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David Smart House

175, Dorset Street West, Port Hope, Ontario, L8P, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/09/19

View from Dorset Street West; Susan Schappert, 2007
View of the North Portico; Susan Schappert, 2007
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Other Name(s)

David Smart House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/07/24

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This grandly scaled two and one-half storey house is located at the top of Dorset Street West. Set in a carefully manicured landscape of mature trees, gardens and hedges, only the north portico of this Beaux Arts house can be seen from the street.

The David Smart House, known as 'Hillcrest', has been recognized for its heritage value by the Municipality of Port Hope By-law #51/83, passed on September 19th, 1983.

Heritage Value

Hillcrest is the only example of Beaux Arts architecture in Port Hope. This massive two and one-half storey building is distinguished by its elaborate fenestration and shutters, Jeffersonian portico with Corinthian columns, and large verandah with balcony. Remarkably intact, the decorative elements including the bracketed eaves, Palladian windows and arched dormers exemplify the eclectic and elaborate detailing of the Beaux Arts style, as does the imposing scale of the building.

Built circa 1874, Hillcrest is associated with one of the founding families of Port Hope. It was constructed for David Smart, a barrister, whose father (David Smart Sr.) was a very prominent member of early Port Hope society. David Sr. was a businessman who owned the Durham Distillery, and was the Port Hope postmaster for over 50 years. In 1874, his son, David Smart, married Emily A. Worts of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery in Toronto, and purchased 15 acres of the Dorset Street hilltop to construct their new home. After David's death in 1895, Emily moved back to Toronto and rented the house out, until John Schwartz, an American who was looking for a summer home in Port Hope, purchased it. Schwartz (who later anglicized his name to Black) enlarged the house in 1900 and added the imposing Jeffersonian portico on the north facade.

While much of the house is shielded from the streetscape by a large row of hedges, the peak of the roof and top of the portico are visible as one travels up the hill of Dorset Street. Hillcrest makes a grand contribution to the neighbourhood, which is dominated by large historic homes with mature trees, large expanses of lawn and grand gardens.

Source: Heritage Designation for 175 Dorset Street West: David Smart House By-law #51/83.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements that reflect the heritage value include the:
- 2-½ storey red brick exterior walls with hipped roof
- Jeffersonian portico with large pediment and Corinthian columns on the north facade
- large verandah with second-storey balcony and Ionic scrolled columns
- fenestration, including Palladian windows, arched dormers, 16 over 1 sash
- oculus and shutters




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1900/01/01 to 1900/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn


Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Designation Report for 175 Dorset Street West: David Smart House (Hillcrest) Heritage Port Hope Files, Port Hope Town Hall, 56 Queen Street, Port Hope Ganaraska Archives, Mill Street, Port Hope

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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