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Almonte Post Office

73, Mill Street, Mississippi Mills, Ontario, K0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/12/19

View from the southwest showing vertical proportions and steeply pitched roof – August 1996; OHT, 1996
View from the southwest – August 1996
Historic view from the southwest showing vertical proportions and steeply pitched roof – c. 1920; almonte.com, 2002
Historic view from the southwest – c. 1920
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1889/01/01 to 1891/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/05/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The building at 73-77 Mill Street, commonly known as the Almonte Post Office, is situated on a triangular piece of land at the corner of Little Bridge and Mill Streets in the former Town of Almonte. The two-and-a-half-storey building was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by architect Thomas Fuller and was constructed between 1889 and 1891. The exterior of the building and interior elements such as the main staircase and tin ceiling are protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust conservation easement. The property is also a National Historic Site and has been designated by the Town of Mississippi Mills under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (Bylaw 26-1978).

Heritage Value

The Almonte Post Office is significant as a work of Thomas Fuller, Canada's Chief Dominion Architect from 1881 to 1896 and a member of the firm that designed the Centre Block of Canada's Parliament Buildings. During his time as Chief Architect, Fuller oversaw the design of 78 public buildings, all of which were intended to increase the presence of government in Canadian small towns. Each building site, including that of the Almonte Post Office, was selected based upon its prominence, visibility, and location, ensuring that every new public building would become a focal point within its respective community. With a total project cost of approximately $30,000, the Almonte Post Office was one of the smaller projects commissioned by Fuller, despite its impressive and robust appearance.

The building's design incorporates elements of various architectural styles, however, its overall composition is most often referred to as Romanesque Revival. Constructed by local builder Robert Cameron, the building's style is characteristic of Fuller's other designs and is distinguished by features such as its steep gable roof and its variegated stone patterns. Interestingly, the building's monumental four-faced clock tower was not added until between 1913 and 1916 when a local Member of Parliament, named William Thoburn, ordered its construction. Thoburn, who was also a local mill owner, was rumoured to have demanded the erection of the clock tower to ensure the timely arrival of his employees to work each morning. The period between 1913 and 1916 also saw the construction of a rear addition to the building. Both the tower and the rear annex have been skillfully bound to the building's central structure and are difficult to distinguish from the original fabric.

As dictated by the federal standards of the time, the Almonte Post Office is situated upon one of the community's most highly elevated sites, and as such, is the most prominent feature within the town's central core. The building's clock tower can be viewed from a number of vantage points across the town, however, the most striking view of the structure can be captured while looking east from the bottom of Mill Street. Almonte's central core is also the site of a number of other recognized heritage structures including the Victoria Woollen Mill (1857), the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum (1866), and Almonte Town Hall (1885).

Source: Conservation Easement Files, Ontario Heritage Trust

Character-Defining Elements

Items that contribute to the historical value of the Almonte Post Office include:
- association with Thomas Fuller, Canada's Chief Dominion Architect from 1881 to 1896
- existence as one of the 78 federal public buildings constructed during Fuller's term as Chief Dominion Architect

Exterior features that contribute to the architectural value of the Almonte Post Office include:
- Romanesque Revival design, which is commonly associated with Fuller's public buildings
- use of Beckwith Limestone for the foundation, North Elmsley Sandstone for the exterior walls, and Nova Scotia Red Sandstone for the decorative features
- massive stone gable on the main (south) façade that features simple geometric masonry patterning and three small flat-headed windows
- two main entrances flanking the central window on the main (south) façade, with each entrance characterized by large voussoirs, a hood mould, and a semicircular transom set above a pair of coffered wood doors
- flat-headed, double-hung sash windows of the second storey, each enriched with checkerboard detailing
- helm-shaped clock tower with four-faced clock and internal chiming mechanism
- steeply pitched metal standing seam roof which is punctuated on both the north and south sides by hipped dormers containing sphere-capped finials

Interior features that contribute to the architectural value of the Almonte Post Office include:
- original tin ceiling on the ground floor
- wooden staircase with heavily turned newel posts and railings

Characteristics that contribute to the contextual value of the Almonte Post Office include:
- location upon one of the community's most highly elevated sites
- prominence of the clock tower as one of the town's most visible landmarks
- close proximity to various other recognized heritage resources




Recognition Authority

Ontario Heritage Trust

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Ontario Heritage Foundation Easement

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1913/01/01 to 1916/01/01
1968/01/01 to 1968/01/01
1976/01/01 to 1976/01/01
1978/01/01 to 1978/01/01
1983/01/01 to 1983/01/01
1985/01/01 to 1985/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Post Office

Architect / Designer

Thomas Fuller


Robert Cameron

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Conservation Easement Files Ontario Heritage Foundation 10 Adelaide Street East Toronto, Ontario

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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