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Macartney Drug Store

15, Front St., Thorold, Ontario, L2V, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/11/07

Front facade of Macartney's Drug Store; Thorold's LACAC
Macartney Drug Store, now Henderson's Drug Store
Northeast corner of Macartney's Drug Store; Callie Hemsworth, Brock University, St.Catharines, 2008
Macartney's Drug Store
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2011/12/20

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Macartney Drug Store is a two storey brick Italianate style building set in the heart of Thorold's commercial district, at 15 Front Street South. The building has operated as a drug store from the time it was built in ca. 1872, with only two names connected to the business – Macartney and Henderson.

The building was designated for it heritage value by the City of Thorold By-law 93-2006.

Heritage Value

The site of the pharmacy, which was originally part of the holdings of George Keefer, a member of one of Thorold's founding families, was purchased by William John Macartney, one of the town's first druggists. Macartney had the building constructed in ca. 1872, selling drugs and toys from the premises for over 60 years; in 1939, he sold the business and building to Edward M. Henderson. Henderson was an active member of the town who served as an Alderman for 25 years, was Vice Chair of the Thorold Board of Trade and served on the Thorold Ambulance Association. He passed the business on to his son John M. Henderson, who continues to operate the pharmacy today.

Constructed at the height of popularity in the Italianate style of architecture, the building is a brick two-storey structure comprising of the store-front façade and an upper living/office space, topped off with the building's cornice. Most striking of the building's features are the second storey set of three hooded windows with label surrounding heads and lintels of cut local limestone and finished with an intricate glass panel at the top. Located in the alley, leading to the upper floor, a striking side door is flanked by two squared, fluted columns, and intricate glass displaying influences of Classical temples. Also noteworthy are the double-camber arches present above the cellar windows, visible at the side of the building.

The building's contextual value lies in its location within the heart of Thorold's commercial district and as an integral part of Thorold's commercial and service history. Adding to its heritage value is its enduring presence within its original environment and recognition as one of Thorold's longest standing businesses. A restoration that took place in the late 1980s stayed true to the original features of the building thus maintaining its visual identity to the citizens of Thorold and ensuring its place as one of Thorold's outstanding collection of heritage buildings. The restoration and maintenance of the building has also been recognized as a catalyst for downtown renewal.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of Macartney Drug Store include its:
- location within the commercial district
- enduring use as a drug store
- second storey hooded windows with label surrounds
- lintels using local limestone
- intricate glass panels
- Classical temple inspired side entry
- double-camber arches above the cellar windows
- proximity to other designated heritage properties within the historic district




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

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Historical Properties and By-law Designation Records Thorold Public Library 14 Ormond Street Thorold, Ontario

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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