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Imperial Building

1900-1942 Wyandotte St. E., City of Windsor, Ontario, N8Y, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/03/04

A neighbourhood landmark, the Imperial Building is typical of 1920-style commercial architecture.; City of Windsor, Nancy Morand
Imperial Building, 2000
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Other Name(s)

Imperial Building
Imperial Building

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1921/01/01 to 1922/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/06/29

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Imperial Building is a symmetrically designed three-storey, red brick commercial block with limestone trim that typifies the 1920s style of commercial architecture. Located on a major thoroughfare in the historic Walkerville area of Windsor, it is recognized for its heritage value by City of Windsor Bylaw 10594, 1991.

Heritage Value

The Imperial Building reflects the commercial development and prosperity of the former Town of Walkerville in the early decades of the 20th century. This commercial block was built for the Walkerville Land and Building Company to house retail shops and professional offices serving the thriving community. These original uses continue, and today include residential apartments on the upper floors.

Prominent Windsor architect James Carlisle Pennington designed this building, which is a well-preserved example of 1920s-style commercial architecture with some classical features. Constructed of red brick, it has limestone trimming at the belt courses, parapet, cornice and pier capitals. Other distinctive decorative features include the low-relief shield at the centre of the parapet and the incised name – “Imperial” – over the main bay.

The structure is a significant component of the commercial nature of Wyandotte Street East reflecting its contextual value. Prominently located at the corner of Kildare Road, it has been a neighbourhood landmark since 1922 and is a testament to the enduring commercial activity on this main street. Its proximity to other commercial heritage properties contributes to and helps maintain the sense of place of the commercial streetscape.

Sources: Building Analysis Form, July 1994, and City of Windsor Bylaw 10594, 1991.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character defining elements that express the heritage value of the Imperial Building as representative of 1920-style commercial architecture, with some classical features, include its:
- solid, symmetrical design;
- red brick construction with limestone trim at the belt courses, parapet, cornice and pier capitals;
- central entrance flanked by three bays on each side, divided by brick piers with carved stone capitals;
- central bay surmounted by a carved stone plinth with low-relief shield;
- incised name (Imperial) over the main bay;
- bronze or copper storefront window frames and wooden doors;
- three small diamond-shaped stones in each bay over the third-floor windows, the motif appearing on three sides of the building; and
- windows, which are one (horizontal) over two (vertical) except for the centre bay’s three over three.

Key character defining elements that contribute to the building’s local landmark status and contextual value include its:
- substance and size;
- prominent siting on a major thoroughfare in the commercial area of early Walkerville, which was developed by the Walkerville Land and Building Co.;
- interior layout reflecting office and retail use;
- proximity to other commercial heritage properties on Wyandotte East, including the Albert Kahn-designed Strathcona Block (1906-07) and the Bank of Montreal Building (1912-13).




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

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer

James Carlisle Pennington



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Office of Heritage Planner, City of Windsor

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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