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Kemptville Public Library

207, Prescott Street, Kemptville, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2001/05/28

Front view; RHI 2006
Kemptville Public Library
Front entrance and window detail; RHI 2006
Kemptville Public Library
Showing location and proximity to the street; RHI 2006
Kemptville Public Library

Other Name(s)

Kemptville Public Library
Kemptville Carnegie Library

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1911/01/01 to 1912/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/06/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in 1911-12, the Kemptville Public Library is a one storey rock-faced concrete block structure in the vernacular classic style, incorporating a temple-front portico, symmetrically placed in the centre of the front facade.

The property is recognized by the Township of North Grenville By-law 16-01, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Heritage Value

The first library in Kemptville was established around 1870 under the auspices of the Mechanics Institute. In 1895, the Province of Ontario enacted the Public Libraries Act, which allowed for the establishment of libraries and their Boards. Kemptville created a Public Library Board in 1900. In 1911, the Board received a grant from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation for the erection of a new building. As per the “Carnegie Formula,” the grant was conditional upon the Town Council providing a site for the building and passing a bylaw to annually provide ten percent of the value of the grant to fund the library.

Designed by A. Stuart Allister, the Library was built by the Palmer Lumber Co. in 1911-12 of even-coursed rock-faced concrete block from the Dominion Concrete Co. Its vernacular Classical style, including a temple-front portico, confirms the civic importance invested in the property. While the front entrance door and transom are modern replacements, the exterior remains largely unchanged: the pressed metal roof and the windows appear to be original, and the original eave and cornice details are concealed under modern aluminum fascia and soffit.

Located in the centre of the downtown core, since 1912, the property is an important part of the cultural, social, and educational life of Kemptville.

Sources: Municipality of North Grenville By-law 16-01; Municipality of North Grenville Heritage Files.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Kemptville Public Library include its:
- use as a public library and its integral part of town life
- rectangular plan and facades of even-coursed rock-faced concrete block
- plinth foundation that is delineated by a belt-course consisting of plain concrete block bevelled at the top
- engaged chimney located in the centre of the north facade, which extends through the eave and terminates at a flat cap-stone
- open style front porch with a straight run of stairs leading to the ground floor and Greek-classical style open guard-rail along both sides of the landing
- protruding front-porch gable supported by two stylized (Roman) Doric columns and the similar style engaged pilasters located at the junction of the porch roof with the front wall
- distinctive style windows and the transom above the front entrance door
- pressed metal clad hip roof




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

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer

A. Stuart Allister



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Municipality of North Grenville 285 County Road #44 Kemptville ON. K0G 1J0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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