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Henry Rankine Residence

212 Germain Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/03/18

This photograph is a contextual view of the building on Germain Street, 2005.; City of Saint John
Henry Rankine Residence - Contextual view
This image shows the segmented arch main entrance, 2005.; City of Saint John
Henry Rankine Residence - Entrance
This image shows the highly ornate stone and cast iron fence that exhibits a circular and floral design that reflects the pattern specifically designed for the Girl Guide cookies, 2005.; City of Saint John
Henry Rankine Residence - Fence

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Henry Rankine Residence is one of a pair of similar two-storey brick Italianate residences surrounded by an ornate stone and cast iron enclosure. It is located on Germain Street within the Trinity Royal Preservation Area of the City of Saint John.

Heritage Value

The Henry Rankine Residence is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and its association with Henry Rankine and his family.

Many of the buildings in the residential district of Germain Street were constructed in the latter part of the 19th century or early 20th century as all the older buildings were destroyed in the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. Henry Rankine and his brother had this house and the adjoining residence, respectively, constructed in 1886. It is a good example of residential Italianate architecture from the rebuilding period in Saint John following the fire. This style is evident in the wide moulded cornice, the elaborate two-storey bay windows and the overall symmetry of the residence considered along with the adjoining residence.

The Henry Rankine Residence is also recognized for its association with the Rankine family. Henry Rankine’s father, Thomas A. Rankine, established a prominent biscuit manufacturing business located on Mill and George Streets in 1826. In the following years, Henry joined the family business as a partner with his father and younger brother, Frank. Upon the death of Thomas Rankine, Henry took over as president, while his brother, Frank, became the vice-president of the firm. Shortly thereafter, the business was incorporated and officially became known as “T. Rankine and Sons, Limited.” The company became renowned for its success as an incredibly long lasting family administered business and it continued to be so for well over a century. Henry Rankine made a name for himself outside of the family business as well. After his retirement in 1920, Rankine became involved in a number of philanthropic causes. Rankine remained at this Germain Street address until 1920. The lasting association with the Rankine family is evident through the circular floral pattern of the cast iron fence and gate that reflects the mould of one of the Rankines' most famous cookies, specifically designed for the Girl Guides of Canada.

Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The character defining elements that describe the Italianate architecture of the Henry Rankine Residence include:
- mirror image design to the adjoining residence, creating an overall symmetry of the two residences;
- wide moulded cornice supported by stone end brackets with a gargoyle carving in each;
- dentils and other highly decorative brick work along the cornice;
- elaborate two-storey bay windows;
- rectangular vertical sliding windows with sandstone lintels and sills;
- second storey projecting stone sills supported by brackets;
- segmented arch entrance with stone entablature and pronounced keystone, supported by stone, scrolled brackets and Ionic pilasters;
- wood and glass 4-paneled double doors;
- sandstone steps of the front entrance;
- sandstone plinth band;
- basement level windows with stone sills and stone lintels featuring floral designs at the corners.

The character-defining elements associated with the Rankine family enterprise include:
- highly ornate stone and cast iron fence and gate around the front lawn in a circular floral design reflecting the pattern specifically created for the Girl Guides' of Canada cookies.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Municipal Heritage Preservation Act, s.5(1)

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Preservation Act

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1886/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type



Single Dwelling

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development- City of Saint John

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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