University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Massey Hall, Guelph
Links and documents
1901/01/01 to 1903/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Massey Hall is located at 50 Stone Road East, just north of Gordon Street, fronting the Campus Green, on the University of Guelph campus, in the City of Guelph. This three-storey pressed red-brick building was designed by architect G.M. Miller. It was constructed between 1901 and 1903.
The property was designated, by the City of Guelph, for its historic and architectural value, under Part IV, of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law (1990)-13497.
Massey Hall was constructed to house a library, with stacks for 75,000 volumes, reading and meeting rooms, as well as offices. The money for the building was a gift from the trustees of Hart A. Massey's Estate, W.E. Massey, Chester Daniel Massey and Lillian Massey-Treble. The gift was inspired by a chance meeting between the Ontario Agricultural College (now the University of Guelph) President, James Mills and W.E. Massey on a Toronto street car. W.E. Massey's father, Hart A. Massey, who established an Agricultural Foundry in 1847, upon his death had willed some of his money for an undetermined worthy cause. James Mills sent W.E. Massey a list of potential projects which could be constructed with his family's donation, and it was from this list that the Hall and Library were chosen. W.E. Massey laid the cornerstone of the building on August 14, 1901. The Massey family's donation was the first donation from a private source to the Province of Ontario for the purpose of furthering higher education.
Massey Hall was designed by architect G.M. Miller of Toronto, and constructed by the Shultz Brothers of Brantford. Construction began in 1901 and the building was opened in 1903. The walls are pressed red-brick with trim and foundation constructed of Credit Valley brownstone. Massey Hall is a unique combination of architectural styles. Typical of the Queen Anne Style, many windows feature stained glass, and one such window displays the original crest of the Ontario Agricultural College. The central turret and northern portion of the façade are octagonal in shape, which evokes the Octagon style, while the arched ornamental false front, on the south elevation is reminiscent of the Mission or Spanish Revival style.
Sources: City of Guelph By-law (1990)-13497; Massey Hall, University Walking Tour; Statement of Reasons For Designation, LACAC, 1990.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Massey Hall include its:
- brownstone accents
- octagonal shape of the northern portion
- red-brick construction
- central turret
- false front of the south elevation
- windows including stained glass windows and the window depicting the
original crest of the Ontario Agricultural College
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1990/01/01 to 1990/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Post-Secondary Institution
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Guelph
Community Design and Development
1 Carden Street
Cross-Reference to Collection