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Snyder-Hahn Building

4, King Street, City of Waterloo, Ontario, N2G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/03/17

Featured is the ornamental brickwork beneath the building's cornice, 2007.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
View of the Façade from the North
Featured are the original window openings, 2007.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Detailed View of the Snyder-Hahn Buidling Windows
West facing façade, 2007.; Kayla Jonas, 2007.
Façade of the Snyder-Hahn Building

Other Name(s)

Snyder-Hahn Building
4-6 King Street South

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/07/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Snyder-Hahn Building is located at 4-6 King Street South, on the southeast corner of King and Erb Streets, in Uptown Waterloo. This three-storey yellow-brick building was designed in the Victorian style and constructed in 1857 by Jacob Bricker.

The property was designated, for its historic and architectural value, by the City of Kitchener, under Part IV, of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 86-41.

Heritage Value

The Snyder-Hahn Building represents the first and oldest pharmacy in the City of Waterloo. It operated continuously for over a century. The building first served as a pharmacy in 1863 when J.S. Hoffman was the proprietor. In 1868, Hoffman sold the business to two prominent citizens, Moses Springer, the first Reeve and Mayor of Waterloo, and Simon Snyder, who served as Mayor in 1895. Snyder purchased Springer's share in 1873, and in 1949 Melvin J. Hahn acquired the business for which he had worked since 1907.

In 1888, the idea of the Dominion Life Assurance Company was first discussed in the Snyder-Hahn Building. In the 1860s, the local town fathers used to gather around the stove in the pharmacy to talk over the affairs of the town. It was at one of these daily gatherings that Thomas Hilliard and “the hot-stove committee,” as they were called, hatched the idea for the new insurance company.

The Snyder-Hahn Building forms part of one of the most significant business blocks, the Commercial Block, remaining in Uptown Waterloo. The building is a handsome yellow-brick Victorian structure with a simple form. The exterior, though somewhat altered over time, still reflects the era of its construction in a pleasing and sympathetic manner. The window openings are original, as is the corbelled brick work beneath the cornice.

Sources: Waterloo Chronicle, “Memories Abound for Mel Hahn, 90-year old Waterloo pharmacist”, June 16, 1982, Page 5; “Designated Landmarks - City of Waterloo”, LACAC, 1995.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Snyder-Hahn Building include its:
- location in Uptown Waterloo
- location in the early commercial centre of the community
- citing among the most significant business block remaining in Uptown Waterloo
- entire front façade
- original window openings
- ornamental brickwork beneath the building's cornice




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1888/01/01 to 1888/01/01
1986/01/01 to 1986/01/01
1863/01/01 to 1863/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer



Jacob Bricker

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Waterloo 100 Regina Street South Waterloo, ON N2J 4A8

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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