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Woolner Farmstead

748, Zeller Drive, City of Kitchener, Ontario, N2A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1998/11/16

Laneway leading to the Woolner farmstead, flanked by roughly 2,000 native tree species, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Tree-Lined Laneway of the Woolner Farmstead
Eastward view towards the Woolner farmstead, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
The Woolner Farmstead
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Other Name(s)

Woolner Farmstead
748 Zeller Drive

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Woolner Farmstead buildings, located at 748 Zeller Drive, are situated in the north end of the City of Kitchener on 6.47 acres off scenic Zeller drive. The original Mennonite Georgian farmhouse and outbuildings were constructed in 1830. The farmhouse addition was built circa 1858, and the barn and concrete silo were built circa 1870.

The property is designated for its heritage value by the City of Kitchener under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 98-177).

Heritage Value

The Woolner property is characterized by a narrow laneway flanked by approximately 2,000 native trees, which include; Basswood, Ash and Sugar, Silver, and Norway Maples. This contributes to the private and tranquil environment in which the homestead is situated. The original siting of the farm buildings within the landscape of 748 Zeller Drive have remained virtually intact. Among the extant structures there is evidence of the original foundation for the smokehouse and chicken coop. The site also has high archaeological potential as indicated by a few early Native artifacts that were discovered on the property.

Woolner Farmstead was originally purchased by Peter Reesor, one of the first Pennsylvania German Mennonites to settle in Waterloo County. A subsequent owner was Abraham C. Weber, another prominent member of the Mennonite community. The property was bought by John Woolner in 1908 and, to this day, the property remains in the Woolner family. This property is believed to be the last remaining original farm located in the Natchez neighbourhood of Kitchener.

The Woolner Farmstead is a well-preserved example of the Mennonite Georgian style in its arrangement of buildings to the site. The home itself, however, has atypical features, not usually found in the Mennonite Georgian style of dwelling. The asymmetry of the Woolner home contributes to its uniqueness and richness of character.

Sources: City of Kitchener Heritage Property Report, Stephanie Barber; City of Kitchener By-law 98-177.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Woolner Homestead include its:
- location of buildings as dispersed among the landscape
- foundation remains of the smokehouse and chicken coop
- archaeological potential
- numerous species of native trees
- continued use as a Mennonite farmstead
- asymmetrical arrangement of the windows and doors not typical of the Mennonite Georgian style
- cut fieldstone walls and voussoirs
- window openings and original windows
- ten light transoms and six part sidelights
- front doorway with wood panel door
- roof and rooflines created by the juxtaposition of the barn to the main house and its addition
- wood soffits and fascia
- yellow brick chimney
- front and rear porches
- muntin bars and sills

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Woolner Barn include its:
- original barnboard
- cut fieldstone foundations
- foundation window openings with glazing
- barn doors and malt bin




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1908/01/01 to 1908/01/01
1870/01/01 to 1870/01/01
1998/01/01 to 1998/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type




Architect / Designer



Peter Reesor

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener 200 King Street West P.O. Box 1118 Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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