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Smithtown Hill House

269 Edinburgh Street, Peterborough, Ontario, K9H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/06/21

Smithtown Hill House, 2004; City of Peterborough
Smithtown Hill House
Addition, 2004; City of Peterborough
Smithtown Hill House
Original building, 2004; City of Peterborough
Smithtown Hill House

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1847/01/01 to 1848/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/09/21

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Smithtown Hill House occupies a prominent site at the top of the hill at Stewart and Edinburgh Streets in a residential neighbourhood of Victorian and early 20th century homes. The two-storey house consists of a vernacular Georgian style section and a wing built in the Tudor Revival style. Both interior and exterior elements of the house are recognized for their heritage
value by the City of Peterborough Bylaw 2004-110.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of the Smithtown Hill House resides in its association with the early settlers of Peterborough. The original limestone house was built in 1847 for John Edmison, one of the first settlers in the Peterborough area. By 1857 it was the home of Mossom Boyd and his family, a noted lumber merchant.

The heritage value of the Smithtown Hill House also resides in its architectural significance and association with the noted architect, John E. Belcher, who not only lived in the house but also renovated it and built an addition. John E. Belcher and his wife, Clementina, leased the house from her uncle, Mossom Boyd in the 1870's.

The house consists of two parts, architecturally significant in different ways. The original house has two-foot thick walls constructed of limestone rubble quarried from nearby Jackson's Park. It is an extremely well preserved and imposing example of the vernacular Georgian style, with some changes made by Belcher. It has a moat around three sides, covered by a veranda. The wing designed by Belcher is an elaborate and impressive example of Tudor Revival style and is centered on the north facade and features an elaborate pattern of false half-timbering. The dining room renovated by Belcher in a style inspired by the noted British designer Charles Eastlake, is unique and exceptionally fine. The house was originally oriented towards the south, facing the gardens, but is now oriented towards Edinburgh Street. The house remained in the possession of John Belcher's descendants until 1987.

Source: Heritage Designation Brief, Office of the Clerk, City of Peterborough Bylaw 2004-110

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that embody the heritage value of the Smithtown Hill House include:
-all features that contribute to the Georgian vernacular style of the original 1847 building, such as low pitched hip roof, wide verandah, limestone walls and fenestration
-all features of the Belcher additions, both interior and exterior, such as the Tudor Revival wing and interior dining room
-the moat that surrounds the original 1847 house on three facades, covered by the verandah




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1857/01/01 to 1857/01/01
1870/01/01 to 1880/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer

John E. Belcher



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Preservation Office, City of Peterborough, City Hall, File 2004-110

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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