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Walper Terrace Hotel

1, King Street West, City of Kitchener, Ontario, N2G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/03/14

View of the northwest corner of King and Queen Streets, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Northwest Corner of the Walper Terrace Hotel
West elevation of the hotel depicting its detailed fenestration, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
King Street Elevation of the Walper Terrace Hotel
Entrance to the main lobby of the Hotel from Queen Street, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Main Entrance of the Walper Terrace Hotel

Other Name(s)

Walper Terrace Hotel
Walper Hotel
1-11 King Street West

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/12/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Walper Terrace Hotel, located at 1-11 King Street West, is situated on the northwest corner of King and Queen Streets in downtown Kitchener. The five-storey brick building was designed with characteristics similar to the Beaux Arts style, by builder Abel Walper, and was constructed in 1893.

The property was designated, by the City of Kitchener, for its historic and architectural value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 83-55.

Heritage Value

Prominently located at the intersection of King and Queen Streets in downtown Kitchener, the Walper Terrace Hotel has been the cultural and social hub of Kitchener, for over 110 years. In that time, this building has been a host to generations of guests, famous and otherwise.

The Walper Terrace Hotel is significant for its cultural association with the community. For over 110 years, the Hotel has been the geographic, cultural and culinary hub of Kitchener. Before its construction in 1893, the land, upon which the Walper hotel now stands, was the site of one of the first commercial buildings in Kitchener. Historically, the site was home to many different inns and hotels, and in 1820 the Varnum Inn was constructed. In 1893, Abel Walper built his hotel on the site after a fire burned down the previous establishment. Over the years, the Walper Terrace Hotel has had the privilege of hosting many prominent individuals, including almost all of Canada's Prime Ministers, the Queen Mother, Pierre Burton, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

The Walper Terrace Hotel is an excellent example of turn of the century hotel architecture. In preparation for the construction of his own hotel, Walper travelled extensively and gathered inspiration for his design. The Walper Terrace was modelled on the finest 19th century hotels. The delicate brickwork in the arches above the windows and the elegant cornice work are architectural features of particular note.

Source: The Walper Hotel, Don Pullen; City of Kitchener By-law No. 83-55.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Walper Terrace Hotel include its:
- King and Queen Street elevations above the first floor, including the handsome window fenestration
- delicate brick work in the arches above the windows
- elegant cornice.
- prominent location at the intersection of King and Queen Streets in Downtown Kitchener




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
1896/01/01 to 1896/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer



Abel Walper

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener 200 King Street West P.O. Box 1118 Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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