The Button Factory
25 Regina Street South
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Button Factory is located at 25 Regina Street South, on the east side of the street, in Uptown Waterloo. The three-storey brick building was designed in the Victorian Industrial style and was constructed in 1886.
The property was designated, for its historic and architectural value by the City of Waterloo, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 82-62.
The Button Factory represents the industrial and manufacturing history of the City of Waterloo, and the rapid growth and expansion experienced by the City during the early 1890s.
The building was erected in 1886 by Richard Roschman, a German immigrant and button maker who, with his brother Rudolph, established the business, Roschman and Brother. For over half a century the button factory operated out of its Regina Street location, selling buttons all over Canada and at one time employing over 100 workers. Roschman and Brother closed in 1946 in response to changes in the industry. The Ontario Glove Manufacturing Co. Ltd. then purchased the site and remained there until 1957. Today, the space is used as a community arts centre, but stands as a testament to the entrepreneurial drive of the early citizens of Waterloo.
The Button Factory is one of the last remaining examples of a Victorian Industrial building, which were typical in the mid to late 19th century. The building, which has retained many of its original features, was designed in a utilitarian fashion, but is softened by a gabled roof with a corbelled line of bricks under the eaves and segmented arched windows. The Button Factory is an excellent example of how heritage buildings can be adapted and reused in a sensitive manner, as is demonstrated by its current occupant, the Waterloo Community Arts Centre.
Sources: City of Waterloo, Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee Report, August 31, 1982; Waterloo Chronicle article, 'Two additional Waterloo buildings dedicated as historical landmarks', Pat Arbuckle, August 25, 1982; The City of Waterloo By-law 82-62.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Button Factory include its:
- three-storey brick construction
- dentils under the cornice
- iron anchors
- segmented arched windows
- corbelled brickwork under the eaves
- metal tie rods running through the building below the second floor
- simple form
- size and massing on the site
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1957/01/01 to 1981/01/01
1886/01/01 to 1946/01/01
1982/01/01 to 1982/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Extraction and Production
Function - Category and Type
- Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club
- Textile or Leather Manufacturing Facility
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Waterloo
100 Regina Street South
Cross-Reference to Collection