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26, Water Street South, Town of St. Marys, Ontario, N4X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/07/28

Of note are the arched voussoirs and decorative keystones on all three storeys.; Gord Strathdee, 2007.
Façade, Armouries, 2007
Of note is the relationship of the Opera House to the Armouries.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Façade, Armouries, 2007
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Other Name(s)

Theodore Hutton Block
26 Water Street South

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/11/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Armouries are located at 26 Water Street South, on the west side of Water Street, in downtown St. Marys. The three-storey limestone building was constructed in 1868.

The property was designated by the Town of St. Marys in 1981 for its architectural value or interest under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 59-1981).

Heritage Value

Located in historic downtown St. Marys, the Armouries are situated directly south of the Opera House. While its simplicity provides a contrast to the exuberance of the Opera House, its limestone construction blends with historic fabric of the downtown. To the west of the Armouries lies the Thames River, which emphasizes the important relationship between the town's growth and development and the river.

The Armouries are associated with the Huttons, a prominent St. Marys family. Theodore Hutton, brother of mill owner William Hutton, commissioned local craftsman Robert Barbour to construct this large limestone block. The building served as Theodore Hutton's store on the first floor. His residence was located in the upper storeys. The building is also associated with military activity in St. Marys, having been used as the town's armouries in the first half of the 20th century.

The Armouries are a fine example of local limestone vernacular architecture. The building's simple, smooth limestone façade stands in contrast to the grand Opera House which is located directly to the north. The façade of the Armouries features a first floor storefront, composed of a recessed entrance flanked by large commercial windows on both sides, and a smaller simple door at the most southerly edge. The ground level windows and doors are complimented by Italianate transoms and arched voussoirs with decorative keystones. Rhythm and order are given to the façade by the use of similar voussoirs and keystones on the eight, symmetrically placed upper-storey windows.

Source: Town of St. Marys, By-law 59-1981.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Armouries include its:
- situation in historic downtown St. Marys, south of the adjoining Opera House
- proximity to the Thames River
- smooth limestone construction
- large storefront windows
- recessed entrance
- eight symmetrically placed 2 over 2 second and third-storey windows
- transoms over first-storey windows and doors
- simple door at the southern edge of the first floor
- arched voussoirs
- decorative keystones
- stone sills on upper-storey windows




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Military and Defence

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Armoury or Drill Hall

Architect / Designer



Robert Barbour

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of St. Marys P.O. Box 998 175 Queen St. East St. Marys, Ontario N4X 1B6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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