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50 John Street, Port Hope

50, John Street, Port Hope, Ontario, L1A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/10/11

View of the main (east) facade showing proportions and scale – June 2005; OHT, 2005
View of the main (east) façade – June 2005
View of the main entrance on the main façade showing gothic arch glass panels – November 2001; OHT, 2001
View of the main entrance – November 2001
View of the south elevation of the rear hall showing buttresses and windows – November 2001; OHT, 2001
View of the south elevation of the rear hall – Nov

Other Name(s)

Orange Hall
50 John Street, Port Hope

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/11/23

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The building at 50 John Street, often referred to as the Orange Hall, is situated on one of downtown Port Hope's busiest retail streets. The building consists of a two-storey, flat-roofed front section and a single-storey, gable-roofed rear auditorium, and was constructed to the design of architect Cornelius John Soule in 1874. The exterior of the building is protected by an Ontario Heritage Trust conservation easement. The property is also designated by the Municipality of Port Hope under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (Bylaw 91-89).

Heritage Value

The building at 50 John Street is associated with three of Canada's most recognized faith-based community organizations. Erected on lands purchased in September 1874 by William Craig, who was then the president of the Port Hope Chapter of the Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA), its grand opening in December 1874, marked the building as the tenth YMCA facility in Canada and the sixtieth in the world. Mounting expenses and decreased membership forced the YMCA to sell the building in 1912 to the Governing Council of the Salvation Army. After almost a quarter-century of ownership, the Salvation Army sold the building to the Loyal Orange Association in 1936. 50 John St. housed Loyal Orange Lodge No. 309 until 1972, when it was sold for use as a commercial building. Thus, historically, 50 John Street was a significant resource to the social development of Port Hope.

A unique example of a vernacular structure influenced by late Victorian Gothic detailing 50 John Street was designed by local architect Cornelius John Soule and was built by P.R. Randall for a total cost of $12,000 in 1874. Though the principle area of architectural interest is the main facade with its pointed shaped opening, the one-storey auditorium to the rear of the property is also of interest for its pleasant proportions and modest Gothic and Tudor details. The projecting gable pediment and strong sill line accentuate the Gothic styling of the two- storey front facade in contrast to the single brick buttressed and simple gable roof of the rear auditorium.

Situated amidst seven other designated heritage properties, the building at 50 John Street contributes to one of Port Hope's most recognizable heritage streetscapes. The building also contributes to the tourism atmosphere of Port Hope in a town often referred to as “the Antique Capital” of rural Ontario.

Source: Conservation Easement Files, Ontario Heritage Trust

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that illustrate the heritage values include:
- the lightly coloured brick of the front facade and red brick for the rear auditorium
- the steeply pitched false pediment
- ornamental arched emblem at the roofline of the main (east) facade
- the two sets of paired lancet windows
- the large circular oculus on the second storey of the main (east) facade
- the recessed entranceway with corbelled archway
- the wooden double doors with single wood coffers located below arched glass panels
- the articulation of the rear auditorium in six bays by seven buttresses
- the casement windows of the auditorium which are flanked by wooden shutters and are comprised of four narrow rectangular panes below two wood-framed circular panes
- the gable roof of the auditorium including the structural timber trusses and sheet metal shingles
- its position and location on John Street within the historic streetscape




Recognition Authority

Ontario Heritage Trust

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Ontario Heritage Foundation Easement

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1972/01/01 to 1972/01/01
1936/01/01 to 1972/01/01
1874/01/01 to 1912/01/01
1912/01/01 to 1936/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment


Recreation Centre

Architect / Designer

Cornelius John Soule


P.R. Randall

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

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

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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