Legal description: Firstly: Part Lot 19, Prior’s Block, Plan 8, Part Lot 1, Plan 260, designated as Parts 1 to 7 inclusive, 61R3071; Secondly: Part Lots 18 & 19, Prior’s Block, Plan 8 (as described in Instrument No. MS52001 and ROS189163) Save and Except Parts 4 to 6 inclusive, 61R3091; Part Lot 1, Plan 250, designated as Part 5, 61R2541; and Thirdly: Lot 2, Plan 260, Save and Except Part 1, 61R3091, City of Guelph.
The heritage attributes that support the cultural heritage value or interest of the three storey stone structure include:
- The exterior stone front façade facing Wyndham St. (excluding ground floor); and
- All original window openings including sills, surrounds and dressings on the exterior front façade (excluding ground floor).
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 building at 65 Wyndham Street North is a three storey stone commercial structure, located on the east side of St George’s Square in downtown Guelph. The building was originally constructed circa 1856-58 with five bays and two street level shops. However, the south part of the building (three bays) was demolished in 1968 to make way for a new Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce building.
The remaining portion of the building (two bays) provides a representative example of the commercial architecture of mid-nineteenth century Guelph. The building has tooled stone sills and a band course, five voussoir flat arch lintels, and a bracketed and moulded stone cornice. Constructed of locally quarried limestone, it makes a significant contribution to the historic character of Guelph’s downtown district.
The history of this building is closely associated with the development of St. George’s Square as an early commercial node in Guelph. The property was originally awarded, by the Canada Company in 1830, to an early settler of Guelph, James Hodgert Esq., who did the first weaving in town. After changing ownership a few times, Thomas Heffernan, a clothing merchant, purchased the lot in 1845. The property was subdivided into four new lots in 1876 as part of Heffernan’s estate. The building has been occupied by a range of retail businesses, including: Mrs. Janet Wright’s Fancy Goods (1877–1888) and C. L. Nelles’ Books, Stationery and Wallpaper (1891–1899). In later years, the building had a long association with the local pharmacy trade, including: Alex Stewart’s Drugs (1890–1946/7), F. E. Wagner (c 1948/9–1961/2) and Stewart’s Drug Store (c 1962/3–2000/1). The building’s uses over the years has contributed to the structure’s prominence in the social context of the community, as well as in the physical context of St. George’s Square.
The building is one of the few nineteenth century buildings to survive on St. George’s Square. As such, it contributes to an understanding of the function and layout of this important centre prior to the major redevelopments of the late 1960s and 1970s.