The Trounce House and The Gustin House
Rodwell Residence/Gustin Heritage Site
Trounce House and Gustin House
Lyell Gustin Piano Studios
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Trounce House and The Gustin House form a Municipal Heritage Property comprising one city lot in the Nutana district of Saskatoon. The property features two residences, The Trounce House, a one-storey wood-frame building located at the rear of the lot and The Gustin House, a one-and-a-half-storey wood-frame building located at the front of the lot. This designation excludes the basement, kitchen and upper storey of The Gustin House.
The heritage value of The Trounce House resides in its association with the early history of Saskatoon. In addition to being the oldest known building in the city, constructed in 1883, the house was the object of the first real estate transaction in what was then the Temperance Colony of Nutana. The house is strongly associated with the family of Harry and Bessie Trounce, who opened Saskatoon’s first permanent store here in 1885. Later, the house was returned to residential use. In 1920 the house was moved to its present location at the rear of the lot where it was used a garage. Heritage value also lies in The Trounce House’s pioneer vernacular architecture and the inception of wood-frame residential construction in Saskatoon. A wood-frame house of three rooms with a loft, it is believed to have been built from the first load of lumber barged downstream to the Temperance Colonization Society.
The heritage value of The Gustin House resides in its association with Lyell Gustin, pianist and music teacher, and his music studio. Between the 1920s and the 1980s, hundreds of students visited the residence to receive instruction in the specially-designed piano studios. This important musical setting was also a focal point for the development of the Saskatoon musical arts community with professional musicians, artists and visitors attending soirees and recitals there. Regular meetings of the Musical Art Club of Saskatoon founded by Gustin were also held there.
Heritage value of The Gustin house also lies in the unaltered 1920s style of the home and its unique layout. A specially designed piano studio is divided from the living room by a pair of sliding doors. Closing the doors creates separate living room and studio; opening them creates a performance space in which recitals were held. The proximity of the music studio, acoustical features such as pocket doors, and a central galley library with specially-designed shelving facilitated both performances and private instruction, while the enclosed front verandah accommodated summer classes. The house remains as it was at the time of Gustin’s death.
City of Saskatoon Bylaw No.7024.
The heritage value of The Trounce House and The Gustin House resides in the following character-defining elements:
-those elements of The Trounce House reflecting its pioneer vernacular style, including the lumber from which it is constructed, and its unique window and door frames;
-those elements of The Trounce House that reflect its association with the early history of Saskatoon, including its location within the bounds of the original Temperance Colony;
-those elements of The Gustin House reflecting its 1920s construction, layout and acoustical features relating to musical interests and activities held there, such as the enclosed front verandah, the sliding doors which divide the studio from the living room, the custom shelving, the hardwood flooring.
Local Governments (SK)
Heritage Property Act, s. 11(1)(a)
Municipal Heritage Property
1885/01/01 to 1889/12/31
1920/01/01 to 1988/12/31
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Saskatoon
Community Services Department
Development Services Branch
222 - 3rd Avenue North
SASKATOON SK S7K 0J5
Cross-Reference to Collection