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Toll House

4, Argyle Street N., Haldimand County, Ontario, N3W, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/03/28

Front of the Toll House; County of Haldimand, 2007.
The Toll House
Front of the Toll House; County of Haldimand, 2007.
The Toll House
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1874/01/01 to 1875/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Toll House is a two-storey, gable roofed, Gothic Victorian structure on the east side of the Grand River, at 4 Argyle Street, in Caledonia. It is one of the first buildings visitors see when crossing the bridge over the Grand River to the downtown core. Its purpose was to provide a home for the toll keeper and although that use was short-lived, the house remains an important part of Caledonia's historical fabric.

Haldimand County designated the building for its historical value through By-law 655/88.

Heritage Value

The Plank Road from Hamilton to Port Dover was started in 1839 and completed in 1843. The bridge across the Grand River in Caledonia was built in 1843. The Hamilton and Port Dover Road Co. maintained it as a toll bridge. Toll for same day return for one wagon and two horses was two-pence, and the toll for pedestrians, was one penny. In 1874, the rights to the bridge were vested in Haldimand County, which allocated $22,500 for a new bridge. In 1875, the Toll House was built as a residence for the toll keeper on the east side of the river. The County ceased collecting tolls in ca. 1890 but the house remained.

The Toll House is a good example of the Gothic Victorian architecture of the period. It is a two-storey red brick house with buff brick detailing at the base and brick quoining forming a frame around the two side bays. The house has a hip roof with a central front gable containing a semi-circular headed sash window. The symmetrical three bay front facade features two unique triangular bay windows on the ground floor which flank the central entranceway. The window sashes on the ground floor are one over one with the upper sash featuring a semi-circular head and the sills are decorated with wood brackets beneath. This semi-circular head is also featured on the entranceway. The arched brick above the windows and door all feature decorative terra cotta keystones. A small rectangular window is tucked between the eaves and the roof of each of the bay windows below. The eaves of the roof and the bay windows are decorated with wood brackets beneath the soffit. A notable feature is the four matched decorative brick chimneys, one at each corner of the house. The foundation of the house follows the slope of the grade along the street front.

Source: Haldimand County By-law 655/88.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Toll House include its:
- red brick construction with buff brick details
- unique triangular bay windows
- sashes with semi-circular heads
- decorative wood brackets at the roof line, bay window roof line and beneath the window sills
- the entranceway




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Customs Building

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Haldimand County

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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