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Dawson Block

708, Queen Street East, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, P6A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1986/07/28

Looking east from East Street; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Dawson Block, Knights of Columbus, 2004
Looking north east from Queen Street East; City of Sault Ste. Marie
Dawson Block, 2004
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2007/12/07

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Dawson Block, built in 1894, is a two storey local red sandstone commercial building on the north east corner of Queen and East Streets. Sharing this major intersection with the Old Post Office it is located toward the eastern end of the Queen Street East commercial district in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.

The Dawson Block has been recognized for its heritage value by the City of Sault Ste. Marie By-law 86-189.

Heritage Value

John Dawson, the patriarch of a family with a long and significant record in commerce, public service and politics in Sault Ste. Marie built the Dawson Block in 1894 to house the family grocery business on the main level. Subsequently the Dawson Block has housed a number of community organizations including the Odd Fellows and former owners, the International Order of Foresters and the Knights of Columbus.

The Dawson Block is an example of a late 19th century Sault Ste. Marie commercial building constructed using local materials. Built of local red sandstone quarried during the construction of the Sault Ste. Marie locks, it was constructed as a very handsome, well proportioned building, reflecting the economic optimism of Sault Ste. Marie's Clergue Industrial Period (1894-1911). Although it is still a solid, attractive building, it has been much altered over the years, particularly with the removal of the Mansard roof and later with the removal of the whole third floor after a fire in 1953.

Sources: Sault Ste. Marie Designation By-law 86-189; Dawson Block Designation Report.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage values include the:
- Knights of Columbus crest on the east facade
- overall solid massing of the structure
- expansive store fronts at street level
- six arched second storey windows on the front facade
- arched central entrance
- dressed, rock-faced red sandstone on the street facades
- coursed rubble red sandstone stone on the north and east facades




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
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

Odd Fellows



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Community Services Department, Recreation and Culture Division, City of Sault Ste. Marie

Cross-Reference to Collection

Sault Ste. Marie Museum; Sault Ste. Marie Public Library Archives

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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