Shaw's of Perth
1, Gore Street East, Perth, Ontario, K7H, Canada
Shaw's of Perth
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Shaw's of Perth is an L-shaped, two-and-one-half-storey building that has been continually operating from this original location since 1840. Situated on the corner of two main streets, Gore and Foster, Shaw's is an integral part of the streetscape and a large contributor to the economic and social development of the town of Perth.
Shaw's of Perth has been recognized for its heritage value by the Town of Perth By-law #2520, 1984.
Shaw's of Perth opened in 1840 as a store, saddle shop and printing office and is one of the oldest Canadian businesses still operating out of its original store front.
The Honourable Roderick Matheson built both his private home (now the Perth Museum) and the store. Originally a saddle and harness shop the store later also served as the print office for The Perth Expositor (forerunner of The Perth Courier). When Henry D. Shaw of Smiths Falls, married a daughter of Matheson, in 1859, he opened a clothing store on the site. It was run by the family until the 1970's.
This two-and-half-storey L-shaped commercial building is constructed of coursed squared local rubble sandstone and common bond yellow brick. Its high gable roof with a plain frieze at the eaves has three chimneys. A cut-stone covered carriage way connects the main building to the original coach house and stable which is entered along Foster Street. Two windows on the south gable end are square-headed with radiating brick voussoirs and stone lugsills. These small windows are set in lead.
The store originally fronted on Foster Street, which was the main street in Perth in the mid-1800s. When Gore Street became more prominent as a main thoroughfare the owners covered up the openings along Foster Street and used Gore Street to enter their establishment. The original lettering stencilled directly on the Foster Street facade, “The Store with a Smile – Shaw's – Perfect Service,” is still visible.
The Gore Street facade presents an imposing commercial design with its street level display windows and upper level two-over-two windows of the larger building section, each with a single stone lintel above. The smaller end section of the building however, has two slightly larger windows, with stone arch lintels. The gable end and rear facade are constructed with yellow brick.
Shaw's of Perth occupies a key position on one of the best surviving heritage streetscapes in eastern Ontario and is characteristic of important architectural tradition in early Canada.
Source – Town of Perth By-law 2520, Heritage Perth
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage values include:
- L-shaped design
- coursed squared local sandstone
- common bond yellow brick
- high gable roof
- plain frieze at the eaves
- three chimneys
- cut-stone covered carriage way connecting main building and original coach house and stable
- original sign on Foster Street facade - “The Store with a Smile – Shaw's – Perfect Service,”
- windows and stone detailing of Foster Street facade
- windows and stone detailing of Gore Street facade them
- siting on the corner of two main streets (Foster and Gore) making it an integral part of the streetscape in Perth
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town Hall, Perth, Ontario
Cross-Reference to Collection