122, Frederick Street, Kitchener, City of, Ontario, N2H, Canada
122 Frederick Street
Links and documents
1938/01/01 to 1939/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Registry Theatre is located at 122 Frederick Street, north of the intersection of Frederick and Weber Streets, in downtown Kitchener. The single-storey brick building was designed in the Art Deco style by architect Ray M. Hall and was constructed between 1938 and 1939.
The property was designated, by the City of Kitchener, for its historic and architectural significance, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 91-115.
Located north of the corner of Weber and Frederick Streets, the Registry Theatre is surrounded by many buildings of historic and architectural significance. To the southwest is the County Court House (circa 1960). The Waterloo Regional Police Department is located to the north (1950) and to the immediate west is the Italian Villa-style Governor's House (circa 1878) and the Georgian style Gaol (circa 1852). Its location within this historical neighbourhood contributes greatly to its contextual value.
The Registry Theatre building is significant for its association with Dunker Construction, a once well known and respected local building company in the City of Kitchener. The firm was in operation from 1887-1974. Some of their better known projects include: renovations and additions to Courtland Avenue School (1928); the tower addition to the Waterloo Post Office (1957); and alterations to the Waterloo County Gaol (1931).
The Registry Theatre is one of the few remaining Art Deco buildings in Kitchener. The structure exemplifies many characteristics of the Art Deco style. For example, the geometric, stylized and multi-coloured motifs of the terrazzo floor are evocative of primitive art and ornament. In addition, zigzag surface forms and ornamental patterns are located on the exterior of the building, specifically in the limestone architrave framing the front entrance. The use of materials such as marble on the walls and steps, and nickel plated heating grates and handrails in the entrance foyer are also important architectural aspects of the Registry Theatre.
Sources: City of Kitchener By-law No. 91-115; The History of the Waterloo County Registry Building, Leon R. Bensason, May 2005; Historic Buildings Report, November 1990.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Registry Theatre include its:
- roofline and limestone parapet
- window openings
- limestone spandrels, lintels, sills, and metal muntins
- main entrance including the limestone steps
- light standards, double leaf bronze and glass doors
- shaped and decorated lintel
- limestone architrave
- mosaic with the County of Waterloo, City of Kitchener, and City of Galt crests and seals
- interior lobby walls of grey and green marble
- high plaster ceilings accentuated with geometric designs
- two original hanging light fixtures
- terrazzo floor
- grey marble steps
- nickel plated heating grates and handrails
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Security and Law
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
- Courthouse and/or Registry Office
Architect / Designer
Ray M. Hall
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kitchener
200 King Street West
P.O. Box 1118
Cross-Reference to Collection