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John McDonald Block

115, Queen Street East, Town of St. Marys, Ontario, N4X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/10/13

Of note are the symmetrical double-hung windows.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Facade, John McDonald Block, 2007
Of note is the typical limestone storefront facade and flat roof.; Gord Strathdee, 2007.
Facade, John McDonald Block, 2007
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Other Name(s)

John McDonald Block
Marty's Mens and Ladies Shop
115 Queen Street East

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/11/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The John McDonald Block is located at 115 Queen Street East, on the north side of Queen Street, in downtown St. Marys. The structure is the centre building in a continuous block, bordered by Wellington Street to the east and Water Street to the west. The three-storey limestone building was constructed in circa 1859.

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 70-81).

Heritage Value

Located in the historic downtown of St. Marys, the building contributes to the distinctive built fabric found in the core. This is one of the oldest limestone buildings and it contributes to the vernacular architecture of the downtown.

The John McDonald Block is associated with the early commercial development of the Town of St. Marys. Early retail in the town was spearheaded by three men: John Ingersoll, Lauristan Cruttenden and James McKay. Through the stores opened by these men, Queen Street established itself as the main commercial centre of town. The property on which the John McDonald Block was built is significant because it is believed to have been the site of an earier log cabin, likely built by Cruttenden or McKay that functioned as one of the earliest retail establishments in St. Marys. Local grocer John McDonald replaced the log cabin with the current limestone commercial building in circa 1859.

The coursed rubble limestone facade of the John McDonald Block is representative of early St. Marys retail buildings. The storefront features a flat wooden roof similar to those on other limestone buildings in the downtown. Of note are the horizontal window band under the storefront sign and the six second and third-storey symmetrically placed double-hung windows.

Source: Town of St. Marys, By-law 70-81.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the John McDonald Block include its:
- location within a block of commercial buildings
- three-storey limestone construction
- cast iron supports
- horizontal window band
- flat wooden roof
- symmetrically placed double-hung 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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




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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