Robinet Winery Building
3200, Sandwich Street, City of Windsor, Ontario, N9C, Canada
Robinet Winery Building
St. Antoine Block
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Robinet Winery Building is a late 19th-century, three-storey, vernacular commercial building with a flat roof. Constructed of local bricks and located in the historic Sandwich community of west Windsor, it is recognized for its heritage value by the City of Windsor By-law 11347, 1993.
The Robinet Winery Building is an important pre-1900 addition to the commercial core of the former Town of Sandwich and associated with winemaker Jules Robinet, the buildings' first owner and builder.
The patriarch of a prominent Sandwich family, an entrepreneur and well-known merchant, Robinet is credited with launching the winemaking industry in Essex County. When he acquired the property in 1894, much of the land on Mill and Felix Streets was covered with vineyards. The area's premier winemaker for more than 50 years (1883-1935), he supplied both wines and grapes, which he bought from suppliers across Essex County, to clients in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba. Originally known as the St. Antoine Block, the building included a spacious cellar for Robinet's winemaking, a grocery store on the first floor, and living accommodations for the family on the upper floors. Since its construction (circa 1895), it has been an integral part of the community's commercial core, with retail activity continuing on the ground floor.
The structure is a good example of a typical 19th-century vernacular commercial building, despite some exterior alterations. Built in a simple, symmetrical, three-storey, flat-roofed design the bricks from Robinet's nearby brickyard are still visible on the first floor. The upper levels have been stuccoed over. The oblique corner entrance remains intact, and the building displays Italianate accents, which were popular at the time, in its flat arched windows and brackets along the cornice.
An important pre-1900 addition to Sandwich's commercial core, the building is prominently sited at the corner of Sandwich and Mill Streets in close proximity to other significant heritage properties. The only three-storey commercial building in Sandwich, it is a neighbourhood landmark.
Source: Building Analysis Form, December 11, 1997; City of Windsor By-law 11347, 1993; and the City of Windsor Heritage Planner's files.
Key character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value include its:
- prominent siting at a major intersection
- uniqueness as the only three-storey commercial building in Sandwich;
- proximity to other significant heritage buildings, including the Sandwich Post Office (1905) directly across the street, Duff-Baby House (1798), Mackenzie Hall (1855) and many others.
- simple, symmetrical, three-storey, flat-roofed design
- brick construction using local bricks
- oblique corner entrance
- Italianate accents including flat arched windows and brackets along the cornice.
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
Function - Category and Type
- Commerce / Commercial Services
- Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Office of Heritage Planner, City of Windsor
Cross-Reference to Collection