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Oswald House

2922, St. Paul Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, L2J, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1978/04/17

Front view of the Oswald House; City of Niagara Falls, date unknown
Oswald House
The Oswald House and surrounding iron fence, 1977; Ron Mottala, Niagara Falls Public Library Digital Collection, 1977
Oswald House
View of the Oswald House and garden; D. Fotherinham, 2011
Oswald House

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/07/30

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

At the time of designation under the Ontario Heritage Act, it was believed that the house was constructed in 1835. Evidence, uncovered during a subsequent major rehabilitation, suggests a construction date of 1847. Built by James Oswald, this attractive one-and-a-half storey house features a broad veranda with wood trellis supports across the south and west facades. The Regency style house is surrounded by a decorative iron fence along the south and west borders of the lot and is located on the northeast corner of St. Paul Avenue and Church's Lane.

The property is designated by the City of Niagara Falls under By-law No. 78-70.

Heritage Value

The Oswald House is located near Portage Road which was a primary transportation link when Stamford Village was being developed. Its location sets it in close proximity to other significant historic sites such as Whirlpool House (at one time owned by Oswald), Church Residence, and the John Thomson Jr. House, among others.

The Oswald House was associated with a prominent citizen and the first owner of the house, James Oswald. American-born James Oswald was one of Niagara's most prominent business men, who along with his brother operated the Stamford Spring Brewery. Oswald also owned the Whirlpool Inn for approximately 30 years (The Whirlpool Inn, once known as Rorbeck's Tavern is also designated as a heritage property, and is in close proximity on Portage Road).

The impressive Regency styling of the Oswald House makes it unique in its area. The buildings most distinctive feature is its wood trellis supports that span the broad verandah of the south and west facades. The central front entrance has an attractive entablature, and the building features six sets of large multi-paned French doors. The house's exterior is covered in stucco, and looks very similar to its original appearance. The iron fence at the south and west side of the house was imported from England and appears in a picture of the house dating to 1862.

Sources: B-law No. 78-70, Planning and Development, City of Niagara Falls, 1978; “A tale of two heritage homes”, Sherman Zavitz, Niagara Falls review, March 3, 2007; and the current (2011) owners of the house.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that reflect the heritage value of the house include its:
- broad verandah with wood trellis supports across the south and west facades
- six sets of large multi-paned French doors
- iron fence at the south and west sides of the property which was imported from England and dates back to at least 1862
- location on a corner lot of two historic streets in Stamford Village, St. Paul Avenue and Church's Lane
- proximity to Portage Road amongst many designated heritage sites including Whirlpool House, at one time owned by Oswald




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1862/01/01 to 1862/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type


Single Dwelling


Architect / Designer



James Oswald

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development 4310 Queen Street City Hall Niagara Falls, ON L2E 6X5

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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