Description of Historic Place
The property at 252 Highway 8, known as the McKinlay-McGinty House, is situated in the village of West Flamborough, in the City of Hamilton. The two-and-a-half-storey brick building was designed in the Classical Revival style and constructed in ca. 1848.
The exterior, selected elements of the interior and the scenic character of the property are protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust conservation easement (1987). The property is also designated by the former Town of Flamborough (now part of the City of Hamilton) under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 80-119).
Located in the village of West Flamborough, west of the City of Hamilton, McKinlay-McGinty House is situated within the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area and its semi-rural setting contributes to its heritage value. The house is set back from the highway, surrounded by a number of mature trees with the old carriage house located at the rear of the property.
The McKinlay-McGinty House is significant for its association with William McKinlay, Hugh McGinty Jr. and the early economic prosperity of West Flamborough. William McKinlay (1807-1849) came to the village of West Flamborough in the early 1830s from the United States, acquiring the three-quarter acre lot upon which he would build the McKinlay-McGinty House in 1833. He established an iron and brass foundry in 1836 and his enterprise became the most important economic concern in the village, contributing greatly to its early prosperity. The McKinlay-McGinty House, constructed in 1848, is a reminder of the town's early growth and McKinlay's contributions to it.
The house was acquired by Hugh McGinty Sr. in 1922. Hugh Sr. died in 1932, leaving the house to his son Hugh Jr., a local historian and a collector and restorer of early Canadian furniture. McGinty remained in the house until his death in 1982, bequeathing the property, its contents and his estate to the Ontario Heritage Foundation (now Ontario Heritage Trust). It was acquired by the Trust in 1984, restored and sold as a private home with a protective covenant.
The McKinlay-McGinty House is a remarkable example of the Classical Revival architectural style. Two-and-a-half storeys high, built of red brick laid in Flemish bond on a limestone foundation, the McKinlay-McGinty House has a centre hall plan, is five bays wide and two bays deep, has four pairs of octagonal brick chimneys and is capped with a low hip roof. The projecting centre bay contains the front entrance and is set within an umbrage and screened by four Tuscan wooden columns. The main door is flanked by pilasters of ashlar limestone set on a plinth and surmounted by a limestone lintel carved to simulate a rusticated voussoir. The surface of each 'stone' in the voussoir is finished with a dressed margin and picked surface. The door frame is finished with broad fluted pilaster trim and is flanked by sidelights glazed in a lozenge pattern with a four light transom above. The panels below the sidelights and of the umbrage soffit are decorated with bead and reel moulding. The door contains a single rectangular panel. Above the entrance there is a Palladian-inspired window, set within an elliptical arch, with a central semi-circular headed window with gothic glazing bars, flanked by a pair of lancet windows showing the growing influence of the Picturesque and early Gothic Revival movement. Above this window is a recessed yellow brick lozenge pattern detail below a low gable with return eaves. The front windows are detailed with shutters and rusticated voussoirs.
The centre-hall plan has original elements including Greek Revival mantels in the parlour and ballroom, plank flooring, baseboards and six paneled doors with pilaster and architrave trim. Ornamental plaster work survives in three rooms. In the hall there is a ribbed plaster cornice, and small acanthus leaf ceiling medallion, in the parlour a larger acanthus leaf medallion and an elaborate three banded cornice. The second floor ballroom also has a ribbed plaster cornice. The hall has a black and white painted floor in a lozenge pattern. The stairs have cherry wood railings with white spindles.
Although the McKinlay-McGinty House has never had an archaeological assessment, animal bones, pottery shards, bottle fragments and pieces of clay pipe recovered indicate a high archaeological potential on site.
Source: OHT Easement Files.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the McKinlay-McGinty House include its:
- Classical Revival style
- red brick laid in Flemish bond
- limestone foundation
- low hip roof
- slightly projecting centre bay
- front door set within a shallow umbrage
- sidelights and transom in the front entrance
- four wooden columns with Tuscan bases and capitals
- limestone ashlar pilasters flanking the front entrance
- limestone lintel carved to simulate a heavily rusticated double voussoir
- dressed margin and picked surface of each 'stone' in the voussoir
- sidelights glazed in a lozenge pattern
- wood panels below the sidelights and paneled soffits of the umbrage decorated with bead and reel moulding
- single rectangular panel with simple chamfered detailing on the door
- Palladian-inspired window with a central semi-circular headed window with gothic glazing bars, flanked by a pair of narrow lancet windows
- recessed yellow brick lozenge pattern detail below a low gable
- classically inspired return eaves of the centre gable
- plain limestone lintels of the side and rear windows
- wooden window shutters
- stylized voussoirs of the front façade windows
- four pairs of octagonal brick chimneys
- centre hall plan
- staircase with cherry wood railing and white spindles
- six-panel doors with plain mouldings
- Greek Revival mantels in the ballroom and parlour
- ribbed plaster cornice, paneled plaster ceiling with a small plaster acanthus leaf ceiling medallion in the hall
- large plaster acanthus leaf medallion and elaborate cornice composed of three bands of cast decoration in Parlour
- second floor ballroom with a ribbed plaster cornice
- painted floor rendered in a lozenge patterned of black and white
- high baseboards
- wooden door and window frames
- wide plank flooring
- grounds surrounding the house as areas of high archaeological potential
- semi-rural location in the Village of West Flamborough, within the Niagara Escarpment Plan Area
- mature trees surrounding the house
- relationship to the carriage house at the rear of the property