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Notice of Intention to Designate: 919 York Road


Description of the property


The subject property is described as being Parts 2, 3 and 4 of Reference Plan 61R-10837 dated April 30, 2018 and historically as Part of Lots 4 and 5, Concession 2, Division C in the city of Guelph. The subject real property contains municipal addresses 895 and 919 York Road.

Statement of cultural heritage value or interest


The property known as 919 York Road contains vestiges of two significant aspects of the historical development of the city of Guelph: 19th century farmsteads linked to post-contact settlement in former rural farming areas within the city of Guelph and subsequently the development of the Ontario Reformatory lands. Along the southwest side of the property are three built heritage resources that are listed (as non-designated) on the Municipal Register of Cultural Heritage Properties: the stone gate at York Road; the Matthews farmhouse and a detached, stone shed. These three built heritage resources have heritage attributes that meet all three criteria used to determine cultural heritage value or interest as set out in Ontario Regulation 9/06 under the Ontario Heritage Act and, therefore, the property merits individual heritage designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.


The west side of the stone gate is located within 785 York Road and a portion of the east side of the stone gate is within the west corner of the subject property. As the majority of the stone gate is protected in the designation bylaw for 785 York Road it is recommended that the balance of the gate is protected through the designation of 919 York Road.


The stone gate at 919 York Road has design value or physical value because it is a unique example of a stone gate built for the Ontario Reformatory about 1914; it is a representative example of materials and construction methods taught to prison workers through the Ontario Reformatory work program; it displays a high degree of craftsmanship.


The stone gate at 919 York Road has historical value or associative value because it has direct associations with the theme of the Ontario Reformatory as an institution that is significant to the city of Guelph community.


The stone gate at 919 York Road has contextual value because it is important in defining, maintaining and supporting the character of the former Ontario Reformatory lands; it is visually and historically linked to the adjacent and protected Ontario Reformatory cultural heritage landscape at 785 York Road; and it is a landmark indicating a former north east entrance and road connection to the Ontario Reformatory.


The Matthews farmhouse at 919 York Road, built in 1860 by Robert and Stephen Matthews (farmers and stone masons), has design value or physical value because it is an early and representative example of mid-19th century rural farmhouse construction using heavy timber log and fieldstone (limestone and granite) construction methods.


The Matthews farmhouse at 919 York Road has historical value or associative value because it has direct associations with the theme of 19th century farmsteads linked to post-contact settlement in former rural farming areas within the city of Guelph and direct associations with the Ontario Reformatory, an institution that is significant to the city of Guelph community. After being purchased by the Province of Ontario in 1910, the farmhouse was used as a residence for Reformatory staff whose duties included watching for escapees or “go boys”.


The Matthews farmhouse at 919 York Road has contextual value because it is important in defining, maintaining and supporting the character of the former Ontario Reformatory lands; it is visually and historically linked to the adjacent Ontario Reformatory cultural heritage landscape at 785 York Road.


The stone shed behind the Matthews farmhouse has design value or physical value because it is a representative example of mid-19th century rural farm building construction using fieldstone (limestone and granite) construction.


The stone shed behind the Matthews farmhouse has historical value or associative value because it has direct associations with the theme of 19th century farmsteads linked to post-contact settlement in former rural farming areas within the city of Guelph.


The stone shed behind the Matthews farmhouse has contextual value because it is functionally, visually and historically linked to the Matthews farmhouse and to the adjacent Ontario Reformatory cultural heritage landscape at 785 York Road.

Description of heritage attributes


The following are to be considered as heritage attributes to be protected by a heritage designation bylaw for 919 York Road:

Stone gate


The portion of the curved, stone wing wall within the subject property including the upright “battlement” or “soldier” stones along the top

The portion of the driveway (within the subject property) from the gate to the east side of the farmhouse and shed

Matthews farmhouse

1.5-storey, hip roof building form with raised basement

Red brick chimney at peak of hip roof

Small gable roof dormers on each of the four roof slopes

Exterior stone walls, including the stone basement walls

All original door and window openings including stone sills

Low, curved wall of dry (fieldstone) construction to the west of the farmhouse

Stone shed

One-storey, front gable building form

Stone chimney rising from the southwest gable wall

Exterior stone walls

All original door and window openings

It is intended that non-original features may be returned to documented earlier designs or to their documented original without requiring Council to amend the designation bylaw.


A more detailed description of the property’s cultural heritage value may be found in the staff report dated December 13, 2021 and at guelph.ca/heritage.


Notice of objection

Any person may send a notice of objection to this proposed designation, before 4 p.m. on January 24, 2022. This notice must be sent by registered mail or delivered to the Clerk of the City of Guelph, and must set out the reason for the objection and all relevant facts. If a notice of objection is received, the Council of the City of Guelph shall consider the objection and make a decision whether or not to withdraw the notice of intention to designate the property within 90 days after the end of the 30-day objection period. If Council decides not to withdraw its intention to designate, a heritage designation bylaw must be passed within 120 days after the date of publication of the notice of intention to designate. Council must publish a notice of passing of the designation bylaw which is followed by a 30-day appeal period when appeals of the bylaw may be given to the Ontario Land Tribunal for a hearing and decision.

Stephen O’Brien

City Clerk

City of Guelph, 1 Carden Street, Guelph ON  N1H 3A1

For more information

Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner

Planning Services

519-822-1260 x 2496

stephen.robinson@guelph.ca

Notice date: December 23, 2021                  For more information, click HERE


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