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MacKinnon-Cann House

27 Willow Street, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, B5A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/01/07

The main facade of the MacKinnon-Cann House, Yarmouth, NS 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
Front Elevation
The back (east) side of the MacKinnon-Cann House, Yarmouth, NS, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
Rear Elevation
The north side of the MacKinnon-Cann House, Yarmouth, NS, 2006.; Heritage Division, NS Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006
North Perspective

Other Name(s)

MacKinnon-Cann House
MacKinnon-Cann House Historic Inn and Function Facility

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1888/01/01 to 1889/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The MacKinnon-Cann House was originally a double house built circa 1888 - 1889 in the Italianate style for Fannie and William MacKinnon. It abuts the Collins Heritage Conservation District near the main business district and the waterfront in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. The building and its residential lot are included in the municipal heritage designation.

Heritage Value

The MacKinnon-Cann House is valued for its historical associations with Fannie and William MacKinnon and their daughter, F. Jean MacKinnon, and with Chelsea D. Cann. It is also valued for its intact Italianate architecture.

Fannie and William MacKinnon had this double house built between 1888 and 1889 on a lot left to Fannie by her shipowner father, Zebina Goudey, who died in late 1887. Soon after completion of the house, the southern half was sold to Fannie’s brother, Hiram Goudey, who was then the Municipal Clerk and died in 1919. Mr. Goudey’s widow sold it the following year to Chelsea D. Cann, President of Fundy Fisheries, Ltd., and his wife, Hazel, in whose family remained in the southern half of the property until 1977.

After Fannie MacKinnon passed away, the northern half of the property was inherited by their son, Carl, and daughter, F. Jean MacKinnon. A few years later, Carl signed his share of the property over to his sister who owned it for the rest of her life. Jean MacKinnon never married, but taught music and piano here for many years, for which she is still remembered by many people in the Yarmouth area. William S. Cann, son of Chelsea and Hazel Cann, was the executor of Jean MacKinnon’s estate and bought the northern half of the property after her death in November, 1971, thus coming into ownership of the entire property.

The MacKinnon-Cann House is also valued as a fine example of Italianate architecture as applied to a double house. It is a large, wood framed, two storey structure with a low pitched hip roof and a crowning cupola. It has a symmetrical façade, a wide spindle-work trimmed front veranda and symmetrically placed cutaway bay windows. Two additions to the house have been made recently: an exterior stairway to the second storey on the south side and a wheelchair access ramp on the north side, necessary to its present use. It is also valued for its transformation from an abandoned and derelict residence to the MacKinnon-Cann Inn, which saved it from demolition.

Source: Municipal Heritage Property files: MacKinnon-Cann House; located at 400 Main Sreet, Yarmouth, NS.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the MacKinnon-Cann House include:

- location abutting the Collins Heritage Conservation District and close to the main business district and the waterfront;
- rectangular massing;
- usage as an inn and function facility;
- shallow setback from the street;
- small lot relative to the size of the building.

The character-defining elements of the Italianate style of the MacKinnon-Cann House include:

- wood framing and narrow clapboard cladding on three sides;
- shingle cladding on back;
- low pitched hip roof with centred cupola and inset chimneys;
- bracketed cornices;
- symmetrical four bay facade;
- centred, paired entrance doors in facade;
- two storey interrupted cutaway bay windows on facade;
- symmetrically placed one storey cutaway bay windows on north and south sides;
- spindle-work trimmed front veranda;
- double hung sash windows with 2-over-2 glazing pattern;
- 1-over-1 glazing pattern in bay windows;
- corner pilasters;
- moulding trimmed frieze- and base-boards;
- brick faced foundation.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Peopling the Land
Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Multiple Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Municipal Heritage Property files, Joint Heritage Office, 400 Main Street, Yarmouth, NS, B5A 1G2

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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