Bethune Memorial House
Maison commémorative Bethune
Links and documents
1879/01/01 to 1880/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Sited in a landscaped garden amongst mature trees in a residential Gravenhurst neighbourhood, Bethune House is an attractive L-shaped, timber structure. Its gable roof is steeply pitched, while the clapboard exterior features bay windows, ornamental verge boards and a verandah. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.
Bethune House is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental values.
Bethune House is very closely associated with the early life of Dr. Norman Bethune in Canada. His birthplace acts as a memorial to his career and is a monument to social justice and human welfare, convictions held by Dr Norman Bethune. An internationally renowned figure, he became a strenuous advocate of socialized, easily available medical care. His achievements include several developments in the treatment of tuberculosis and in thoracic surgery, refinements in medical instruments, and the first practical use of a mobile blood transfusion unit.
Bethune House is a good example of a typical middle-class residence found throughout Canada in the late 19th century. The influence of the picturesque is seen in the steeply pitched roof, the vertical emphasis of the massing and its asymmetrical plan. It exhibits good functional design and craftsmanship.
Bethune House is compatible with the present character of its residential setting and is familiar to those visiting the region.
Sources: Fern Graham, Bethune Memorial House, 235 John Street, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office Report 90-210; Bethune House, 235 John Street, Gravenhurst, Ontario, Heritage Character Statement 90-210.
The character-defining elements of Bethune House should be respected.
Its good quality materials and craftsmanship, as evidenced in:
- the two-storey, asymmetrical, L-shaped plan;
- the steeply-pitched gable roof, the ornamental verge-boards and the brick chimneys;
- the clapboard exterior walls, the symmetrical arrangement of the windows, the bay windows and the verandah;
- the centre hall plan with informal layout of rooms and the interior details.
The manner in which Bethune House is compatible with the present character of the residential setting and is a familiar local landmark, as evidenced by:
- its overall picturesque appearance which complements the landscaped grounds and harmonizes with the residential structures on John Street;
- its role as an interpretive memorial that make it familiar to the community.
Government of Canada
Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy
Recognized Federal Heritage Building
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Single Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec
Cross-Reference to Collection