117, King, City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
117 King Street West
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
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).
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 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
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
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
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kitchener
6th Floor, Berlin Tower
200 King Street West
P.O. Box 1118
Cross-Reference to Collection