Legal description: Part Lots 18 and 19, Prior’s Block, Plan 8 (as in MS52001 and ROS189163) save and except Parts 4, 5 and 6, 61R3091; Part Lot 1, Plan 250, designated as Part 5, 61R2541
The following elements of 1-7 Douglas Street are to be protected under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990:
- The front and side exterior stone walls, including all original door and window openings, including sills, surrounds, and dressings; and
- Interior elements salvaged and restored including safe doors and the boiler face plate.
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.
The original building was constructed c. 1870 with the top floor and additions constructed in the late 1890’s early 1900’s. The Gummer Building/Brownlow Block is built of locally quarried limestone.
The property was first purchased by Jonas Ely from the Canada Company in 1843. William Brownlow, a carpenter owned the property in 1872 giving it its early reference name as the Brownlow Block. In 1905 Gertrude Gummer owned the building jointly with the Day family. Bertrum Gummer took on full ownership by 1912 and operated the Gummer Press, publishers of the Guelph Herald. Over the years the building has been used by barristers, insurance agents, retailers and artisans.
The façade at 1–7 Douglas Street is an excellent surviving example of 19th century stone commercial architecture. The Neo-Classic Vernacular/Italianate building has tooled stone sills, tooled lintels above the third and fourth floor windows and segmental-headed lintels above the second floor windows. There is also an impressive moulded cornice. Contextually the building plays a strategic role in the character of Douglas Street with stone buildings on both sides of the structure.