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Alumni Centre

0, Arboretum Road, City of Guelph, Ontario, N1G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/04/05

View of the south facade of the Alumni Centre depicting the four ventilation cupolas.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
South Facade of the Alumni Centre, 2007
View of the south façade of the Alumni Centre depicting the board and batten cladding.; Lindsday Benajmin, 2007
Alumni Centre Viewed from Arboretum Road, 2007
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Other Name(s)

Alumni Centre
Carriage House
Sheep Barn
Arboretum Road
University of Guelph Campus

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Alumni Centre is situated on top of a hill, on Arboretum Road, near the East Residence complex on the University of Guelph campus, in the City of Guelph. This wooden building was designed in the utilitarian rural style of architecture in the 1870s. The Alumni Centre was constructed in 1879 for use by the Ontario Agricultural College's President.

The property was designated for its historic and architectural significance, by the City of Guelph, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law1982-10923).

Heritage Value

This building is one of the oldest surviving structures on the original campus of the Ontario Agricultural College, now the University of Guelph. Built as the College Principal's carriage house, for the President's horse and buggy, harnesses and other trappings. Two Presidents, James Mills and his son-in-law George Creelman, utilized the carriage house in its original location at the rear of the President's house. However, in the late 1920s it was moved to Arboretum Road to accommodate the construction of a steam tunnel for the rebuilt Johnston Hall and became the Alumni Centre.

On Arboretum Road, in the centre of campus, the moved carriage house became an annex to the sheep barns. In the mid-1930s the central barns burned down and the carriage house was extended on both sides to house the sheep, from which it gained the common name of the Sheep Barn. In 1967, the flock was moved to a new research facility in New Liskeard. In the 1980s, the building was renovated and became the Alumni House, acting as the Alumni headquarters and housing the Department of Alumni Affairs and Development, for the University of Guelph.

The shape and form of the Alumni Centre illustrate the utilitarian rural architecture of the 1870s. This wooden building was constructed using board and batten cladding and a timber-frame. The placement and type of windows and doors, as well as the four ventilation cupolas on the roof ridge, contribute to its unique architectural style.

Sources: University of Guelph, Volume 25, Number 44, December 14, 1981; University of Guelph, Volume 29, Number 42, December 5, 1985; City of Guelph, By-law 1982-10923.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Sheep Barn include its:
- shape and form illustrating utilitarian rural architecture of the 1870s
- timber frame construction
- board and batten cladding
- location and type of doors and windows
- four ventilation cupolas on the roof ridge




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1982/01/01 to 1982/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Education and Social Well-Being

Function - Category and Type


Post-Secondary Institution



Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Guelph Community Design and Development Services 1 Carden Street Guelph, ON

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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