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Vassie's Corner

20 King Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/03/18

View of the storefront at the corner of King Street and Canterbury Street.; Commercial Properties Limited
Vassie's Corner
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1877/01/01 to 1881/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Vassie’s Corner is a four storey brick building with Italianate features situated on the southwest corner of King and Canterbury Streets. The building is located in the Trinity Royal area and was recognized in the City of Saint John Preservation Areas Bylaw in 1982.

Heritage Value

This building is significant as one of a collection of Italianate and Second Empire style commercial buildings that were built between 1877 and 1881 after two thirds of the City of Saint John was destroyed in the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. Vassie’s Corner was the site of a wholesale dry goods and woollen business originally established by William Vassie in 1832 and operated until after World War I. The present Italianate style building was built after the business was destroyed in the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. The site is also significant as the earlier building was the home of Benedict Arnold for six years while he was engaged in the shipping business in Saint John.

This building serves as a reminder of the strong will of the Saint John merchants to rebuild the city after the fire. The brick and stone architecture sent a message that the city would be more fire resistant in the future. The elements and level of design demonstrate that the city was rebuilt in grander fashion.

Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The architectural elements relating to the Italianate style of the building include:
- form and massing;
- decorative brick corbelling with metal roofline cornice.
King Street facade:
- top floor windows are one over one sash with segmented arches;
- 2nd floor windows are two over two with segmented arches;
- 3rd floor windows are two over two vertical panes with segmented arches in brickwork;
- corner entrance;
- storefront separated by cast iron columns;
Canterbury Street facade:
- metal cornice over storefront Canterbury Street;
- two over windows with segmented arches.



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)

1877/01/01 to 1877/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

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

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

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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