Homer Watson House and Gallery
1754, Old Mill Road, City of Kitchener, Ontario, N2P, Canada
Homer Watson House and Gallery
1754 Old Mill Road
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Homer Watson House and Gallery, located at 1756 Old Mill Road, is situated on the south side of the road between Mill Park Drive and Roos Street in Doon Village in the City of Kitchener. The two-storey brick building was designed in the early Scottish Gothic style and was constructed in 1834 by Adam Ferrie, a founding industrialist in the Village of Doon.
The property was designated for its heritage value by the City of Kitchener under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 80-197).
The Homer Watson House is associated with both Doon Village's founding resident, Adam Ferrie and Homer Watson, a local artist of national and international acclaim. The Homer Watson House was first built and owned by Adam Ferrie who established the community's mill and gave the village the name 'Doon'. Ownership passed to Homer Watson in 1883. Watson's artistic ability is reflected in the studio he built in 1893, using stone from a local building. He also constructed a gallery in 1906. He left evidence of his skill on interior pieces such as the frieze, which covers the walls of the studio and anteroom.
Homer Watson's paintings depicted local landscapes between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of his pieces were sold to Queen Victoria and others hang in the National Gallery of Canada. During the 1950s, the owners of the Homer Watson House began the Doon School of Fine Art where artistic notables such as Fred Varley from the Group of Seven attended.
The Homer Watson House is a fine example of early Scottish Gothic architecture. The steeply-sloping roofline, the fieldstone foundation and the compactness of the brick edifice attest to this style. The kitchen and dining room-cum-parlour occupy the basement level. This dominant living area was situated below ground level for insulation purposes. On the main level, the original doors, baseboards and panels are still intact. The original frieze surrounding the studio was painted by Homer Watson.
Sources: Feasibility Study of the Homer Watson House: Kyles, Kyles and Garratt Architects, May 1980; Ministry of Culture Document, July 22, 1980; City of Kitchener By-Law 80-197; City of Kitchener Easement Agreement, December 11, 1990.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Homer Watson House include the:
- steeply sloping roofline
- fieldstone foundation and brick edifice
- original doors, baseboards and panels on the main level
- the original frieze that surrounds the studio walls
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1906/01/01 to 1906/01/01
1893/01/01 to 1893/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kitchener
200 King Street West
PO Box 1118
Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
Cross-Reference to Collection