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Dickson Public School

65, St. Andrew Street, City of Cambridge, Ontario, N1S, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/02/08

Featured is the symmetrical stone façade with hipped roof and bracketed wooden cornice.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Facade, Dickson Public School, 2007
Featured is the tower that sits atop Dickson Public School.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Tower, Dickson Public School, 2007
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Other Name(s)

Dickson Public School
65 St. Andrews Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1876/01/01 to 1877/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/09/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Dickson Public School, located at 65 St. Andrews Street, is situated on the east side of St. Andrews between Fraser Street and Glebe Street, west of the Grand River, in the former City of Galt, now the City of Cambridge. The property consists of a two-storey limestone building that was constructed between 1876 and 1877.

The property was designated, for its historic and architectural significance, by the City of Cambridge, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 17-83).

Heritage Value

Dickson Public School is situated at the top of a hill on St. Andrews Street, south of St. Andrews Park and the Pioneer Pergola. The school, park and pergola forms part of a pleasant historic area primarily occupied by two-storey single family homes of brick construction from the 19th century.

Dickson Public School was the first public school on the west side of Galt. It was established when the need for a primary school west of the Grand River became apparent to local citizens. William Dickson Jr., the son of Galt's founder, was persuaded to sell two lots for the sum of $850, and also allowed the school to bear his family's name.

Dickson Public School is an outstanding example of a 19th century stone school in Ontario with vernacular Scottish Georgian features. Designed by architect William Scott and built by William Webster, this building was constructed of locally-quarried cut limestone laid in neat courses, with stressed and margined corner quoins, which give both strength and character to the school's exterior.

The school possesses many Italianate features, including a hip roofline and a bracketed cornice surrounding the walls. The Scottish Georgian influence can be seen in the school's generally box-like structure and symmetry, as well as in the use of limestone. The double hung windows have a 6 over 6 glazing pattern. The words: “Dickson School” are inscribed in radiating stone voussoirs above the front porch.

Sources: City of Cambridge, By-law 17-83; City of Cambridge L.A.C.A.C., Heritage Designation Information; Heritage Cambridge, Dickson School, 1977.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Dickson Public School include the:
-“Dickson School” inscription above the front porch
- local limestone construction
- symmetrical construction
- neatly-coursed limestone
- corner quoining
- stone portico
- hipped roofline
- bracketed wooden cornice
- bell tower
- chimneys
- double hung windows with 6 over 6 glazing pattern on the façade
- location in the historic Galt area
- proximity to St. Andrews Park and the Pioneer Pergola
- location amongst brick homes built in the 19th century




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1983/01/01 to 1983/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type



Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer

William Scott


William Webster

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Cambridge Planning Services 73 Water Street North Cambridge, ON N1R 3B4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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