Description of Historic Place
Glenhyrst is located at 20 Ava Road, on the west bank of the Grand River, between Inwood Drive and Scarfe Gardens, in the City of Brantford. This two-storey, red-brick, building is reminiscent of the Edwardian style and was constructed in 1922.
The property was designated, by the City of Brantford, for its historic and architectural value under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 84-2000).
Glenhyrst was built by Mr. Edmund L. Cockshutt, a local farmer and proprietor, of the Winter Garden Company, a year round florist shop, located in Brantford. The Cockshutt family name is synonymous with the development of the City of Brantford. Members of the family were responsible for establishing the first Board of Trade, in Brantford and organizing the first independent fire company. In addition, Harry Cockshutt acted as Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and served as Mayor of Brantford. Edmund added to his family's reputation through his business, and by becoming the first commercial grower of hothouse tomatoes and mushrooms, in the area. He was known as an expert in horticulture and an advocate of art and culture.
Glenhyrst was built on land, previously owned by the Stratford family, and named Glenhyrst, after a family home in Scotland. Upon purchasing the land, Edmund, kept the name and built a house, designed by Brantford architect F.C. Bodley. He also used the 15 acre plot to create gardens, which he believed were best enjoyed when shared with others. He hung a sign “Visitors Welcome” and invited everyone to tour his gardens. Guests were also invited, into his home, to view his art collection. It was Edmund's wish to continue to share his love of art and gardening with others, and as such; the estate was donated, to the City of Brantford, by the trustees of his will, in 1956, and began operating as the Glenhyrst Art Gallery of Brant in 1986.
Glenhyrst is constructed of rug brick, set in a tile pattern, with Berea freestone accenting the windows and front door. The shingles of the slate roof are larger at the eaves and diminish in size as they ascend to the ridge, of the roof, giving the house a larger appearance. The facade is symmetrical, with bay windows on either side. The main entranceway is offset, by a single storey glassed veranda on one side, and a two-storey wing on the other. The stately elegance of this house is further seen in the front portico, which is surmounted by a notched parapet. The property also includes a coach house and cottage.
Sources: City of Brantford By-law 84-2000; Glenhyrst Website, www.glenhyrst.ca
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of Glenhyrst include its:
- rug brick set in a tile pattern with Berea freestone accents
- slate shingles which are larger at the eaves and diminish in size as they ascend to the ridge of the roof
- bay windows on either side of the front portico, main entrance.