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John Buchan House

566, Dundas Street, London, Ontario, N6B, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2006/02/06

Buchan House, viewed from the southwest.; D. Menard, 2005
Buchan House, May 2005
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Other Name(s)

John Buchan House
Buchan House

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/01/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Built in two stages in 1872 and 1887, Buchan House is a prominent two-and-a-half-storey red brick building located on the north side of Dundas Street, west of Adelaide Street North, in Central London.

The John Buchan House has been designated for its cultural heritage value by City of London By-law L.S.P.-3379-49.

Heritage Value

The John Buchan House is noted for its distinctive Italianate and Romanesque style architectural features, notably the twin turrets which frame its facade, the prominent centre gable and the stone lions guarding the front entrance. The building's distinctive architectural characteristics, which are indicative of the values and lifestyle of the late-19th century upper middle class, emphasize the contrast of a residential building situated on a busy commercial and institutional avenue.

The building's connection to prominent London figures and institutions in the 19th and 20th centuries adds to its importance. Located on land that was granted to the Crown by Reverend Benjamin Cronyn in 1845, it was later purchased by Thomas Aspden, who constructed a single family home in 1872; this structure now forms the rear of the present building. In 1887, Thomas Baker Escott, a local merchant who operated one of the most important wholesale grocery businesses in the southwestern Ontario, remodeled the structure by adding the turreted front section and naming it "Oakhurst."

Subsequent owner Albert Daniel Jordan established the London Institute of Musical Art there. Still later the building served multiple uses, including the "Oakhurst School for Girls", the Western Ontario Conservatory for Music and, in 1944, housing people of Japanese descent from British Columbia. In 1945, the Tweedsmuir Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion purchased the building and formed the Buchan House Limited Company to administer the house.

Sources: City of London By-law L.S.P.-3379-49; 'A History of 566 Dundas', L. Burt and J. Morrison (Buchan House Ltd), no date.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the building's heritage value include the:
- twin turrets with slate roofs and finials framing the front facade
- corbelled brick at the cornice and stone window head bands
- centre gable with decorative bargeboard, and returned eaves
- second floor bay constructed with engaged Doric columns resting on paneled woodwork
- front porch supported by Doric columns
- front entrance with double leaf doors, sidelights and transom
- three-storey bay on the west facade
- segmented arched windows with brick voussoirs
- decorative corbelled brick chimneys
- finials at both peaks of the main roof
- Italianate brackets on the rear portion which is white brick, later red washed.
- red brick on the front exterior 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)

1887/01/01 to 1887/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Learning and the Arts
Building Social and Community Life
Community Organizations

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Office of Heritage Planner, Planning Department, City of London.

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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