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5516 North Street

5516 North Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/10/16

Front elevation, 5516 North Street, Halifax, NS, 2008.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2008
Front Elevation
Front elevation, 5516 North Street, Halifax, NS, 2008.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2008
Front Elevation
Side elevation, 5516 North Street, Halifax, NS, 2008.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2008
Side Elevation

Other Name(s)

5516 North Street
Butler-Distant House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1895/01/01 to 1895/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/10/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

5516 North Street is a two-storey wood structure in the Victorian Plain style. It is located in the North End of Halifax, Nova Scotia, near the busy intersection of North and Gottingen Streets. The house is situated in the block between Creighton and Gottingen Streets; most of the homes on this section have similar architectural features and there are several other heritage properties. The municipal designation extends to the building and the land it occupies.

Heritage Value

5516 North Street is valued for its association with Halifax architect Henry Frederick Busch; for its association its continuity of ownership and use by the Distant and Woodhams families; and for its Victorian Plain architecture.

The property on which this house is situated was part of a large parcel of land on the corner owned by prominent Halifax architect Henry Frederick Busch. It is probable that Busch’s firm designed this home, which was constructed in 1895. During his career, Busch designed numerous public buildings throughout Halifax, including Victoria Hall on Gottingen Street (1860), St. Andrews Church on Tobin Street (1871), the Halifax Academy building on Brunswick and Sackville Streets (1878), Victoria General Hospital (1883), and the bandstand in the Public Gardens (1887). He also designed several important buildings outside of Halifax, including the Normal School in Truro (1879), St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Rose Bay (1897), and Lunenburg Town Hall (1891-1893).

Busch sold the lot for 5516 North Street to Charles and Florence Butler in 1896, who sold it to Samuel and Mary Distant in 1906. It remained in the Distant family until 1941. In 1945, Charles and Beatrice Woodhams purchased the house and it remained in the Woodhams family for 57 years.

Architecturally, the house displays a mix of Victorian Plain, Classic Revival and Italianate features. Its Victorian Plain details include its simple box-form shape, low-pitched roof and minimal decoration. Its Classic Revival features include the detailing around the front entryway and the decorative trim on the cornerboards. Its Italianate features include bracketed cornices and a two-storey bay window. Its architectural style is reflected in many neighbouring houses on this portion of North Street.

Source: HRM Community Development, Heritage Property Program, the 5516 North Street heritage property file.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of 5516 North Street include:

- two-storey wooden structure with low-sloped roof and rear ell;
- proximity to street with no setback from front property line;
- asymmetrical two-bay façade framed by a bracketed/dentilled cornice, cornerboards, pilasters, and a moulded baseboard;
- wood shingle cladding on façade;
- tiered, three-faceted bay windows facing the street with dentilled cornices and simple window surrounds;
- stone and brick foundation with angular corner rolls under bay windows;
- raised first floor with broad wooden steps from street to entrance;
- capped front entryway with panelled door, transom windows and sidelights, fluted pilasters and mullions, moulded panels, and a dentilled cornice with matching corner twin brackets;
- brick chimneys.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer

Busch, Henry Frederick



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Property File located at the HRM Community Development Department (Heritage Property Program), PO Box 1749 Halifax, NS B3J 3A5.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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