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The Pumping Station

17, William Street, City of Waterloo, Ontario, N2J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/01/22

North facing façade, 2007.; Lindsay Bejamin, 2007.
Façade of the Pump House
Featured is the decorative brickwork and concrete keystones over the windows, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Detailed View of the Pump House Windows
No Image

Other Name(s)

The Pumping Station
17 and 23 William Street East

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/28

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Pumping Station is located at 17 and 23 William Street East on the southeast side of the street, between King and Herbert Streets, in Uptown Waterloo. This one-storey yellow-brick building was designed in the Victorian Industrial style and was constructed by the Waterloo Water Commission in 1899.

The building has been designated, for its historic and architectural value, by the City of Waterloo, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 90-17.

Heritage Value

The Pumping Station was built in 1899 after the Town of Waterloo took ownership of public utilities, by the establishment of its own waterworks plant. On May 21, 1889 Council approved By-law 99 which authorized “The Waterloo Water Works Company” to provide water to the Town of Waterloo. Berlin supplied water to Waterloo from 1889 to 1899, at which point the agreement expired. It was at this point that the town established its own Water Commission consisting of David Bean as Chairman, Aloyes Bauer, John Ritzer and Mayor Diebel. A debenture of $40,000 was approved for a complete water-works system to be located at the William Street East site. The Pumping Station began operation in 1899, with three artesian wells with a daily flow of 750,000 gallons, providing the city with water and fire protection.

The Pumping Station, designed in the Victorian Industrial style, is constructed of yellow-brick, laid in a common bond pattern with headers every seventh course. A projecting ornamental brick pattern exists along the roof line of the building. Decorative brickwork and a concrete keystone exist over each of the many windows. The architectural detail found on the structure is consistent with the design of utility buildings of the time.

Sources: Designation Recommendation, Scott Amos, City of Waterloo, Dec. 1988; “Designated Landmarks - City of Waterloo”, LACAC, 1995.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Pumping Station include its:
- overall massing of the Victorian Industrial design style
- yellow-brick, laid in a common bond pattern with headers every seventh course
- decorative brickwork and concrete keystones located above each window
- projecting ornamental brick pattern along the roofline




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1990/01/01 to 1990/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Technology and Engineering

Function - Category and Type



Water or Sewage Facility

Architect / Designer



Waterloo Water Commission

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Waterloo 100 Regina Street South Waterloo, ON, N2J 4A8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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