Corner of Chatham and Dougall, City of Windsor, Ontario, N9A, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Formerly a townhouse complex, LaBelle Terrace is a two-storey, red brick, V-shaped structure in downtown Windsor, now used for offices and apartments. Located at 309 -327 Chatham Street West and 221 -241 Dougall Avenue and built in 1905, it is recognized for its heritage value by City of Windsor Bylaw 336-2001.
LaBelle Terrace is a rare surviving example of an early townhouse complex in downtown Windsor. It was built in 1905 as an income property for physician/coroner Dr. James LaBelle, who had a home/office nearby and saw a demand for quality housing in the vibrant downtown. At that time, the city’s commercial activity was centred in the downtown core and LaBelle’s eight townhouse units housed a succession of upscale Windsor citizens who worked in the area.
Now a commercial and residential building, LaBelle Terrace has social value as an imaginative early application of the 1980’s principle of promoting “new uses for old buildings.” Often referred to today as “adaptive re-use,” this approach involves the modification of a building to accommodate a new use, while retaining its historic features. The building’s conversion in 1979-80 allowed it to remain in continuous use, thereby helping to ensure its preservation. Today, it is the only remaining structure from the early 1900s in the vicinity.
The building is an attractive and well-proportioned, two-storey, red brick V-shaped structure, with clean lines and a flat roof. Although converted for commercial use in 1979-80, the basic, double-brick load-bearing masonry construction and other features remain intact. These include the original moulded metal cornice on the street elevations and the cast-stone windowsills.
The building, which fronts on both Dougall and Chatham Streets on the edge of the city’s commercial core, speaks to the vibrancy of downtown Windsor in the early 1900s, when the area was a mix of commercial, industrial and residential uses. Today, it is the only remaining structure from this era in the vicinity.
Sources: City of Windsor Bylaw 336-2001 and Building Analysis Form, April 2001.
Character defining elements that contribute to the building’s heritage values include:
- its prominent siting on a heavily travelled intersection at the edge of Windsor’s downtown core, now largely dominated by modern buildings
- two-storey, V-shaped design with clean lines and a flat roof;
- double-brick load-bearing masonry structure
- brick parapet with metal coping
- projecting moulded metal cornice on street elevations providing a unifying visual
- original window and door openings
- cast-stone windowsills.
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
1979/01/01 to 1980/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Office or Office Building
- Multiple Dwelling
Architect / Designer
Dr. James LaBelle
Location of Supporting Documentation
Office of Heritage Planner, City of Windsor
Cross-Reference to Collection