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The Petrie Building

15, Wyndham Street, City of Guelph, Ontario, N1H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1990/05/22

Illustration of the façade of the Petrie Building located at 15 Wyndham Street North.; Statement of Reasons for Designation, “The Petrie Building”, date unknown.
Drawing of the Petrie Building, n.d.
South façade of the Petrie Building located at 15 Wyndham Street North.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Façade of the Petrie Building, 2007
Bold cornice with a broken pediment framing a large mortar and pestle on top of the Petrie Building.; Lindsay Benjamin, 2007.
Mortar and Pestle on top of the Petrie Building

Other Name(s)

The Petrie Building
15 Wyndham Street North

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/08/12

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Petrie Building, located at 15 Wyndham Street North, is situated on the east side of the street between Cork and MacDonell Streets in the City of Guelph. This four-storey stone and timber building is reminiscent of the Second Empire style. It was designed by architect John Day and constructed in 1882.

The property was designated for its heritage value by the City of Guelph under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law 1990-13553).

Heritage Value

Located in downtown Guelph, the Petrie Building is a local landmark indicative of a prosperous era in the City's commercial growth. It is surrounded by numerous noteworthy designated heritage structures, including the adjacent Kelly Building.

The Petrie Building, designed by Guelph architect John Day, was completed in 1882 for Alexander Bain Petrie. Petrie was a local pharmacist and manufacturer, and one of the City's most successful and influential businessmen. Four-storeys high and constructed of stone and timber, it is one of a very few buildings remaining in Canada incorporating a stamped galvanized iron façade. This was a popular building technology of the late 1800s and was used as a substitute for wood, stone or cast iron. There are only three documented buildings in the country erected prior to 1890 with full sheet-metal facades, the other two being Victoria Hall in Hamilton and the Empire Hotel in Winnipeg. The galvanized iron facade was manufactured for Petrie by the Ohio firm of Bakewell and Mullins, specialists in architectural sheet metal working. Stylishly ornamented and elaborately embellished, the facade is distinguished by a bold cornice with a broken pediment framing a large mortar and pestle, a reminder of the building's original function as a pharmacy.

Sources: City of Guelph By-law 1990-13553; Designation of the Petrie Building, Karen Frosch, April 17, 1990.

Character-Defining Elements

Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Petrie Building include its:
- original stamped galvanized full sheet-metal facade – one of three such buildings remaining in Canada
- shape and form
- elaborate exterior details
- bold cornice with a broken pediment framing a large mortar and pestle
- proximity to other significant heritage landmarks in the City's downtown core




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1990/01/01 to 1990/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Extraction and Production

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer

John Day



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Guelph Community Design and Development Services 1 Carden Street Guelph, ON

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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