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Bowes Building

21 Canterbury Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/03/18

This photograph shows an overall view of the the façades on Canterbury and Grannan Streets.; Commercial Properties Limited
Bowes Building - Contextual view
This image shows the restored street-level storefront.; Commercial Properties Limited
Bowes Building - Storefront
This image shows the street-level windows along the side of the building.; Commercial Properties Limited
Bowes Building - Windows

Other Name(s)

Bowes, Campbell & Ellis
Archibald G. Bowes & Co.
Archibald G. Bowes & Co.
Bowes Building
Bowes, Campbell & Ellis

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1877/01/01 to 1879/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Bowes Building is a four storey brick Italianate building at the corner of Canterbury and Grannan (formerly Church Street) Streets in the commercial district of uptown Saint John. 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. The Italianate building is also significant in its association with tinsmith Archibald G. Bowes, for whom the building was built. Like in many buildings in the area, goods were manufactured and assembled on site including, in this case, stoves and tinware items. 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: The Storefront - large plateglass windows - five cast iron columns with decorative mouldings on the capitals. - two end brick columns - door, transoms, and base panel are all wooden - lower panel of the door matches the base panel under the smaller storefront window. - metal cornice - signboard under the cornice The Upper Storeys (Canterbury Street) - broad wood framing on all windows - three two-over-two segmented arch windows on all floors - windows have brick segmented arches and sandstone sills - extra course of brick between 3rd floor windows and roof cornice with segmented arches formed over upper windows - protruding course of bricks on both ends of front façade topped with decorative brickwork below roof-line cornice - corbel bands in V formation under roof cornice The Church Street façade: - end chimney - two over two segmented arch windows on 2nd, 3rd and 4th floors - flush segmented arches - one over one windows on 1st floor - broad wood framing on all windows - building built on a slope allowing it to have an extra floor on the west side and a split level on Church Street - six segmented arch openings at ground level on Church Street, each one increasing in size with the slope, with sandstone sills and flush segmented arches. The openings are covered with vertical wood slats with old wooden decorative hinges.



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 1881/01/01
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


Police Station


Metal Products Manufacturing Facility

Architect / Designer

Dunham & Clark



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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