Description of Historic Place
Elmwood Lodge, the Reuben J. Kennedy House, is a substantial two-and-a-half-storey, L-shaped yellow brick Victorian building. It is located on the west side of Yonge Street, south of the historic downtown core.
Elmwood Lodge has been recognized for its heritage value by the Town of Aurora By-law #4854.06.R.
When built, the house was originally located at the edge of Aurora and surrounded by farmland. However, in the late 1870's the Kennedy estate was sub-divided and in the late 19th century a residential neighbourhood sprang up around the house, although the sprawling residence retained ample room across its double lots. Anchoring the corner of Yonge and Kennedy Streets, the building has been absorbed into the southern business district of Aurora.
The heritage value of Elmwood Lodge is as a significant example of a large, late 19th century Victorian home built for and lived in by a prominent individual in Aurora. A significant landmark on Yonge Street, Elmwood Lodge has made the transition from rural to urban setting very well.
Elmwood Lodge's historical value resides in its association with several longstanding owners, the first of which was Reuben J. Kennedy, member of a prominent local family. William Kennedy Sr. was one of the founding members of present day Aurora, having received 210 acres of land in 1803. His heirs divided up the land, and Reuben J. Kenney, third son of William, likely built this substantial yellow brick home in the early 1870's. Andrew Yule, the next owner of the home, lived there for over forty years. Yule, who served as Town Reeve from 1884-1888, was the office manager of the Fleury Foundry, one of early Aurora's most important industries. Fleda McQuade purchased the house in 1934 and owned it for 45 years. It was she who named the property Elmwood Lodge.
Elmwood Lodge is a well-preserved vernacular eclectic Victorian farmhouse. The Gothic Revival influenced bargeboard trim in the gable apex, and the Italianate brackets supporting the eaves and bay windows, Classical entrance, and the early 20th century Art and Crafts front porch combine to create an interesting building that has become a significant landmark
Sources: Heritage Designation Report Elmwood Lodge: The Reuben J. Kennedy House, prepared by Michael Seaman, Town of Aurora By-law #4854.06R.
Character defining elements that describe the heritage value of Elmwood Lodge include the:
- L-shaped Victorian house form with Gothic Revival, Classical, and Italianate influences
- yellow brick facing and decorative brickwork
- decorative brackets and bargeboard
- original fenestration, sills, louvered shutters and shutter brackets
- early 20 century Arts and Crafts front porch