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Codner House and Shed

Torbay, Newfoundland and Labrador, A1K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/11/07

Exterior photo, Codner House, 043 Lower Street, Torbay, NL, taken 2005/11/19.; Lara Maynard/HFNL, 2005.
Codner House, 043 Lower Street, Torbay, NL.
Codner House neighbourhood, Lower Street area.  Image cropped from picture postcard of Torbay, Newfoundland, circa 1920.; From the collection of Torbay Museum, Torbay, NL.
Photo of Codner House neighbourhood circa 1920.
Exterior view from left side of property, showing Codner House with shed behind, 043 Lower Street, Torbay, NL, taken 2005/11/19.; Lara Maynard/HFNL, 2005.
Codner House, 043 Lower Street, Torbay, NL.

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/01/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Codner House at 043 Lower Street, Torbay is a painted, wooden, two storey, single-family dwelling built circa 1893. It has a symmetrical front facade, a concave mansard roof with dormers, a single storey porch extension at the right rear, and a shed behind. The buildings stand on a hill, oriented towards Lower Street, near Torbay Beach, at the traditional centre of the community. The designation includes the footprints of the house and the shed.

Heritage Value

Codner House has architectural, historic and cultural landscape values. The house is one of the oldest buildings in the Town of Torbay, where relatively few buildings of significant age remain. It is a rare instance of Second Empire style architecture, which became popular in Newfoundland in the 1890s, in Torbay. This architectural style is also known within the province as Southcott style, referring to the Southcott building firm once based in St. John’s. After the Great Fire of 1892 destroyed much of St. John’s, a number of new buildings in the city were erected in this style, which then also spread to other areas of the colony.

Codner House retains the mansard roof, dormers, and symmetrical front facade characteristic of Second Empire style. It is the only known example of its type in Torbay which also retains wooden sheathing, corner boards and trims. The house also has a visible foundation consisting of a mixture of stone and cement.

The shed behind the house is believed to be less old than the house, though historic photos suggest that it is also of relatively considerable age. It contributes to the overall heritage value of the property as an example of a vernacular, domestic outbuilding.

Codner House has cultural landscape value because of its location amongst the coastal hills quintessential to Torbay’s landscape, within a traditional centre of the community. This was historically one of the most densely settled areas of the community, at one of its busiest oceanfront areas during the heyday of the local fishery. Consequently, the Codner House property is also sited along one of the oldest streets in the community. The front of the property overlooks the old St. Nicholas Anglican Church cemetery across the street, and across to the south side hills of Torbay.

Source: Town of Torbay Council Meeting 2005/11/07.

Character-Defining Elements

All those exterior elements that are indicative of the age, domestic function and architectural style of the dwelling:

-size, height, number of storeys;
-mansard style concave roof with dormers, roof lines;
-projection of dormers and eaves;
-size and symmetrical placement of door and windows, including dormer windows, in the front facade;
-wooden, narrow, painted horizontal siding and vertical corner boards;
-painted, wooden eaves, window trims and doors trims;
-location and material of brick chimney.

The exterior elements of the only outbuilding on the property, including:

-the general dimensions of shed: small, single-storey;
-and the painted, wooden sheathing.

Cultural landscape elements:

-location and orientation of the house and shed;
-visibility of the house from Lower Street.



Newfoundland and Labrador

Recognition Authority

NL Municipality

Recognition Statute

Municipalities Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Building, Structure or Land

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Torbay 1288 Torbay Rd PO Box 1160 Torbay, NL A1K 1K4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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