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Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse

118, Wellington Street, Town of Aurora, Ontario, L4G, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2005/09/13

Currently undergoing renovation; Michael Seaman, Town of Aurora
Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse
Circa 1900; Unknown
Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse
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Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/02/27

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

A small one-storey frame building, the Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse was moved from its original site in the late 19th century to its present location on Wellington Street East, across from the railway station. This simple rectangular structure has a low-pitched gable roof, and is sited with the gable end facing the street.

The Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse has been recognized for its heritage value by the Town of Aurora By-law #4699-05.

Heritage Value

The Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse has strong historical significance as the oldest surviving schoolhouse in Aurora, York Region, and the GTA. Built circa 1837, it is likely the 3rd or 4th oldest remaining schoolhouse in Ontario. Originally located in the community of Hartman's Corners at the intersection of Bayview Avenue and Wellington Street East, one of the earliest teachers in this one-room schoolhouse was Joseph Hartman. Joseph was the son of Quaker immigrants from Pennsylvania, and went on to become one of early Aurora's most prominent citizens. In addition to teaching and farming, he was a temperance advocate, radical reformer, a leader in the Methodist Congregation, first Reeve of Whitchurch Township (1850-1859), County Warden and a Member of Provincial Parliament for York County.

A new brick schoolhouse was built in 1885, and the Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse was sold to George W. Graham, who moved the building to its present location at 118 Wellington Street East in Aurora. The building has been used as a private residence for over 120 years; however, it remains known in the community as a schoolhouse. Most schoolhouses of this era were torn down, so its continued use as a private residence makes it a rare survivor.

The architectural value of the Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse lies in its vertical plank construction. This early form of construction was used in communities in Ontario and Quebec during periods of lumber surpluses, and the Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse is the only known surviving schoolhouse built using this technique. Although the building has been altered over the years, a number of its original features remain intact, although hidden under aluminium siding, including the clapboard siding, original fenestration and trim.

Source: Heritage Designation Report: Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse, By-law #4699-05, Clerk's Office, Town of Aurora

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that describe the heritage value of the Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse include the:
- original schoolhouse rectangular form with low-pitched gable end roof
- original elements hidden under modern additions, including clapboard siding, trim, fenestration, and returned eaves
- vertical plank construction
- 19th century double hung windows




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

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


One-Room School

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Designation Report: Hartman's Corners Schoolhouse, By-law #4699-05, Clerk's Office, Aurora Town Hall, 1 Municipal Drive, Aurora

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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