4-6 King Street South
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Snyder-Hahn Building is located at 4-6 King Street South, on the southeast corner of King and Erb Streets, in Uptown Waterloo. This three-storey yellow-brick building was designed in the Victorian style and constructed in 1857 by Jacob Bricker.
The property was designated, for its historic and architectural value, by the City of Kitchener, under Part IV, of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 86-41.
The Snyder-Hahn Building represents the first and oldest pharmacy in the City of Waterloo. It operated continuously for over a century. The building first served as a pharmacy in 1863 when J.S. Hoffman was the proprietor. In 1868, Hoffman sold the business to two prominent citizens, Moses Springer, the first Reeve and Mayor of Waterloo, and Simon Snyder, who served as Mayor in 1895. Snyder purchased Springer's share in 1873, and in 1949 Melvin J. Hahn acquired the business for which he had worked since 1907.
In 1888, the idea of the Dominion Life Assurance Company was first discussed in the Snyder-Hahn Building. In the 1860s, the local town fathers used to gather around the stove in the pharmacy to talk over the affairs of the town. It was at one of these daily gatherings that Thomas Hilliard and “the hot-stove committee,” as they were called, hatched the idea for the new insurance company.
The Snyder-Hahn Building forms part of one of the most significant business blocks, the Commercial Block, remaining in Uptown Waterloo. The building is a handsome yellow-brick Victorian structure with a simple form. The exterior, though somewhat altered over time, still reflects the era of its construction in a pleasing and sympathetic manner. The window openings are original, as is the corbelled brick work beneath the cornice.
Sources: Waterloo Chronicle, “Memories Abound for Mel Hahn, 90-year old Waterloo pharmacist”, June 16, 1982, Page 5; “Designated Landmarks - City of Waterloo”, LACAC, 1995.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Snyder-Hahn Building include its:
- location in Uptown Waterloo
- location in the early commercial centre of the community
- citing among the most significant business block remaining in Uptown Waterloo
- entire front façade
- original window openings
- ornamental brickwork beneath the building's cornice
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1888/01/01 to 1888/01/01
1986/01/01 to 1986/01/01
1863/01/01 to 1863/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Waterloo
100 Regina Street South
Waterloo, ON N2J 4A8
Cross-Reference to Collection