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Arthur McDonald Residence

108 Douglas Avenue, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/03/18

This photograph provides a contextual view of the building on Douglas Avenue, 2005; City of Saint John
Arthur McDonald Residence - Contextual view
This image provides a view of the Gothic arch window in the central gable with decorative wood tracery and label hood moulding with stops, 2005; City of Saint John
Arthur McDonald Residence - Window
This image provides a view of the prominent central entry consisting of a large entablature supported by wooden Ionic columns, a transom window, side lights and paired wood doors with glass panels, 2005; City of Saint John
Arthur McDonald Residence - Entrance

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/03/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Arthur McDonald Residence is a wooden one-and-a-half storey Gothic Revival residence with a steeply pitched central gable. It is located on Douglas Avenue within the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area of the City of Saint John.

Heritage Value

The Arthur McDonald Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its location, for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.

The Arthur McDonald Residence is recognized as one of the elegant late 18th century and early 19th century homes along Douglas Avenue. Formerly known as Douglas Road, Douglas Avenue was located in the Town of Portland. In 1889, the town amalgamated with the City of Saint John. Improvements between 1869 and 1881 gradually led to considerable progress in this area, and by 1886 Douglas Avenue had become a highly accommodating thoroughfare. The majority of the older buildings on Douglas Avenue were built between 1870 and 1900, although some were constructed before this time and remain standing to the present day. The Arthur McDonald Residence is an excellent example of small-scale Gothic Revival residential architecture that has endured throughout the development of the Douglas Avenue area.

The Arthur McDonald Residence is also recognized for its association with the McDonald family. Arthur McDonald had this residence constructed circa 1862. McDonald initially worked in the dry goods industry under John Gillis before becoming involved with the shipbuilding industry. In the early 1850's, he partnered in business with prominent ship builder, John McDonald. In 1856, the partnership dissolved and Arthur McDonald founded his own lucrative shipbuilding business on Straight Shore Road. He remained at his Douglas Avenue residence until his death in 1874. His wife, Elizabeth McDonald, continued to live in this residence in the following years with their son, Charles McDonald.

Charles McDonald acted as the managing director of the Saint John Iron Works for a time and served as chairman of the Saint John Board of Trade taxation committee. His general success in commerce and industry led to his election to the vice-presidency of the New Brunswick branch of the Canadian Manufacturing Association. He acted as governor and then president of the Wiggin’s Male Orphan Institution, as well as director of the Turnbull Home. After his mother passed away in 1908, McDonald continued to live in this residence until his death in 1955.

Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the Arthur McDonald Residence include:
- building height and width proportions;
- window placement and proportions;
- overall symmetry;
- steeply pitched central gable;
- two chimneys located on the front slope of the gable roof;
- Gothic arch, vertical sliding wood window with decorative wooden tracery and hood moulding with label stops located in the central dormer;
- rectangular vertical-sliding wooden windows with label moulding;
- wooden window sills;
- large entablature supported by wooden Ionic columns above the central entrance ;
- rectangular transom window and side lights surrounding a pair of wooden doors with glass upper panels;
- sandstone stairwell descending from central entrance;
- square cut-stone foundation.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Preservation Act

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1862/01/01 to 1955/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Group Residence


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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