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Bryan House

6700, Rideau Valley Drive S, Kars, Ontario, K4M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/06/02

Front facade; RHI 2006
Bryan House
Side elevation; RHI 2006
Bryan House
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/09/11

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in the 1870's, the style of the Bryan House is typical of Ontario houses of the period, when bricks became the preferred building finish, and the front gable plan (with the front side facing the streets) the preferred design. This structure displays a suggestion of Gothic Revival detailing and occupies an important position on the Main Street of Kars – one of the few left which indicate the character of that area at an earlier age.

The Bryan House is recognized for its heritage value by the Township of Rideau (now City of Ottawa), By-law 46/86.

Heritage Value

The Bryan House, located next to the public school on Rideau Valley Drive, is one of the oldest brick buildings in Kars. It was probably built in the 1870s, but the builder is unknown.

In 1948, the house was bought by Robert and Ada Bryan. As a caretaker at the public school for many years, Mr. Bryan was the first to discover the 'big fire' of 1945 when he arrived at work at 5:30 a.m. – he closed the school and proceeded to run to a neighbour's house, to alert the fire department. The school burned to the ground. However, the students did not miss much school for the following morning the trustees decided to move the 75 students to the Women's Institute and the Orange Hall. In 1976, Mr. Bryan left the house and some land to his son, George and his wife, Audrey.

The Bryan House displays Gothic Revival detailing in the contrasting colour of the brick over the windows, the corner quoins and in the diamond design in the gable, which was very popular in Ontario, in the 1870s. The verandah treillage with its turned posts is delicate although simple in its design. There are two chimneys, one at the peak of each end gable. The front one has been rebuilt with cinder blocks, the rear one is still brick. The roof is covered with overlapping pressed metal sheets.

The contextual significance of this building lies in its location on the Main Street of Kars as one of the few remaining structures from the late 19th century

Sources – Rideau Township Archives LACAC files, City of Ottawa (3426).

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the Bryan House include its:
- brick exterior with contrasting buff-coloured bricks quoins and hood moulds
- front gable facing the street
- diamond design in buff brick in the gable end
- verandah treillage with turned posts
- two chimneys, one at the peak of each end gable (front – cinder block, rear – brick)
- pressed metal overlapping roof
- position on the Main Street in Kars – one of the few left which indicate the character of that area at an earlier age (late 19th century)




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Ottawa Heritage Planning Department Elgin Street, Ottawa ON

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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