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Smalley's Jewellery

91 Prince William Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/03/18

This photograph shows the Prince William Street façade, 2005.; City of Saint John
Smalley's Jewellery - Prince William Street
This photograph shows the Water Street façade, 2005.; City of Saint John
Smalley's Jewellery - Water Street
This photograph shows the storefront on the Prince William Street façade, 2005.; City of Saint John
Smalley's Jewellery - Storefront

Other Name(s)

Moirs Ltd.
Moirs Ltée.
Dearborn's Spice Mill
Smalley's Jewellery
Moulin à épice Dearborn

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/03/31

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Smalley's Jewellery is a narrow four-storey brick Italianate commercial building on Prince William Street which features a five-storey façade on Water Street. It is located in the Trinity Royal area of the City of Saint John.

Heritage Value

Smalley's Jewellery is designated a Local Historic Place for its architecture and for its association with its former occupants.

Smalley's Jewellery is one of a collection of commercial Italianate buildings that were built after two thirds of the city was destroyed by the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. Constructed circa 1878, this building is a good example of Italianate architecture from the rebuilding period in Saint John. This style is evident in details such as the rectangular massing, the segmented arch openings, the moulded cornice and the design of the storefront on the ground floor. The building also exhibits the unique feature of a four-storey façade facing Prince William Street and a five-storey façade facing Water Street at the rear of the building. The use of brick and the quality of the workmanship in this building represent the will for the city to rebuild, as well or better, after the fire.

Smalley’s Jewellery is also recognized for its former occupants. Arthur B. Smalley established his watch making company here about 1890 and remained here until after the First World War. For nearly 30 years, this was his jewellery shop in which watches were made and diamonds were sold. The company was later named A. B. Smalley and Son as his son Arthur C. Smalley joined the firm.

From 1919-1941, Moirs Ltd. occupied this building. Moirs Ltd. is famous for its long established chocolate making, dating back to 1815 when Scottish immigrant Benjamin Moir opened up a bakery in Halifax.

Today, Smalley’s Jewellery is connected to Water Street, but at one time the Water Street side was a separate building used by ship chandlers and grocers. It was also the location of Dearborn's Spice Mill for a number of years.

Source: Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the Italianate architecture of Smalley’s Jewellery include:
- narrow, rectangular massing ;
- exterior brick walls;
- overall symmetry of the of the placement of doors and windows.

The character-defining elements that describe the Prince William Street façade include:
- four storeys;
- projecting wooden cornice with dentils;
- segmented arch window openings with rectangular vertical sliding windows;
- brick header course connecting the second and third storey lintels;
- large central window on the second storey set within a segmented arch opening;
- ground-level storefront, consisting of two brick pilasters, two cast iron pilasters, two large storefront windows, a wide wooden door with glass panel and wooden bulkheads.

The character-defining elements that describe the Water Street façade include:
- five storeys;
- brick corbel bands brackets under the cornice;
- segmented arch openings;
- roman arch openings with keystones on top floor;
- sandstone sills;
- three segmented arch openings encompassed by a single segmented arch lintel.



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)


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


Post-Secondary Institution


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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