Description of Historic Place
The Clarke Memorial Hall is located at 161 Lakeshore Road West, in the Old Port Credit Village Heritage Conservation District in the City of Mississauga. The two-and-a-half-storey buff brick building was constructed in 1923. Clarke Memorial Hall is recognized by City of Mississauga By-law 91-86.
Clarke Memorial Hall is associated with the Boustead and Clarke families, with the Port Credit Methodist Church, and with the administrative operation of the Village of Port Credit.
James Bellingham Boustead, a Toronto entrepreneur, was an active member of his community, and was actively involved with the Central Methodist Church, the Temperance League as well as holding local office in the municipal council of Toronto from 1865 to 1897. As a businessman, Boustead was a shareholder and the first president of the Toronto and Lorne Park Summer Resort Company, which bought land in Mississauga's Lorne Park and built summer homes. Boustead, himself, summered in Lorne Park, as did his daughter, Mary Louise Clarke.
Upon Boustead's death, Mary Louise continued her father's community work and especially his association with the Methodist Church. She was approached by the Port Credit Methodist Church to help build a hall for the Methodist Sunday School, which would also accommodate church meetings, community concerts and other events. Mary Louise Clarke purchased the property next to the church and, in 1922, construction began on the building. It was named in memory of her late husband, Alfred Russell Clarke, who had died as a result from pneumonia which set in after he survived the 1915 sinking of the luxury liner the Lusitania in the North Atlantic. In 1923, the property was donated to the Port Credit Methodist Church with the stipulation that the building be used for public purposes. It served as a church hall and, from 1941-1974, as the Port Credit Municipal Offices. Upon amalgamation of Port Credit with the City of Mississauga, the building was converted into a community centre. During the 1970s it also housed the offices of the Mississauga Symphony. Today, it remains a community hall. This rectangular, two-and-a-half storey building is constructed of red brick upon a stone foundation and is a fine example of Spanish Colonial Revival popular in the 1920s for public buildings.
The two-and-a-half storey, buff brick building is a landmark in the Old Port Credit Village Heritage Conservation District. Its buff brick walls are contrasted by the stone columns and arches and the white mullions of the multi-paned windows. Two chimneys, at opposing ends of the structure, protrude above the clay roof tiles, as does the curved front gable. The roof, covered in red clay tiles, gives the illusion of a truncated hipped roof in the front portion, while the two storey rear addition, which houses the building's auditorium and stage, is covered by a gable roof. Six monumental pilasters with stone capitals and bases divide the symmetrical facade into five bays. The centre bay is highlighted by a classical entrance, which is approached by a wide staircase of brick and stone. Tall engaged columns and pilasters in a modified Roman Doric arch frame the entry. Above the main doorway is the inscription “The Town of Port Credit Municipal Offices”. Four round-headed, fan lit windows are found on the main floor, while segmental square-headed sash windows are on the upper floor. One of the main floor windows has been converted into a door to allow for barrier-free access. In the centre, beneath a false wall front, is a double-hung segmental window. The crowning feature is the baroque-like curvilinear centre gable that breaks the otherwise straight silhouette of the roofline. A commemorative plaque is located in this centre gable. Two chimneys, one at either end of the main block, protrude their corbelled caps and chimney pots above the roof.
Clarke Memorial Hall is one of the key buildings within the Old Port Credit Village Heritage Conservation District, forming part of a significant institutional block on Lakeshore Road. Its size, location along the west bank of the Credit River and architecture make this building a landmark structure.
Sources: City of London By-law 91-86; Heritage File 161 Lakeshore Road.
Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of Clarke Memorial Hall include its:
- Rectangular, two-and-a-half storey Spanish Colonial Revival popular in the 1920s for public buildings
- Six monumental pilasters with stone capitals and bases creating five bays
- Classical entrance, which is approached by a wide staircase of brick and stone with tall engaged columns and pilasters
- stone inscription “The Town of Port Credit Municipal Offices” relating to its former use
- Baroque-like curvilinear centre gable, with commemorative plaque and corbelled chimneys rising above the roofline.