John Buchan House
566, Dundas Street, London, Ontario, N6B, Canada
John Buchan House
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Built in two stages in 1872 and 1887, Buchan House is a prominent two-and-a-half-storey red brick building located on the north side of Dundas Street, west of Adelaide Street North, in Central London.
The John Buchan House has been designated for its cultural heritage value by City of London By-law L.S.P.-3379-49.
The John Buchan House is noted for its distinctive Italianate and Romanesque style architectural features, notably the twin turrets which frame its facade, the prominent centre gable and the stone lions guarding the front entrance. The building's distinctive architectural characteristics, which are indicative of the values and lifestyle of the late-19th century upper middle class, emphasize the contrast of a residential building situated on a busy commercial and institutional avenue.
The building's connection to prominent London figures and institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries adds to its importance. Located on land that was granted to the Crown by Reverend Benjamin Cronyn in 1845, it was later purchased by Thomas Aspden, who constructed a single family home in 1872; this structure now forms the rear of the present building. In 1887, Thomas Baker Escott, a local merchant who operated one of the most important wholesale grocery businesses in the southwestern Ontario, remodeled the structure by adding the turreted front section and naming it "Oakhurst."
Subsequent owner Albert Daniel Jordan established the London Institute of Musical Art there. Still later the building served multiple uses, including the "Oakhurst School for Girls", the Western Ontario Conservatory for Music and, in 1944, housing people of Japanese descent from British Columbia. In 1945, the Tweedsmuir Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion purchased the building and formed the Buchan House Limited Company to administer the house.
Sources: City of London By-law L.S.P.-3379-49; 'A History of 566 Dundas', L. Burt and J. Morrison (Buchan House Ltd), no date.
Character defining elements that contribute to the building's heritage value include the:
- twin turrets with slate roofs and finials framing the front facade
- corbelled brick at the cornice and stone window head bands
- centre gable with decorative bargeboard, and returned eaves
- second floor bay constructed with engaged Doric columns resting on paneled woodwork
- front porch supported by Doric columns
- front entrance with double leaf doors, sidelights and transom
- three-storey bay on the west facade
- segmented arched windows with brick voussoirs
- decorative corbelled brick chimneys
- finials at both peaks of the main roof
- Italianate brackets on the rear portion which is white brick, later red washed.
- red brick on the front exterior facades
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1887/01/01 to 1887/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Building Social and Community Life
- Community Organizations
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Learning and the Arts
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Office of Heritage Planner, Planning Department, City of London.
Cross-Reference to Collection