Woolwich Street – 221

By-law: (1992)-14065

Legal Description: Part Lot 21, Pt Lot 22, Lot 19, Plan 35

Designated Portions

The designation includes:

  • all exterior stone walls of the building
  • all door and window locations;
  • all window frames and sashes and all glass;
  • the wood window shutters on the Woolwich Street façade of the building and the westerly and easterly sides of the building
  • all carved stone ornamentation on the building
  • the side lights and transom at the main Woolwich Street façade entrance to the building;
  • all fascias; soffits, wood soffit brackets and the cornice under the roof gable;
  • the two projecting bay windows on the Woolwich Street façade and westerly side of the building including all wood ornamentation and brackets;
  • the two storey front porch;
  • the westerly stone paired chimney stack and its location;
  • the roof and roof lines over the entire building, with the exception of the sloped roof, dormer and window over the larger of the rear one storey sections of the building.

Property History

This two-storey limestone building is one of a group of four distinctive Woolwich Street houses designed and built by local architect, John Hall, between the years 1872 and 1877. The building was originally constructed as a one storey stone cottage dating from the 1840 period, which Hall remodeled into a fashionable Italianate residence in 1877 for owner Dr. James H. McGregor. Hall, who began his career as a carpenter/builder, established a strong reputation as an architect through the design of this residence, which led to commissions for a number of major public buildings in the City during the early 1880’s.

The building is a fine example of the Italianate architectural style of the period and features bold arched window lintels, wide projecting roof eaves with cornice brackets and two projecting bay windows with wood ornamentation on the first floor. The front door is accented by an arched pediment of finely carved stone and features a curved transom with side lights. The building remains in very good condition and forms part of a fine grouping of significant buildings along this block.

The building has served as the residence and offices of a number of prominent Guelph physicians, including Dr. James H. McGregor and family from 1868 to 1883 and Dr. Richard Orton from 1883 to 1892. Dr. Henry Howitt, an internationally known surgeon and pioneer of many important developments in surgical technique, resided in the house from 1892 until 1918, when the property was sold to his son, Dr. Henry O. Howitt, Medical Officer of Health for the City between the years 1910 and 1920 and a noted City physician and surgeon. The house was sold in 1957 to Dr. Howitt’s daughter, Amy Grace Dunbar and her husband Angus Dunbar, Q.C., who practiced law in Guelph for sixty-six years. The building was owned by members of the Howitt family for over 100 years.

The designation includes the entire exterior stone walls of the building, all door and window locations and all window frames and sashes including all glass, the wood window shutters on the front, westerly and easterly sides of the building, all carved stone ornamentation, the side lights and transom at the main entrance, all fascias, soffits and all wood soffit brackets and cornice under the roof gable, the two projecting bay windows located on the front façade and westerly side of the building, including all wood ornamentation and brackets, and the two storey front porch. The existing roof and roof lines over the entire building, including the existing westerly paired chimney stack, are also designated, with the exception of the sloped roof, dormer and window over the larger of the rear one storey sections of the building.