Description of Historic Place
The Windows on the Water Restaurant is a rectangular shaped two-and-a-half storey commercial building located on Main Street in Montague near the river and bridge. The gable end of the building faces the street. It has wood shingle cladding and Georgian style six over six windows on the second storey.
The building is valued for its long history as a commercial building in Montague; for its association with the economic development of the town; and for its contribution to the streetscape.
In the 1850s, most of the land on the north side of the Montague River was owned by William Watson. It is thought the current building was constructed as a general store at this time. The builder was a Mr. Vessey. The Montague river, which flows through the town, made Montague a centre for commercial activity and the new general store was constructed close to it.
By 1859, Watson sold the property to James MacLaren, who continued to operate the general store on the premises. His son, Peter MacLaren, sold the business to Duncan MacDonald in 1885. The MacDonald family would operate a store and rent out commercial space in the building until 1961, when it was then sold to William and Helen Docherty.
Over the years, the building has been home to many commercial businesses including: a lawyer's office, motor vehicle office, a hat and dress shop, a sportswear store, an ice cream shop, and most recently the Montague office of the Guardian newspaper.
In 1995, it was purchased and renovated by Lester Jinks. The current owner operates a popular restaurant on the premises.
The style of the building reflects a typical commercial building of the 19th Century. It has a rectangular configuration with a symmetrical facade with large windows on the first storey facing the street. The upper floors, which were originally used for storage and accommodation, have Georgian style six over six windows, which were also originally on the first storey as well. An early photograph of the building shows a shed roof porch over the entrance supported by four posts. Pilasters can still be seen on the facade today.
With its long history as a centre for commercial activity in Montague, the building continues to add character and value to the streetscape.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/M16
The following character-defining elements reflect the commercial and Georgian style influences of the building:
- the remaining sandstone foundation
- the original wood frame construction boarded with hemlock planks
- the two-and-a-half storeys
- the wood shingle cladding
- the fenestration, especially of the second storey which is mostly original
- the gable roof
- the three brick chimneys
- the pilasters of the facade
- the location of the building on Main Street near the Montague river and bridge