12 Wyndham Street North
Links and documents
1858/01/01 to 1859/01/01
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Medical Hall building is located at 12 Wyndham Street North, at the southeast corner of Cork Street East and Wyndham Street North, in the City of Guelph. This three-storey stone block building resembles the Beaux Arts style, was designed by local architect John Wright, and was constructed in 1859.
The property was designated, for its historic and architectural significance, by the City of Guelph, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 1979-10190).
The Medical Hall building was constructed in 1859 to house an apothecary for druggist Nathaniel Higinbotham. Higinbotham came to Canada from Ireland, in 1846, joining his brother Andrew, a physician, in Brantford, Ontario. The two men moved to Guelph, in 1848, and opened the apothecary together. Three years after the opening, Nathaniel bought out his brother, and became the sole proprietor. In 1858, in partnership with a local barrister, Nathaniel Higinbotham constructed the Higinbotham block on the corner of Wyndham and MacDonell Streets. In addition to being a prominent businessman within the city, Higinbotham was also heavily involved in the military. He aided in the establishment of the Guelph Rifle Company and would later become its Captain.
The Medical Hall building remained in the Higinbotham family until 1919, when it was purchased by the Dominion Bank of Canada. Between 1976 and 1977, the Dominion Bank restored the building to its original splendour and won the Guelph Arts Council's 1978 Heritage Award for the quality of the work.
The Medical Hall building was constructed of warm-hued locally-quarried limestone, in 1859. This limestone was laid in neat courses of dressed ashlar masonry and formed the southern anchor of what was once a unified block face, from MacDonell Street to Cork Street. This building features windows that are framed with pedimented lintels with carved stone brackets supported on plain architraves. Carved stone brackets support the window sills and the distinctive, carved stone cornice. The corner is accented with a curved wall, echoed by the curved cornice.
Sources: City of Guelph By-law 1979-10190; City of Guelph LACAC, Designated Buildings and Structures of Architectural and Historic Interest in the City of Guelph, 1977-1994.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Medical Hall building include its:
- Wyndham Street façade;
- windows on the second and third floor which are framed with triangular, pedimented lintels with carved stone brackets supported on plain architraves
- carved stone brackets which support the window sills
- distinctive carved stone cornice
- angular corner of the building, which is accented with a curved surface, echoed by a curved cornice
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1979/01/01 to 1979/01/01
1976/01/01 to 1977/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Bank or Stock Exchange
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Guelph
Community Design and Development Services
1 Carden Street
Cross-Reference to Collection