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Fergus District High School

680, Tower Street S., Township of Centre Wellington, Ontario, N1M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/07/05

Principle façade of the Fergus District High School as seen from Tower St. South; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007
Façade of the Fergus District High School
Detailed view of the west façade of 680 Tower St. South depicting the main entrance's grandeur; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Detailed view of the Façade of 680 Tower St. South
View of the west façade of 680 Tower St. South; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
West Façade of 680 Tower St. South

Other Name(s)

Fergus District High School
Centre Wellington District High School
680 Tower Street South

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/26

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Fergus District High School at 680 Tower Street South is situated on the north side of Belsyde Avenue, between Tower Street South (Hwy. No. 6) and St. David Street South, in the Town of Fergus, in the Township of Centre Wellington. The three-storey cut-stone building was designed in the Collegiate Gothic style by architects S.B. Coon and Son. It was constructed in 1927.

The property is designated, by the Township of Centre Wellington for its historic value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 2006-072).

Heritage Value

The Fergus District High School is prominently located at the principal intersection of Tower Street and Belsyde Avenue and is a striking local landmark. It was constructed on a slight rise overlooking the Provincial Highway (Hwy. No. 6) using high quality materials, and an attention to detail, that exemplifies the importance the community placed on education.

The Fergus District High School is significant for its strong connection to the community of Fergus. The original portion of the building was constructed in 1927 and is sheathed in broken course cut-stone and accented by an elaborate copper entablature, which spans the entire façade. It was designed by S.B Coon and Son in the Gothic Collegiate style and modeled after Clinton Collegiate in Clinton, Ontario. The builders were G.H Thomas and Son, of Galt. The original structure contained three floors with ten classrooms, a gymnasium, and an auditorium. Due to the growing enrolment, an addition was added, in 1957, on the north end of the original building. Two other additions were added in 1964 and 1967 respectively. The school closed in 2004.

The Fergus District High School was attended by local residents from 1928 until 2004. Few other buildings in the municipality are so well known or associated so closely with local memories. The Fergus District High School represents a significant phase in the development of the community as it was the last school to be built in the area before the Great Depression, which occurred shortly after its construction.

Sources: Township of Centre Wellington By-Law 2006-072; Notice of Intention to Designate, The Wellington Advertiser, January 27, 2006; A History of Education in Fergus, Jeff Ferguson; Planning Justification Report, Former Centre Wellington District High School, MacKinnon and Associates, 2006.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Fergus District High School include its:
- original and intact exterior envelope of the entire 1927 structure
- all exterior masonry work, including window and door openings
- main elevation on Tower Street (excepting the newer, single floor, stone wing
to the south)
- t-wing that extends east from the back wall of the main wing
- flashing and entablature
- existing roofline and roof shape
- existing Tower Street and Belysde Avenue perspectives
- location on a slight rise overlooking the Provincial Highway
- location at a principle intersection
- size and quality craftsmanship reflecting its grandeur




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1967/01/01 to 1967/01/01
1964/01/01 to 1964/01/01
2004/01/01 to 2004/01/01
2006/01/01 to 2006/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts

Function - Category and Type



Primary or Secondary School

Architect / Designer

S.B Coon and Son


G.H Thomas and Son

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Township of Centre Wellington 1 MacDonald Square Elora, ON N0B 1S0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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