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Galt Fire Department Hall

56, Dickson Street, City of Cambridge, Ontario, N1R, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1984/07/18

Of note is the northeast corner, displaying red brick and gabled dormer.; Kendra Green, 2007.
Galt Fire Department Hall, 2007
Featured is the four-storey pyramidal-roofed tower with paired arcaded windows.; Kendra Green, 2007.
Tower, 56 Dickson Street, 2007
Of note is the façade with the embossed wood carving, “GFD”.; Kendra Green, 2007.
Façade, 56 Dickson Street, 2007

Other Name(s)

Galt Fire Department Hall
56 Dickson Street
Cambridge Fire Hall Museum and Education Centre

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/09/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Galt Fire Department Hall, located at 56 Dickson Street, is situated on the north side of the street, east of the Grand River, in the former City of Galt, now the City of Cambridge. This property consists of a two-storey red-brick building that is reminiscent of both the Romanesque Revival and High Victorian styles. It was designed by architect Fred Mellish and was constructed in 1898.

The property was designated for its historic and architectural significance by the City of Cambridge under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 169-84).

Heritage Value

The Galt Fire Department was established in 1842, and the Hall was the organization's home from 1898 until 1980. Fred Mellish, a local architect, oversaw the construction of the Hall. He was well-known, in the area, and designed other significant civic buildings, including the Carnegie Library and the Cambridge Farmer's Market. Both of these buildings are in close proximity to the Galt Fire Department Hall.

The Galt Fire Department Hall is an excellent example of Romanesque Revival and High Victorian architecture. Typical of these styles, the front façade includes a large gabled dormer, with pilasters, brackets and dentils. The embossed “GFD”, for Galt Fire Department, on the pediment above the main façade contributes to the decorative nature of the Hall. One of the most outstanding features of the hall is the four-storey pyramidal-roofed tower, which is crowned with ornamental brickwork trim. Also featured on the tower are four pairs of arcaded windows with original sashes, one pair per side.

The Galt Fire Department Hall is one in a group of historic civic buildings in the downtown Galt area of Cambridge. The Hall's tower is similar to that of the both the Old Town Hall and the Cambridge Farmer's Market, and the architecture of the Fire Department Hall possesses Italianate influences, just like the Old Town Hall. The continuity that is created by these relationships creates an identifiable district.

Sources: City of Cambridge By-law 169-84; City of Cambridge L.A.C.A.C. Building Description, 1980, revised 1984.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Galt Fire Department Hall include its:
- “GFD”; embossed in the wood carving representing the buildings use as a Fire Hall
- two-storey red-brick costruction including four-storey pyramidal-roofed tower
- brickwork trim and arcaded windows with original sashes on the tower
- large gabled dormer with pilasters, brackets and dentils on the main façade
- original chimney with projecting angled brick atop the east elevation
- situation in the historic Galt area of Cambridge
- location in relation to the Cambridge Farmer's Market and the Old Town Hall
- close proximity to the Cambridge Farmer's Market and the Carnegie Library, two other buildings designed by the Hall's architect, Fred Mellish




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

2002/01/01 to 2002/01/01
1984/01/01 to 1984/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Security and Law

Function - Category and Type




Fire Station

Architect / Designer

Fred Mellish


D. Smith

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Cambridge Planning Services 73 Water Street North Cambridge, ON N1R 3B4

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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