Grand Central Hotel
150-152 Queen Street East
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Grand Central Hotel is located at 150-152 Queen Street East, on the south side of Queen Street, in downtown St. Marys. The three-storey brick, wood and stone building was constructed in circa 1850.
The property was designated by the Town of St. Marys, in 1987, for its architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 32-87).
Located in historic downtown St. Marys, the Grand Central Hotel is part of a continuous block of turn of the century buildings that make up the downtown vernacular and contribute to its visual continuity.
The Grand Central Hotel is associated with early St. Marys prominent, local businessman and politician, T.B Guest. Built for Guest, in circa 1850, the Grand Central Hotel is the earliest surviving hotel in the town. Guest built the first general store in St. Marys and due to the trade generated by the store, the potash trade became a substantial part of the town's identity. He was also responsible for building and operating many other stores in the downtown and was an ambitious politician, serving as the first Reeve of Blanshard Township, the first Reeve of the Village of St. Marys and later the first Mayor of the Town of St. Marys. Guest was also an elected member of the Ontario Legislature for South Perth.
The Grand Central Hotel is representative of early hotel architecture in the Town of St. Marys. The three-storey, flat-roofed building was originally constructed as a wood frame building. The present buff-brick and cornice was added in 1894. The symmetrical second and third-storey, features eleven windows with radiating voussoirs and a small veranda, which is accessed by two small doors visible above the main entrance. Most notable on the façade is the entablature reading “Grand Central Hotel”, which is topped with a cornice that is supported by decorative wooden brackets.
The first-storey of the hotel originally housed two shops whose storefronts were remodelled in the 1920s, when the original carriageway was removed, to make room for a third shop.
Source: Town of St. Marys, By-Law 32-87.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Grand Central Hotel include its:
- location downtown, on Queen Street, within a commercial block
- wood frame with buff-brick
- symmetrical façade
- symmetrical fenestration
- second-storey veranda accessed by two small doors
- entablature reading “Grand Central Hotel”
- Italianate cornice, wooden brackets and drop pendants
- first floor storefront layout
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1920/01/01 to 1920/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Town of St. Marys
P.O. Box 998
175 Queen St. East
St. Marys, Ontario
Cross-Reference to Collection