College Avenue West – 366

Janefield

By-law: (2003)-17099

Legal Description: Pt Lot 6, Concession 4, Division G, Pt 2 of 61R-1280

Designated Portions

The designation applies to:

The complete exterior of the building. Specific features covered by this designation are:

  • the walls of tuck-pointed, dressed limestone with projecting rusticated quoins;
  • the hip roof form;
  • five monumental double chimneys;
  • the front entrance with transom and sidelights of stained glass and etched glass; and
  • the location of window openings and the multi-paned windows within them and the fluted stone window surrounds (on north and east walls).

Excepted from this provision are the fluted, pedimented frame around the front entrance, aluminium soffits and eavestroughs.

The interior features included in this designation are:

  • The seven fireplaces and mantels;
  • The woodwork (window and door frames, interior doors, baseboards and other trim, main staircase, and the hinged interior insulating shutters inside the main floor windows); and
  • The original floors and height of the original ceilings.

It is intended that any non-original features may be returned to their documented original form without requiring City Council permission for an alteration to the designation.

Property History

“Janefield” is an imposing example of a farm house in the Neo-Classic style. It is a symmetrical, two-storey limestone structure displaying high-quality masonry and woodwork. Its historical associations with Guelph’s Day and McCrae families increase its merit as a heritage building worthy of designation through the Ontario Heritage Act.

In Feb. 1854, Thomas Day, a prominent Guelph mason and contractor, purchased the site of this house in the Township of Guelph. The date of construction has not been proven but is thought to be between 1854 and 1865. Design of the house has traditionally been attributed to William Day, noted Guelph builder in that period. It was likely constructed by the Days prior to Thomas McCrae’s 1863 purchase of the property. McCrae was a Guelph lumber merchant and woollen mill proprietor who, like a number of other local business leaders, moved to the outskirts of the town and enhanced Guelph’s agricultural reputation by breeding thoroughbred livestock. The McCrae farm was named “Janefield” in honour of Thomas McCrae’s wife Jean, who called herself Jane.

In 1892, the property was passed on to their son, Col. David McCrae, who carried on his father’s livestock breeding activities, while remaining active as an officer in the local artillery regiment. David’s son, physician/soldier/poet Lt. Col. John McCrae, most famous for his poem “In Flanders Fields”, frequently visited his grandparents, then his parents, at “Janefield”. After the McCraes’ 48 year ownership, the house passed through eleven owners before it was brought back from a deteriorated state by contractor George Good in 1976-77. William and Mariann Packham, then Kevin and Julia Kenalty, have owned and enhanced the home since 1977.

The complete exterior is to be designated with the exception of some elements of the 1976-77 work (i.e. the fluted, pedimented frame around the front entrance, aluminum soffits and eavestroughs). Among the features designated are the walls of tuck-pointed, dressed limestone with projecting rusticated quoins, the hip roof form, five monumental double chimneys, the front entrance with transom and sidelights of stained glass and etched glass, the location of window openings and the multi-paned windows within them and the fluted stone window surrounds (on north and east walls).

Inside, the designated features are the seven remaining fireplaces and mantels, the woodwork (window and door frames and the interior doors, baseboards and other trim, the main staircase, the hinged interior insulating shutters inside the main floor windows), the original floors and the height of the original ceilings. The interior of the modernized kitchen in the single-storey rear addition is excluded from the designation