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Simpson Block

117, King, City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/02/25

Of note is the building's prominent location on one of Kitchener's main streets, King Street West.; Chelsey Tyers, 2008.
Facade, Simpson Block, 2008
Of note are the arched windows of the fourth and third storey.; Chelsey Tyers, 2008.
Third and Fourth Storey, Simpson Block, 2008
Of note is the headstone bearing the date 1895 set in elaborately carved stonework.; Chelsey Tyers, 2008.
Capstone, Simpson Block, 2008

Other Name(s)

Simpson Block
Schreiter Block
117 King Street West

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/12/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Simpson Block is located at 117 King Street West, on the south side of King Street West in the City of Kitchener. The four storey red brick commercial building was constructed in 1895.

The property was designated by the City of Kitchener in 1985 for its heritage value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 85-32).

Heritage Value

The Simpson Block reflects a time when Kitchener was known as the Furniture City of Canada. William Simpson built his furniture factory and retail store on King Street in 1895 in what was then called Berlin. Simpson became known as the father of the furniture industry and earned the nickname “Daddy” Simpson. Simpson was a firm believer in the importance of affordable, good quality products. The furniture he produced was described as “furniture to wear”. Simpson's legacy is not only apparent in the quality furniture that the company produced, but in the many skilled craftsmen that he employed. The building was later purchased by A.G. Schreiter, who had been the foreman of the Simpson factory for fourteen years. Schreiter and his two sons carried on Simpson's values, carrying by far the largest variety of furniture of any furniture store in the Region of Waterloo. Known as the “House of Quality” they continued to provide the surrounding area with affordable quality furniture.

The property reflects the common architectural style of turn of the century main street buildings. The factory and sales room built at 117 King Street West echoed Simpson's philosophy. It was built with quality in mind to handle wear and tear. It is four storeys with excellent brickwork. The fourth storey windows are arched, while the lower windows are larger, showier and square in design. The third storey windows have a more delicate arch. The capstone in the centre of the two supporting pillars of the facade bears the date 1895 set in elaborately carved stonework.

Source: City of Kitchener By-law 85-32.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Simpson Block include its:
- capstone bearing the date 1895 set in elaborately carved stonework
- four storey red brick exterior
- flat roof
- arched windows with decorative frieze
- square windows
- supporting pillars




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Furniture Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener Planning Department 6th Floor, Berlin Tower 200 King Street West P.O. Box 1118 Kitchener, ON N2G4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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