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Robinet Winery Building

3200, Sandwich Street, City of Windsor, Ontario, N9C, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1993/03/03

A good example of a late 19th century, three-storey, vernacular commercial building.; City of Windsor, Nancy Morand
Robinet Winery Building, 2005
A neighbourhood landmark and the only three-storey commercial building in historic Sandwich.; City of Windsor files
Robinet Winery Building, circa 1895
No Image

Other Name(s)

Robinet Winery Building
St. Antoine Block

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/08/28

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.

Heritage Value

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.

Character-Defining Elements

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.




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
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer



Jules Robinet

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Office of Heritage Planner, City of Windsor

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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