Stuart Street – 20-26

By-law: (1986)-12310

Legal Description:

  • 20 Stuart – Lot 4, Plan 751
  • 22 Stuart – Lot 5, Plan 751
  • 24 Stuart – Lot 6, Plan 751, being part 2 of 61R-6907
  • 26 Stuart – Lot 7, Plan 751 including part 1 of 61R-6907

Designated Portions

20 Stuart Street (Ker Cavan)

The following exterior elements of the main house, at 20 Stuart Street are designated by this by-law:

  • All of the existing stone walls and stone structures and the form of the openings in those walls and structures, except for the deepening of two second-floor windows in the southeast wall to become doors.
  • The form and massing of the roofs, including the matching set of existing dormers.
  • The general outward appearance of all existing windows, including vertical mullions, except for two second-floor windows in the southeast wall, which may become compatible doors. Windows of the 1920’s which are not evident from the exterior are excluded.
  • The main Stuart Street door, unless replaced by a door more in keeping with residential design of the period 1850-1875.
  • The existing chimneys, in their current form and at their current height.

The following interior features are designated by this bylaw:

  • 19th-Century plaster ceilings, medallions and mouldings in the library and living room, including ears of maize, Tudor roses and Classical rosettes.
  • 19th-Century fireplaces in the living room and library.
  • The staircase in the main hall.
  • All Gothic arches in, or opening onto, the main hall at the ground and second floor levels. Those arches already closed, or to be closed in creation of a party wall between north and south units, need not be part of a passageway and may be used as decorative elements.
  • Two original wooden doors with tops in the form of a pointed Gothic arch opening off the main hall at the second floor level.
  • Original wooden doors opening off the ground floor main hall featuring a vertical centre-groove.
  • Finished wood-panelled window enclosures and finished wooden interior shutters in the south-west wall of the library.
  • Folding interior wooden shutters in the matching oriel windows of the living room and the master bedroom, immediately above the living room. It is understood that these features may be returned from their current painted state to an appropriate wood finish.
  • Built in bookshelves across the south-east wall of the library, complete with glass doors.
  • All leaded glass windows in the exterior walls of the building. This includes the existing glass in the nine-panel window in the main hall, the dining-room bay window in the north-westerly portion of the house and several smaller stained-glass windows lighting the vestibule and the main hall.
  • Decorative ceiling in the main entry vestibule, Stuart Street side. This consists of gilt stars against a dark blue background.

It is understood that later owners may return some non-original features to documented earlier design, if desired.

26 Stuart Street (Ker Cavan’s Coach-house)

All of the exterior of this structure is designated with the exception of the green-house and one-storey addition at the south-west end and with the exception of the garage doors in the south-easterly wall. It is understood that the stucco portion of the Tudor wall treatment may be renewed or restored to its original colour.

No portion of the interior is affected by this designation.

Portions of the lots included in the designation of grounds and major trees.

All of Lot 4, Registered Plan 751, is included in the designated area. Designated areas of lots partially affected are defined by reference plan as follows:

  • Lot 3, Plan 751 – Only Part 11, Reference Plan 61R-3816, and Part 5, Reference Plan 61R-4111, are included in the designated area.
  • Lot 5, Plan 751 – All of Lot 5 is designated, with the exception of Part 19, Reference Plan 61R-3816
  • Lot 6, Plan 751 – Only parts 2, 20 and 21, Reference Plan 61R-3816, are included in the designated area.
  • Lot 7, Plan 751 – Only Parts 1 and 22, Reference Plan 61R-3816, are included in the designated area.
  • Block 11, Plan 751 – Only Part 10, Reference Plan 61R-3816, and Parts 1, 4 and 6, Reference Plan 61R-43111, are included in the designated area.

Property History

Probably Guelph’s most significant house architecturally and historically. One of the few surviving examples in Canada of the Tudor type of the Gothic Revival style.

Built 1854-56 for Rev. Arthur Palmer of St. George’s Anglican Church, later Archdeacon of Toronto. Design features are typical of Sir Charles Barry, leading British architect of the Victorian era. More likely designed by William Thomas, Toronto, or Frederick J. Rastrick, Hamilton, both prominent Canadian architects of the mid-19th Century and both acquaintances of Sir Charles Barry.

Owned by Archdeacon Palmer until 1875. Later, owned by Alexander B. Petrie, Senior, Druggist and manufacturer, and his family, for about 40 years; by Henry B, Higinbotham, retired international insurance executive, and his wife, between 1925 and 1954, and by Brigadier Kenneth Torrance, retired, until his death in October 1958. Since 1960, the house has served as a nursing home and rest home and as the family home for the operators, Ernest and Agnes Przekop.

Appearance of the original southwesterly façade is known as it is illustrated in bas-relief on the main fireplace mantel-place of “Sunnyside” (16 Arthur Street North). The house was expanded and altered circa 1875. H. Reginald Coales, Architect, was responsible for further enlargement and sensitive remodeling during the period 1925-1928.