58 Elgin Avenue East
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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Whitely House, located at 58 Elgin Avenue East, is on the south side of Elgin Avenue East, between Victoria Street and Stanley Street, in the Town of Goderich. The two storey clapboard residence was constructed circa 1855.
The property was designated by the Town of Goderich in 1978 for its architectural value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 7 of 1978).
The Whitely House is representative of one of the many properties in the Town of Goderich originally owned by the Canada Company. The Canada Company was a private British land development company based in Goderich whose primary responsibility was the settlement and population of Upper Canada, specifically the Huron Tract, a large part of which is now the County of Huron.
The property was sold by the Canada Company in 1856 to Joseph Whitely whose son James lived in the house. James was a prominent Goderich citizen and used a portion of the house for his successful surgery practice. The house reflects both the Canada Company's early influence on the town as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of early Goderich.
The Whitely House is a fine example of the Georgian style of architecture. Constructed circa 1855, the rectangular plan, two storey residence's heavy timber frame is sheathed in clapboard. Typical of the Georgian style, the residence displays symmetrical proportions, a gable roof and minimal detailing. The three bay façade features a front entrance with original sidelights and transom, flanked by double hung windows on the first storey. Most notable on the structure is the west elevation's bay window and the façade's veranda which were both additions circa 1880. The veranda features a delicately carved fret as well as decorative bargeboard, both of which are typical of houses from this period in Goderich.
Located on the fringe of downtown Goderich, the Whitely house is a successful conversion of a residence into a commercial structure. The structure blends into the neighbourhood scheme and forms an excellent buffer between the commercial area of downtown Goderich to the north and the residential district to the south and west.
Source: Town of Goderich, By-law 7 of 1978.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Whitely House include its:
- rectangular plan
- timber frame construction
- clapboard exterior
- gable roof
- symmetrical three bay façade
- double hung windows with peaked headings
- central entrance with original sidelights and transom
- chimneys on each gabled end including decorative brickwork tops
- veranda including fine fretwork and bargeboard
- bay window on the west elevation
- return eaves
- location on the edge of downtown Goderich
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1880/01/01 to 1880/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
- Peopling the Land
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of Goderich
57 West Street
Cross-Reference to Collection