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Finch Residence

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

Formally Recognized: 1992/11/02

This photograph shows the contextual view of the building, 2006; City of Saint John
Finch Residence - Contextual view
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Other Name(s)

Howard Residence
Résidence Howard
Finch Residence

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/04/02

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in the 1860’s, the Finch Residence is a wooden two-storey dwelling with a central entrance and a flat roof. It is located on Douglas Avenue within the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area of Saint John.

Heritage Value

The Finch Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its location and for its association with its original occupants.

The Finch Residence is recognized as a part of the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area. Douglas Avenue Preservation Area was recognized as a protected historic streetscape because of its fine mixture of working class tenements along with more substantial homes of the middle and wealthy classes, many of which have long-standing family connections spanning multiple generations as a result of its community atmosphere. Douglas Avenue was built in the mid 1850's to connect Main Street with the newly constructed suspension bridge at Reversing Falls. This area was formerly a part of the City of Portland before that city amalgamated with Saint John in 1889. Built in the 1860's as a double residence for two British immigrant families, the Finch Residence is a two-storey wooden dwelling with a central entrance and flat roof.

The Finch Residence is also recognized through its association with the Finch and Howard families. Gardener John Finch and quartermaster Frederick W. Howard were the first occupants of this home. Howard was quartermaster on the government steamer Lansdowne. Howard passed away in 1915 and Finch in 1919. Their children, Harry Finch and Fred Howard Jr. shared this residence; both were employees of Manchester-Robertson-Allison (MRA), Saint John's leading department store. Harry retired in 1957, after 55 years service, and passed away in 1959. In the common trait of many residences on Douglas Avenue in which multiple generations of families occupied these homes, this dwelling is no exception. After Harry's death Donald A. Finch, shipper for MRA, became the third generation of Finch's to occupy this residence until the 1980's.

Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe Finch Residence include:
- rectangular two-storey massing;
- overall symmetry,
- window placement;
- central entrance;
- flat roof.



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)


Theme - Category and Type

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

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Multiple 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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