workers and their families for housing.

In July of 1919, the Northern Rubber Company purchased the property from the Kennedy family and took out a $50,000 mortgage with the Corporation of the City of Guelph; presumably, this is when construction began on the factory building.

The Northern Rubber Company was a locally-owned and controlled company that produced rubber boots among other products for a national market. The company was a major addition to the post-war industrial sector and was directed by individuals such as J. G. Smith, F. W. Kramer, George Drew as well as local Kennedy family members. By 1925 the company had skyrocketed to first place among Guelph’s industries in employment with a payroll of roughly 600 individuals and was a prime example of J. W. Lyon’s planned integration of industrial establishments and residential housing. The four-storey, state-of-the-art factory on Huron Street also boasted more square footage than any other Guelph industry at the time. The post-war period saw a decline in staff, products and local control. By 1942 the factory was granted to Northern Woodstock Rubber Company Ltd and by the 1950s, the property was under the ownership of Uniroyal Chemical Ltd.

Design/physical value

The property has design value or physical value because it is a rare and representative example of a construction method as a four-story, state-of-the-art early 20th-century industrial factory with reinforced structural concrete and red brick spandrels. It demonstrates a high degree of technical achievement as the building design and construction method is similar to the industrial building designs of the American architect Albert Kahn.

Historical/associative value

The property has historical value or associative value because it has direct association with an activity that is significant to the community. The Northern Rubber Company was locally controlled and managed, sustained by local capital and employed 600 individuals in its heyday. The subject property yields, or has the potential to yield, information that contributes to an understanding of a community in that it represents the second stage of industrial development in St. Patrick’s Ward following the First World War.

Contextual value

The property has contextual value because it is important in defining the character of the area as a prime example of J. W. Lyon’s planned integration of industrial establishments and residential housing. The subject building is visually and historically linked to its surroundings and is a landmark within the St. Patrick’s Ward.

Description of heritage attributes

The following elements of the property at 120 Huron Street should be considered heritage attributes in a designation under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act:

  • roof parapet;
  • ‘breakfront’ design feature on west elevation;
  • concrete front entrance stair;
  • red brick panels between columns;
  • window openings with multi-pane style windows;
  • reinforced concrete structure including the interior mushroom-shaped concrete support posts

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

A more detailed description of the property’s cultural heritage value may be found in the staff report to Council dated July 13, 2020,  at guelph.ca/heritage.

For more information

Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner
Planning and Building Services
519-822-1260 extension 2496
[email protected]

Objection to proposed designation

Any person may 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. This must be done before 4 p.m. on Monday, August 24, 2020. If a notice of objection is received, the Council of the City of Guelph shall refer the matter to the Conservation Review Board (CRB) for a hearing.

Stephen O’Brien
City Clerk
City of Guelph
1 Carden Street, Guelph, ON N1H 3A1
519-837-5603
[email protected]