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County Solicitor's Building

15, Douglas Street, City of Guelph, Ontario, N1H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/09/15

Featured is the limestone construction with quarry faced block accents.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Façade of the County Solicitor's Building, 2007
Featured is the symmetrical west façade.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Façade and South Elevation, 2007
West façade and north elevation.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Façade and North Elevation, 2007

Other Name(s)

County Solicitor's Building
15 Douglas Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1865/01/01 to 1866/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The County Solicitor's Building is located at 15 Douglas Street and is situated on the south side of the street, between Woolwich Street and Wyndham Street North, in the City of Guelph. This two-storey limestone building is reminiscent of the Romanesque style and was constructed between 1865 and 1866.

The property was designated, by the City of Guelph, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (Bylaw (1980)-10467).

Heritage Value

The County Solicitor's Building represents the historic centre of the legal profession in the City of Guelph. The ground floor was originally occupied by the Honourable Adam Fergusson-Blair, County Solicitor and son of Adam Johnston Fergusson, one of the founders of Fergus. Adam Fergusson-Blair was also the first judge of Wellington District in 1842, and served for many years as a Parliamentary representative. Since the completion of its construction, in 1866, for the County Solicitor, the building has housed law offices; with successors of the original firm and its partners utilizing the space. For many years the second floor also served as offices for the local Master of the Supreme Court and Crown Attorney. In 1970 the County Solicitor's Offices expanded to occupy the entire structure.

The County Solicitor's Building is considered to be one of the most architecturally significant County buildings in Guelph. This building was constructed using local limestone with quarry faced blocks framing the windows, doors and corners. This rugged surfacing contrasts with the smooth-faced masonry of the walls. The façade is symmetrical with two three-paneled windows in the centre. This building has survived with relatively few alterations.

Sources: City of Guelph By-Law (1980)-10467; Designated Buildings and Structures of Architectural and Historic Interest in the City of Guelph, LACAC, 1994.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the County Solicitor's Building include its:
- location in Guelph contributing to its status as the historic centre of the legal profession in Guelph
- continued use as law offices for close to 150 years
- limestone walls, with special emphasis on the Douglas Street façade
- gable roof with front parapet detail
- symmetrical façade
- round and flat headed windows




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1980/01/01 to 1980/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Security and Law

Function - Category and Type


Office or office building


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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