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Fraser School House

62 John Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1988/02/29

Exterior photo; (James De Jonge, Architectural History Branch, 1987.)
Exterior photo
Exterior photo; (James De Jonge, Architectural History Branch, 1987.)
Exterior photo
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/05/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Fraser School House is located in New Edinburgh, an easterly neighbourhood of Ottawa. The small one-and-a-half storey building consists of two semi-detached residences with a gable roof with two dormer windows and gable-end chimneys. The walls are of rubble masonry, and the principal façade features centrally placed twin entrances with flanking windows. The construction date of 1837 is inscribed in the stonework above the front entrance. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Fraser School House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.

Historical Value:
The Fraser School House is associated with the founding and early development of New Edinburgh, a ward of early Ottawa, and with education and schooling during this early period. It is also one of the oldest surviving buildings in New Edinburgh. Between 1838 and 1843, it served as the first school in the village and also as a residence for James Fraser, the first teacher. Thomas McKay, the building’s first owner, was a prominent contractor and founder of New Edinburgh.

Architectural Value:
The Fraser School House is valued for its good aesthetics. It is a surviving example of vernacular working-class housing dating to the founding of New Edinburgh. Its good, functional double house design facilitated its early, dual role as combined school and residence. Very good craftsmanship and materials are evidenced in the masonry.

Environmental Value:
The Fraser School House is compatible with the character of the neighbourhood and is a familiar landmark to local inhabitants and pedestrians.

James de Jonge, Fraser School House, 62 John Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 87-076; Fraser School House, 62 John Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 87-076.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Fraser School House should be respected.

Its good aesthetic design, good functional design, and materials, for example:
-the low, one-and-a-half storey massing of the double residence with a gable roof;
-the rubble masonry exterior walls;
-the symmetrical principal façade with centrally-placed twin entrances and matching windows, and the symmetrically organized rear and side elevations;
-the two dormer windows, the gable-end chimneys, and the date ‘1837’ that is inscribed in the stonework above the front entrance;
-the double-hung sash windows with six lights over six lights on the principal façade, and dormer windows;
-the cedar shingle roof cladding.

The manner in which the Fraser School House is compatible with the park-like character of its streetscape setting in the New Edinburgh area of Ottawa, and is a landmark as evidenced by:
-its scale, design and materials that complement the historic and official residences and government buildings on its streetscape and in its park-like surroundings;
-its location opposite the French Embassy and the Prime Minister’s residence, which make it a familiar landmark to visitors, passing pedestrians, and local residents.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1838/01/01 to 1843/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling
Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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