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Shaw Building

1855-1859 Hollis Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/10/27

Shaw Building, south-west elevation, 2005; HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 2005
Front elevation
Shaw Building, window detail, 2005; HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 2005
Window Detail
No Image

Other Name(s)

George Brandys and Associates
Shaw Building
Subway Restaurant

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Shaw Building is a red brick building located at the corner of Hollis and Duke Street in Downtown Halifax, N.S. The building is located on a main street leading to the Halifax waterfront. Built in 1903, the building is designed in Early 20th-Century Classical style and wraps around Duke Street with a curved corner. The flat headed windows are surrounded by sets of engaged brick columns, and the building is topped with an elaborate cornice at its roofline. The designation applies to the building and the land it occupies.

Heritage Value

The Shaw Building is valued for its association with a number of sugar companies that once resided in Halifax. The site has been occupied by several different sugar companies including the Nova Scotia Sugar Refinery Office from 1887 to 1895, Acadia Sugar Refinery from 1896 to 1944, and Acadia Atlantic Sugar Refinery from 1944 to 1956.

It is also valued for its architect S.P. Dumaresq and the architectural design of the building. Dumaresq was part of a well-known family of architects in Halifax who have designed over a hundred buildings in the area. He designed a variety of buildings in the Halifax area including the well-known landmark, the Dingle Tower. The Shaw Building is a red brick building with a curved corner. It includes many Early 20th-Century Classical decorative elements such as an elaborate cornice along the flat roof and sets of engaged columns between the flat-headed windows. The building's curved corner feature compliments several buildings in Downtown Halifax, especially along Barrington Street in shape and design characteristics. The round corner windows are still intact and contain curved window panes.

Source: "Evaluation and Protection System for Heritage Resources in Halifax." Municipal Development Plan. City of Halifax, 1978. p III-92.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Shaw Building consist of Early Twentith Century Classical design features including:

- curved corner features, including curved glass window panes;
- first and second storey rows of flat-headed windows arranged in patterns on the west and south sides;
- elaborate details including the engaged brick Ionic columns, brick stringcourses and the elaborate copper cornice;
-the red brick building material, flat roof and fenestration.

The key character-defining elements of the Shaw Building's storefront include:

- side door for entry to upstairs apartments, the granite base and the framing with wooden and brick pilasters and the large display windows.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Food and Beverage Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer

Sydney Perry Dumaresq



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

HRM Planning and Development Services, Heritage Property Program, 6960 Mumford Road B3L 4P1.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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