Notice of intention to designate: 131 Ontario Street

Take notice that the Council of the Corporation of the City of Guelph intends to designate 131 Ontario 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 legal description of the subject property is PLAN 113 LOT 50 LOT 51 LOT 8 TO LOT 10 PT LOT 11 PT LOT 7 PT LOT 52; City of Guelph.

Statement of cultural heritage value or interest

The subject property is worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act because it meets five of the prescribed criteria for determining cultural heritage value or interest, according to Ontario Regulation 9/06 (as amended by O. Reg 569/22). The heritage attributes of 131 Ontario Street display: design or physical, historical or associative, and contextual value.

The subject property meets Criterion 1 of Ontario Regulation 569/22 because it exhibits design or physical value as a rare example of the Romanesque Revival style of Edwardian educational architecture in the City of Guelph. Additionally, it is the only elementary school in the City of Guelph that combines the Romanesque Revival, Collegiate Gothic, and mid-century Modernist architectural styles in one structure.

The subject property meets Criterion 4 of Ontario Regulation 569/22 because it has direct associations with the theme of education and industrialization in St. Patrick’s Ward through the course of the twentieth century. Tytler’s architectural expansion throughout the twentieth century attests to the growth of industry and influx of workers residing in St. Patrick’s Ward. The six phases of school construction on the site (1878, 1908, 1912, 1921, 1965, and 1968) convey the history of St Patrick’s Ward throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The various phases of expansion directly parallel the expansion of industry and housing in St. Patrick’s Ward during the twentieth century.

The subject property meets Criterion 5 of Ontario Regulation 569/22 because it yields information that contributes to an understanding of the St. Patrick’s Ward Community. The children of St Patrick’s Ward were educated on this site from 1878-2013, and it has served the community as a meeting place and venue for public events. The five phases of construction that compose the current structure yield information on the growth of the traditionally working-class St Patrick’s Ward community.

The subject property meets Criterion 6 of Ontario Regulation 569/22 because it reflects the educational ideas of Inspector of Public Schools, Dr. William Tytler, the City of Guelph’s most significant educational reformer of the early twentieth century. Additionally, the 1908, 1912, and 1921 constructions reflect the architectural work of William Mahoney, one of the most significant Guelph-based architects of the early twentieth century.

The subject property meets Criterion 6 of Ontario Regulation 569/22 because it is important in defining, maintaining, and supporting the character of the area. Tytler Public School is an integral component of the Ontario Street and Toronto Street streetscapes, and the Ward West cultural heritage landscape. Located in the heart of St. Patrick’s Ward, the subject property represents one of the only institutional buildings in the neighborhood. With a height and massing significantly larger than most non-industrial structures in the area, the building is a landmark in the community.

Description of heritage attributes

The following elements of the property at 131 Ontario Street should be considered as heritage attributes in a designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act:

  • The building form of the 1908-1921 school buildings, including:
  • Hipped and flat roof on 1908 construction
  • Hipped roof on 1911 and 1921 constructions
  • Hipped roof dormers
  • The red brick frontispiece facing Ontario Street, including:
  • Building form
  • Window openings
  • Ornamental brickwork
  • Arched entryway
  • The red brick and stone two-tiered frontispiece facing Toronto Street, including:
  • Window openings
  • entryway
  • Crenellated stone parapets
  • The window openings on the 1908, 1912, and 1921 portions of the subject property (note: not the replacement window frames and sashes)
  • 1912 fire escape on west façade, including the carved datestone

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

A more detailed description of the property’s cultural heritage value may be found in staff’s report to City Council dated October 17, 2023 and at

Notice of objection

Any person may send a notice of objection to this proposed designation, before 4 p.m. on November 24, 2023. This notice must be sent by registered mail or delivered to the Clerk of the City of Guelph and must set 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 consider the objection and make a decision whether or not to withdraw the notice of intention to designate the property within 90 days after the end of the 30-day objection period. If Council decides not to withdraw its intention to designate, a heritage designation bylaw must be passed within 120 days after the date of publication of the notice of intention to designate. Council must publish a notice of passing of the designation bylaw which is followed by a 30-day appeal period when appeals of the bylaw may be given to the Ontario Land Tribunal for a hearing and decision.

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

For more information

Jack Mallon, Heritage Planner
Planning Services 519-822-1260 x 3872
[email protected].