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Homer Watson House and Gallery

1754, Old Mill Road, City of Kitchener, Ontario, N2P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1980/10/20

The picture features elements of the Scottish Gothic style, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Detailed View of South Facade, Homer Watson House
South facade of the Homer Watson House as seen from Old Mill Road, 2007.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
South Facade of the Homer Watson House
No Image

Other Name(s)

Homer Watson House and Gallery
1754 Old Mill Road

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/01/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Homer Watson House and Gallery, located at 1756 Old Mill Road, is situated on the south side of the road between Mill Park Drive and Roos Street in Doon Village in the City of Kitchener. The two-storey brick building was designed in the early Scottish Gothic style and was constructed in 1834 by Adam Ferrie, a founding industrialist in the Village of Doon.

The property was designated for its heritage value by the City of Kitchener under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 80-197).

Heritage Value

The Homer Watson House is associated with both Doon Village's founding resident, Adam Ferrie and Homer Watson, a local artist of national and international acclaim. The Homer Watson House was first built and owned by Adam Ferrie who established the community's mill and gave the village the name 'Doon'. Ownership passed to Homer Watson in 1883. Watson's artistic ability is reflected in the studio he built in 1893, using stone from a local building. He also constructed a gallery in 1906. He left evidence of his skill on interior pieces such as the frieze, which covers the walls of the studio and anteroom.

Homer Watson's paintings depicted local landscapes between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of his pieces were sold to Queen Victoria and others hang in the National Gallery of Canada. During the 1950s, the owners of the Homer Watson House began the Doon School of Fine Art where artistic notables such as Fred Varley from the Group of Seven attended.

The Homer Watson House is a fine example of early Scottish Gothic architecture. The steeply-sloping roofline, the fieldstone foundation and the compactness of the brick edifice attest to this style. The kitchen and dining room-cum-parlour occupy the basement level. This dominant living area was situated below ground level for insulation purposes. On the main level, the original doors, baseboards and panels are still intact. The original frieze surrounding the studio was painted by Homer Watson.

Sources: Feasibility Study of the Homer Watson House: Kyles, Kyles and Garratt Architects, May 1980; Ministry of Culture Document, July 22, 1980; City of Kitchener By-Law 80-197; City of Kitchener Easement Agreement, December 11, 1990.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Homer Watson House include the:
- steeply sloping roofline
- fieldstone foundation and brick edifice
- original doors, baseboards and panels on the main level
- the original frieze that surrounds the studio walls




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1906/01/01 to 1906/01/01
1893/01/01 to 1893/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts

Function - Category and Type




Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer



Adam Ferrie

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Kitchener 200 King Street West PO Box 1118 Kitchener, ON N2G 4G7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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