84 Main Street South
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Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Commercial Hotel is located at 84 Main Street South, on the east side of Main Street South, south of Market Street, in the Town of Seaforth, in the Municipality of Huron East. The three storey, buff-brick hotel was constructed in 1895.
The property was designated, by the former Town of Seaforth (now Municipality of Huron East) in 1984, for its heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 9-1984.
The Commercial Hotel, distinguished by its imposing size and style, is an integral part of the streetscape of the Main Street in the Town of Seaforth. It is one of a number of hotels built in Seaforth during the latter half of the nineteenth century, demonstrating the former prosperity and importance of the town. The building has continued to serve as a hotel for more than 100 years.
The Commercial Hotel opened its doors on October 21st, 1895. The original brick hotel, constructed in circa 1860, burned down in early 1895. The original hotel owner had a vault built into the north part of the building and The Royal Canadian bank opened for business in 1866. Over many years, the north end of the hotel was also used as a customs office and a barber shop.
During the late 1860s, Thomas Sharp owned the hotel. He built a frame building at the back of the hotel and called it Sharp's Hall. By 1873 the Commercial Hotel was owned by Alexander Davidson who had come to Seaforth from Ireland in 1872. He installed showers and baths for guests and boarders in Sharp's Hall. A billiard room was added to the hotel and opened in early 1877. In 1874 an overnight stay, with supper and breakfast included, cost one dollar. A single meal was 25 cents and farmers, with two horses, paid 35 cents for hay and dinner.
The Commercial Hotel is a large prominent brick building over 100 feet in length and 40 feet in height. Projecting pillars alleviate the horizontal nature of the building, which is accentuated by coloured brick at the window arches and sills. Prominent raised lettering in concrete, spelling “Commercial Hotel”, adorns the upper facade.
Source: Seaforth By-law 9-1984.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Commercial Hotel include its:
- three storey, buff-brick construction
- projecting pillars
- coloured brick at the window arches and sills
- raised lettering
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
- Architecture and Design
Function - Category and Type
- Multiple Dwelling
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Hotel, Motel or Inn
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Municipality of Huron East
72 Main Street
P.O Box 610
Cross-Reference to Collection