481, Ridout Street, City of London, Ontario, N6A, Canada
Eldon House Interpretive Centre
481 Ridout Street North
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Eldon House is located at 481 Ridout Street North. This home is situated on the west side of Ridout Street and northwest of the termination of Fullarton Street. It is also on the southeast portion of Harris Park in the City of London. The property consists of a two-storey wood sided main house, constructed in 1834, as well as a coach house, a greenhouse and beautifully-landscaped grounds. The property also includes a one-storey wood clad interpretive centre built in 2003 that is not included in the designation.
The property was designated by the City of London in 1977 for its historic and/or architectural value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 2329-578).
The beautifully landscaped Eldon House located on the southeast portion of Harris Park, is strategically situated within the area of the Forks of the Thames and illustrative of a grand estate.
Considered to be the most important heritage property in London, the first owner of Eldon House, John Harris, was the Treasurer of London District and a leading political figure in the local Family Compact. After Harris' death, his wife Amelia Ryerse, who was from the same prominent Ontario family as the Reverend Egerton Ryerson, the province's first Minister of Education, continued to occupy the home. Other significant owners were George Becher Harris, an important London lawyer, followed by his daughter, Amelia Archange Harris, who was the final inhabitant of the home before it was donated to the City of London in 1961. The residents who lived in Eldon House contributed significantly to its history through their individual personal and public achievements. The interior of the house retains original furnishings and artefacts used by the Harris family.
The Eldon House property is comprised of four buildings – a main house, a coach house, a greenhouse and a recently constructed Interpretive Centre. The main house was constructed in 1834 with additions made in 1878 and a series of extensive renovations followed. The Regency style main house is representative of the wealth and prominence of its owners. Notable features of this style include the structure's overall symmetry, the enclosed verandah that spans the facade, the four brick chimneys and the bevelled wood cladding.
Sources: City of London, By-law L.S.P. – 2329-578;
Reasons for Designation, Heritage Property Manual, 1977.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value include the:
- bevelled wood siding construction
- verandah which spans the facade
- three shuttered windows on the second-storey of the facade
- enclosed brick chimneys, including the three over the main building block and the one above the north wing
- 6 over 6 window in garage gable end
- round windows in the garage
- greenhouse, coach house
- siting of the property on the southeast corner of Harris Park
- grandeur of the estate, emphasized by landscaping and landscape features which include an arbour and fencing
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1977/01/01 to 1977/01/01
1961/01/01 to 1961/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Historic or Interpretive Site
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of London
Planning and Development Department
300 Dufferin Avenue
Cross-Reference to Collection