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Ward-Dods-Millcroft House

55, John Street, Town of Caledon, Ontario, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/11/18

Of note is the building's lack of symmetry as seen in the windows and additions.; Kirsten Pries, 2008.
Ward-Dods-Millcroft House
Featured is the red brick exterior.; Kirsten Pries, 2008.
Ward-Dods-Millcroft House
Featured are the gardens.; Kirsten Pries, 2008.
Ward-Dods-Millcroft House

Other Name(s)

Ward-Dods-Millcroft House
Steldon School
55 John Street

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2010/02/05

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Ward-Dods-Millcroft House is located at 55 John Street on the east side of John Street, north of Queen Street West, in Alton, in the Town of Caledon. The two-and-a-half storey, red brick house was constructed in circa 1880.

The property was designated, by the Town of Caledon in 1985, for its heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 85-167.

Heritage Value

The Ward-Dods-Millcroft House is associated with the woollen mill of the Ward and Dods families, which was one of the major industries of Alton. Benjamin Ward bought the Alton Knitting Mill, known locally as the 'Upper Mill', in the 1875 and subsequently constructed a home on the property in the 1880's. This house was later occupied by Ward's daughter, Fanny Ward, and her husband, John M. Dods. John M. Dods purchased the woollen mill and took over its operation in 1892. After Fanny's death in 1902, John married Cora Barber. Sometime before World War One, Cora hired Tom King, a gardener from England, who created the terraced gardens for which the house became renowned. In the 1980s, the owners of the Millcroft Inn purchased the mill owner's house with the goal to restore it and the gardens, to their former grandeur. Now known as the Manor House, the former residence has been converted for use as a hotel.

The Ward-Dods-Millcroft House reflects a composite of a late Victorian building with later Edwardian style improvements. Italianate-inspired architecture can be seen in the turret and the general lack of symmetry. The original windows have buff brick voussoirs with brick keystones. The gently terraced garden is included in the designation. An important part of the property, the beautiful gardens show symmetry and attention to detail which is often associated with the heavily sculpted Italian style gardens, fashionable in Britain in the late Victorian era.

Source: Town of Caledon, By-law 85-167.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Ward-Dods-Millcroft House include its:
- two-and-a-half-storey brick construction
- high gable roof
- decorative polychromatic brickwork
- lack of symmetry
- square three storey turret
- windows with rounded heads
- radiating voussoirs with brick keystones
- unusual multi-paned windows (36 panes)
- gently terraced garden




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

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Town of Caledon Planning and Development 6311 Old Church Road Caledon, Ontario L7C 1J6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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