Public Utilities Commission Building
191-197 King Street West
Links and documents
1931/01/01 to 1932/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Public Utilities Commission Building is located at 191-197 King Street West, on the northwest corner of King and Gaukel Streets, directly across from City Hall, in the City of Kitchener. Built in 1931, the three-storey Art Deco building was constructed with cut granite and sandstone, in the same style as the former City Hall.
The property was designated, for its architectural and historic value, by the City of Kitchener, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 84-16.
The Public Utilities Commission Building is significant for its association with the founding of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, now known as Hydro One. On October 11th, 1910 a switching on ceremony led by Adam Beck, Chairman of the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario, made the City of Kitchener the first municipality to receive power from the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. Locals E. W. B. Snider and D. B. Detwiler were instrumental in these events. These three men are commemorated with a plaque, on the Gaukel Street side of the building. The building represents Kitchener's important role in the establishment of Ontario's public utilities.
The Public Utilities Commission Building is one of the few remaining public buildings from the City of Kitchener's early days. It was constructed with cut granite and sandstone in the style of Old City Hall. The exterior features two large arched entranceways, brass front doors, unique light fixtures over the front doorways, detailing and ornamental stone work, and intricately carved stone medallions with a floral motif.
Sources: Architectural Advisory Committee, Proposal to Designate PUC Building, 1984; City of Kitchener By-law 84-16.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Public Utilities Commission Building include its:
- richly carved brackets
- two arched entranceways
- brass front doors
- light fixtures and crafted metal work above the front doors
- detailing and ornamental stonework
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1984/01/01 to 1984/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Governing Canada
- Government and Institutions
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
- Office or office building
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Kitchener
200 King Street West
P.O. Box 1118
Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7
Cross-Reference to Collection