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Barnes-Fawcett Block

358, Queen Street, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/10/16

Looking north-east from Queen Street East; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Barnes-Fawcett Block, 2004
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Other Name(s)

Barnes-Fawcett Building
Barnes-Fawcett Block

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/05/15

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Erected in 1913, the two storey brick Barnes-Fawcett Block is located on the north side of Queen Street East in the commercial district of downtown Sault Ste. Marie. Five street-front entrances open out onto Queen Street East.

The Barnes-Fawcett Block has been recognized for its heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie, By-law 89-312.

Heritage Value

The Barnes-Fawcett Block was integral to the commercial development of the Queen Street commercial district by developer Theron T. Barnes, a noted Sault Ste. Marie entrepreneur. Designed by noted local architects Moran and McPhail, it is as an excellent example of 20th century commercial architecture in Sault Ste. Marie.

Theron T. Barnes was a successful “west end” druggist whose original drug store in the Barnes Block had prospered for some eleven years prior to the construction on the Barnes-Fawcett Block where he opened a second drug store. Another Sault Ste. Marie entrepreneur, S. W. Fawcett owned a portion of the property at the time of the development.

The development of the Barnes-Fawcett Block was important to the commercial development of Queen Street, filling in one of several empty blocks. This thoroughfare, Sault Ste. Marie's main commercial avenue, has a somewhat unusual history in that development commenced from the two ends and moved toward the centre. For many years, empty lots on central Queen had been a disgrace to the town. Although the contractors began construction of the Barnes-Fawcett Block in 1913, Mr. Barnes did not open his second store, the Central Drug Store, until 1915.

The Block was designed by Stewart Moran and Albert McPhail, two young architects, recently settled in Sault Ste. Marie, who had won the right to design Central School and the Wellington Square Town Houses. Designed as a matched pair of buildings, with separate identities appearing on the pediment panels, the Barnes-Fawcett Block was constructed as a single structure, housing two stores on the ground floor and offices on the second. The buildings are well proportioned, symmetrically designed, handsomely modelled and less altered than many other of similar age or more recent vintage on Queen Street. The building treatment is a bolder, if not a simpler version of the Classical Revival style employed by the same architects for the Wellington Square Town House project.

Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation By-law 89-312; Barnes-Fawcett Block Designation Report.

Character-Defining Elements

Key character defining elements that illustrate the heritage values include:
- the 'Barnes' and 'Fawcett' pediment panels on the front facade
- two sets of two symmetrically designed storefronts, accessed at the street level through shared entrances
- central entrance accessing the stairs to the second floor offices
- two pairs of windows symmetrically located on both buildings for the second floor offices
- symmetrical brackets and large dentils accentuating the cornice and frieze
- projecting and non-projecting pilasters accentuating the overall design of a matched pair of brick clad buildings
- stone sills and keystones, modillions and lettering
- large entablature over storefronts;ready-made for store signage
- its central location in the Queen Street East commercial 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
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

Stewart Moran and Albert McPhail


Theron T. Barnes

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie

Cross-Reference to Collection

Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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