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Oil Springs Community Hall

4596, Oil Springs Line, Village of Oil Springs, Ontario, N0N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2007/09/11

A view of the Community Hall's facade; Photographs taken by Dana Johnson, May 31st, 2010
The Community Hall of Oil Springs
Three windows on facade feature images of oil heritage (jerker-line, oil wagon, three pole derrick); Photographs taken by Dana Johnson, May 31st, 2010
Community Hall facade windows
Original entrance, flanked by two fluted pilasters with a sign that reads, “Community Hall 1932".; Photographs taken by Dana Johnson, May 31st, 2010.
Community Hall main entrance.

Other Name(s)

Oil Springs Community Hall
Community Hall

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1932/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/12/16

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Community Hall was constructed in 1932 and is located in the Village of Oil Springs, Ontario, at 4596 Oil Springs Line. The two storey structure with interesting Art Deco features has served as a community hub for nearly eighty years.

The structure was designated by the Village of Oil Springs under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-Law 2007-462) for its heritage value.

Heritage Value

The Town Hall in Oil Springs was a wooden frame building built in the 1860s. When local resident Wesley Cape's store burned down on August 19th, 1931, the Town Hall was also destroyed. The new Community Hall was built on the same location as the former Town Hall. Howard Fraleigh, M.P.P., presented a letter of application to receive provincial aid under the “Community Halls Act” on October 12th, 1931, and received approval on October 23rd. The early 1930s were difficult economic times for Canada and the Village of Oil Springs. The construction of the Community Hall served as a work project for a large number of the men in the village. It was designed by architect J. T. Finlay of St. Thomas, and A. Fennel and Son of Newberry were the contractors.

The Community Hall has had a variety of uses. It has contained the Council Chambers, Post Office, Library, and Firehall. In 1983 a new Firehall was constructed in Oil Springs, and the space in the Community Hall was converted into a Clerk's Office. In 2001 the Council Chambers and Clerk's Office were both moved. The library was moved into the former Clerk's Office, an OPP office occupied the vacated library space, and a stage was installed in the upper room. The Post Office remained in its original location. Despite the fact that some institutions have moved in and out of the Community Hall, it remains an important landmark in the village of Oil Springs, and continues to serve many of its original purposes. The Community Hall has housed concerts, plays, dancers and dinners and often with noted entertainers.

The two storey structure is an excellent example of the Art Deco style. Exterior walls are constructed of red pressed brick. Continuous lintels head the structure's front windows and plain lintels head the side windows. The three windows on the structure's facade feature paintings by Karen Long that showcase the heritage of oil in Oil Springs. The main entrance is flanked by two moulded cement pilasters.

Source: Village of Oil Springs Municipal Office: “Designation Data Sheet” and By-law No. 462 of 2007.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Oil Springs Community Hall include its:
- location in the heart of the village of Oil Springs, on the site of the original town hall
- Art Deco style which reflects the architectural trend and the national circumstances of the 1930s
- exterior pressed red brickwork
- two chimneys
- bricked pilasters between the windows
- pilasters topped with art deco interpretation of Corinthian capitals
- windows with three small panes over three vertical panes
- three upper front windows and six windows on both sides
- cement sills
- long lintels on top of the front windows
- short lintels on top of the windows on the sides.
- three windows which showcase paintings by Karen Long
- original entrance, flanked by two fluted pilasters with a cement sign on top that reads “Community Hall 1932”
- tar and gravel flat roof

Recognition

Jurisdiction

Ontario

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date

2007/09/11

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1931/01/01 to 1931/01/01
1983/01/01 to 1983/01/01
2001/01/01 to 2001/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type

Current

Leisure
Library
Community
Social, Benevolent or Fraternal Club

Historic

Government
Fire Station
Government
Post Office
Government
Town or City Hall

Architect / Designer

J. T. Finlay

Builder

A. Fennel & Son

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Village of Oil Springs Municipal Office P.O.Box 22 4591 Oil Springs Line, Oil Springs, Ontario N0N 1P0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier

HPON11-0021

Status

Published

Related Places

n/a

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