Description of Historic Place
Located on the south side of St. Paul Street, this two-storey brick structure is a perfect example of the Italianate style of architecture. It features a symmetrical front façade with bays of rounded windows. The building, which housed the town's first daily newspaper, is situated in the heart of downtown St. Catharines, on the main street of commerce.
The building has been designated for its heritage value by the City of St. Catharines By-law 86-53.
160-168 St. Paul Street, constructed circa 1867, is valued as the home to The St. Catharines Daily Journal, the first newspaper in St. Catharines. The newspaper, which began as a weekly, in 1826, under the name of The Farmers' Journal and Welland Canal Intelligencer, was later shortened to 'The St. Catharines Journal'. In order to compete with a later daily paper known as the St. Catharines Standard, “The Journal” merged with another local paper, The Evening Star, to form The Star-Journal, in 1908. In 1920, due to the popularity and success of The St. Catharines Standard, The Star-Journal ceased publication. The newspaper was the first business to occupy 160-168 St. Paul Street, followed by numerous service and retail stores over the last century.
Constructed at the height of the Italianate style, the architectural value of 160-168 St. Paul Street lies in its simple and understated interpretation of an Italianate commercial block. It displays the symmetry and regularized patterning that is prevalent in many 19th century Canadian main street buildings. The structure is divided into three bays, two commercial, with four windows each, and a central, smaller bay, with one window and an entrance for upper floor access.
Situated at street level are the storefronts. The second storey was laid out as offices or living quarters. The fenestration of the second story is most impressive with nine rounded windows, embellished by brick dripmolds and large elaborate keystones. At the roof line, the building's cornice is adorned with brick dentils, banding, and cornice brackets. Despite the obvious changes to the building, most apparent in the lower-level storefronts, the original form and Italianate details of the building are still prevalent.
160-168 St. Paul Street has a prominent location in downtown St. Catharines. The establishment and presence of a newspaper reflects a town's growing sophistication and emerging importance in the region. Located in the heart of downtown St. Catharines, at a central point on the main commercial street, 160-168 St. Paul Street has witnessed many important events in the city's history and development. As the birthplace of St. Catharines' first daily newspaper, 160-168 St. Paul Street is an important element in the history of St. Catharines' development of social and community life and the dissemination of information and sharing of culture.
Source: The City of St. Catharines By-law 86-53.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of 160-168 St. Paul Street include its:
- central siting which was important for St. Catharines' first newspaper, indicative of the growing complexity and importance of the town
- location on St. Catharines' main street and in the heart of the downtown
- commercial interpretation of the Italianate style
- symmetrical fenestration
- nine rounded windows with brick dripmolds and large keystones
- cornice embellished with brackets and brick dentils
- three bay façade with two large commercial units and one smaller central unit