Description of Historic Place
The Robert E. Ryerson Residence is located at 18 Ada Avenue, on the south side of Ada Avenue, between Brant Avenue and St. Paul Avenue, in the City of Brantford. The two storey, buff brick residence was constructed in circa 1895.
The property was designated, by the City of Brantford in 1994, for its cultural heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act, By-law 151-94.
The Robert E. Ryerson Residence is located in a residential area at 18 Ada Avenue. A sister home is located at 20 Ada Avenue and both houses are well situated among the other heritage homes that fill the neighbourhood. The Robert E. Ryerson Residence reflects the heritage character of the neighbourhood.
The Robert E. Ryerson Residence is associated with the original owner of the house, Robert E. Ryerson, a member of a well-known local family. He was the grandson of Rev. William Ryerson and his great uncle was Dr. Egerton Ryerson, the educationalist and founder of Victoria College, today the University of Toronto.
Robert and his brother Frederick founded Ryerson Bros., wholesale and domestic fruit importers, in 1885. Ryerson Bros. was one of the best known fruit and produce firms in western Ontario. Robert was also an alderman for a number of years and served for 12 years as the Chairman of the Public School Board. He was a Member of Parliament for two consecutive terms spanning 1925 to 1935.
The Robert E. Ryerson Residence is a good example of the Italianate style of architecture. The home is elaborately decorated with many features distinct to this style. The facade is dominated by an open porch and a three-sided, two storey bay window. The gable on the right side of the porch is adorned with an elaborately carved decorative floral pattern.
The roof line is decorated with an ornate soffit and frieze on three sides of the building. The decorated frieze has an arched configuration above each of the keystones on the second storey windows on the facade. Decorative brackets in groupings of two, characteristic of the Italianate style, also form part of the frieze.
Generally the windows on the dwelling are double hung units, and the majority have a one over one glazing pattern. All the windows have brick voussoirs and segmented heads.
Source: City of Brantford, By-law 151-94.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Robert E. Ryerson Residence include its:
- two storey, buff brick exterior
- hip roof
- open porch along the entire façade
- rear porch on the east elevation
- four wooden posts with decorative brackets and ornate trim where the posts join the roof
- decorative floral design in the gable end
- three-sided, two storey bay window
- front windows with Tudor arch heads, tapered brick and raised decorative keystones
- large three sash window, with a one over one pane arrangement, segmented head and brick voussoirs
- plain wood fascia and decorated soffit
- decorated frieze on three elevations
- decorative brackets in groups of two