Legal description: Units 13, 14 and 15, Wellington Condominium Plan Number 70.
The designation includes;
- The entire exterior stone façade and side walls of the dwelling;
- All cut and carved stone elements on the designated stone walls;
- All stone cornices;
- The second floor stone and wrought iron balcony;
- All door and window openings located in the designated stone walls (excluding the windows, frames and doors);
- All doors and window openings on the designated walls of the rear additions, (excluding the windows, frames and doors);
- The roof line over the entire building, including the stone chimneys (but excluding the existing roof covering and mechanical units).
It is intended that any non-original features may be returned to documented earlier designs or their documented original form without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.
Built circa 1857 for Arthur Wells, “Manor Park” is one of the principle stone residences in the City of Guelph. The dwelling can be described as Georgian in style and features an interesting combination of Gothic and Classic details. The building also features more rugged stonework than is usual in Guelph’s stone buildings. Rusticated corner quoins are set against a background of large quarry-faced blocks of limestone which make up the façade and two side walls of the building. Decorative features include the corbelled stone cornices and stone chimneys, the projecting frontispiece with its fine second floor stone and wrought-iron balcony, the main entrance which features a fanlight and arched sidelights, and the interesting combination of arched, flat top and centre pointed windows.
Built from limestone quarried on the property, the house, which faces the Speed River, originally occupied a 10 acre site known as “Wells’ Grove” under the ownership of Arthur Wells. Wells, whose family associations include the founders of the Wells Fargo stage coach line in the United States, was a civil engineer by profession. Wells came to Guelph in the early 1850s in connection with the construction of the Grand Trunk Railroad, being responsible for the work between Guelph and Rockwood and the construction of the railway bridges in both places. The quarry-faced limestone of “Manor Park” is reminiscent of the stone used to build the great piers of the existing CNR bridge across the Speed River.
During the 1860’s and early 1870’s Arthur Wells performed the duties of Guelph’s acting Postmaster and became a well-respected member of the community. A devout follower of the Plymouth Brethren religion, Wells hosted the Brethren’s yearly general conferences beside the river at “Wells’ Grove”. The property was also identified as one of the beauty spots in and around Guelph by the Guelph Horticultural Society.
Arthur Wells left Guelph circa 1883. After a succession of owners the property was purchased in 1928 by local news and cigar stone merchant Russell Daly who restored the house and grounds and named the property “Manor Park”. A major portion of the property was subdivided in the 1950’s leaving 3.6 acres with the original house, which by then had been divided into apartments. In 1992, the property was further subdivided by the Victoria Wood Development Corporation, who restored and renovated the original mansion for 3 luxury condominium units and constructed twelve new single family dwellings which now surround the original house.
Elements of the building being designated include the entire exterior stone façade and side walls of the dwelling, including all cut and carved stone elements on these designated walls, the stone cornices and the second floor stone and wrought iron balcony. All door and window openings located in the stone walls are designated, excluding the windows, frames and the door. Also included in the designation are the rear exterior wall of the main portion of the building, where exposed, and all exterior walls of the rear additions, including all stone quoins and window and door surrounds. All door and window openings on these walls are included in the designation, but the windows, frames and doors are not included. The roof line over the entire building is covered by the designation, including the stone chimneys, but excluding the existing roof covering and the recent mechanical units.