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Second Guest Block (East portion)

142, Queen, Town of St. Marys, Ontario, N4X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/10/13

Of note is the continuous limestone commercial block.; Gordon Strathdee, 2007.
Facade, Second Guest Block (East portion), 2007
Of note are the smooth limestone cladding, quoining and voussoirs.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Facade, Second Guest Block (East portion), 2007
Of note are the intricate woodwork, large storefront windows, and recessed entranceway.; Martina Braunstein, 2007.
Detailed View, Second Guest Block, 2007

Other Name(s)

Old Journal Argus Building
The Chocolate Factory
142 Queen Street East
Second Guest Block (East portion)

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2009/12/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Second Guest Block (East portion), located at 142 Queen Street East, is on the south side of Queen Street East in downtown St. Marys. The three storey limestone commercial 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 69-1981).

Heritage Value

The Second Guest Block (East portion) is part of a continuous limestone commercial block that contributes greatly to the downtown vernacular. Its location and limestone cladding provide visual continuity and add to the distinctive character of the historic downtown. The structure is associated with T.B. Guest, a prominent businessman and an ambitious politician. Guest served as the first Reeve of Blanshard Township, the first Reeve of the village of St. Marys, the first Mayor of the town and as an elected member of the Ontario Legislature representing South Perth. Guest was responsible for building a number of commercial buildings in the downtown core, including this imposing limestone block in 1868.

The Second Guest Block (East portion) is also associated with the Eedy family who operated a local newspaper called the St. Marys Journal Argus from these premises for most of the 20th century. J.W. Eedy came to St. Marys in 1896 from St. Thomas and bought the St. Marys Journal. In 1920, it was amalgamated with a rival weekly journal, the St. Marys Argus, and became the St. Marys Journal Argus. Although the paper is now operating from another downtown location, it retains a strong association with the Second Guest Block (East portion).

The Second Guest Block is considered to be one of the most picturesque storefronts in the Town of St. Marys. Reminiscent of the Classical Revival style, the store features a simple plan with careful proportions composed of large limestone blocks. The recessed entrance, situated to the far right of the storefront, features an attractive wooden transom while the two large display windows occupy the left and sit above handsomely carved wooden mouldings. The facade's second and third storeys display intricate detailing in the large concrete quoins, the raised voussoirs surrounding the windows and the stone lugs below the windows. Also of note is the flat roof, typical of 19th century commercial buildings, which exhibits a cornice with double sets of brackets as supports and a miniature wooden fence atop.

Source: Town of St. Marys, By-law 69-1981.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the contextual value of the Second Guest Block (East portion) include its:
- location within a continuous stone commercial block
- visual relationship to other heritage resources in the historic downtown core of St. Marys
- simple plan with careful proportions reminiscent of Classical Revival style
- smooth limestone cladding made up of large blocks
- flat roof
- miniature wooden fence on rooftop
- cornice featuring double sets of brackets
- symmetrical fenestration
- concrete quoins
- raised voussoirs above second and third-storey windows
- stone lugs below second and third-storey windows
- recessed entrance
- wooden transom
- large display windows
- ground floor wooden carved mouldings




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

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of St. Marys P.O. Box 998 175 Queen St. East St. Marys, Ontario N4X1B6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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