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Stratford City Hall National Historic Site of Canada

1 Market Square, Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1976/11/06

General view of Stratford City Hall, showing its siting on an irregular, triangular-shaped site, and its central location, 2011.; Stratford City Hall, Perry Quan, 2011.
General view
Detail view of Stratford City Hall, showing its features typical of late 19th-century town halls, including the prominent clock tower, 2010.; Stratford City Hall, Tom Flemming, 2010
Detail view
General view of Stratford City Hall, showing its use of a variety of materials, colours, shapes and textures, in keeping with the stylistic eclecticism, 2011.; Stratford City Hall, Corey Seeman, 2011.
General view

Other Name(s)

Stratford City Hall National Historic Site of Canada
Stratford City Hall
Hôtel de ville de Stratford

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1898/01/01 to 1899/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/06/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Stratford City Hall National Historic Site of Canada is prominently located on a triangular-shaped civic ‘square’ that forms the centre of the business district in Stratford, Ontario. Built at the end of the 19th century, it is a monumental town hall constructed of red brick with a prominent clock tower. Its Picturesque design incorporates an eclectic blend of late-Victorian features. The formal recognition consists of the building on its legal property.

Heritage Value

Stratford City Hall was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1976 because:
- it is significant as a late 19th-century Picturesque civic building.

Stratford City Hall reflects the development of town halls during the late-19th century, as the administrative functions of municipal government increased and cities sought to express their civic pride and ambition in impressive, large-scale buildings. Its Picturesque design, incorporating details from a variety of styles, reflects the architectural eclecticism of the late 1890s. Designed by Toronto architect George W. King, with the assistance of local architect J.W. Siddall, the building was intended to exploit its irregular site, presenting interesting façades from all angles. Its monumental scale, prominent tower and use of red brick distinguish it as a civic building.

Source: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1976, July 1998.

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements which relate to the heritage value of Stratford City Hall include:
- its siting on an irregular, triangular-shaped site, and its central location;
- its monumental scale;
- its plan, intended to exploit its irregular, triangular-shaped site;
- features typical of late 19th-century town halls, including the prominent clock tower;
- its late-Victorian eclecticism, evident in the use of features derived from a variety of different styles, including Classical Revival features such as the columns and moulded cornice at the main entrance, Richardsonian Romanesque features including the rounded arch of the main entrance, conical roof structures, and the smaller gables, Dutch Baroque features, including the gable over the main entrance, and Palladian features such as the window on the rear façade;
- the concentration of exterior detailing at the entrance, the roof and the tower;
- the gables along the eave line;
- the use of a variety of materials, colours, shapes and textures, in keeping with the stylistic eclecticism, including red brick walls, rough-dressed limestone foundation, courses of brown sandstone, oak doors, polished marble columns, moulded stone cornices, terra cotta caps and curved decoration, a slate roof and a range of painted wood features;
- the decorative treatment of all elevations of the building;
- its use of red-brick, connecting it visually with the nearby Worth Block, and distinguishing it from commercial structures which use the ‘white’ brick common in the region;
- viewscapes of the building, including its clock tower.

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Federal

Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites and Monuments Act

Recognition Type

National Historic Site of Canada

Recognition Date

1976/11/06

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

n/a

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Current

Historic

Government
Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer

George W. King

Builder

n/a

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

522

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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