No 6 The Town Hall,
at 60 Main St., is on a triangular lot given to the Town immediately after
its incorporation in 1847 by Benjamin and Samuel Overfield. The brothers
also operated a general store and tavern on a nearby property. The land
on which the Town Hall stands was previously known as Hay Scale Square,
because of a large pair of hay-weighing scales which once stood in it's
centre. The 1848 building was designed in classical revival architectural
style; a solid symbol of civic pride in Dundas
The original Dundas Public Library building -- now the Carnegie Gallery
-- at 10 King St. West was officially opened December 8, 1910. It was
built with funds from the Carnegie Foundation.
St. Paul's United Church, at the corner of Cross and Park Streets, stands
on the site of the second Methodist Church to be built in Dundas. Constructed
of pale yellow brick, in 1854, the spire was aded a few years later.
It became a United Church with the union in 1925 and was almost totally
destroyed in 1931 on August 4. The current building was dedicated November
No 19 The block of buildings on the
North side of King Street, beginning with Booth's Furniture Store, is
a good example of nineteenth Century architecture.
Walking East along Cootes Drive (Highway Boulevard on this Map) to
West Street, the old Western boundary of the Village, walk South on West
Street to Baldwin Street. You will see a white stucco house on the hill
that was built by William Lyon Mackenzie, the "firebrand"
who led the rebellion of 1837. The house was probably built during Mackenzie's
brief stay in Dundas in the 1820's.
No. 3 You
are standing at the intersection of York and King Streets. This building,
at 30 York St., is now home to Dr. Laurie Wells' Medical Office. The date
of its construction: 1833, is inscribed on the lintel over the front door,
making it one of the oldest authentically dated homes in Dundas.
As you conclude the tour by walking east, down Park Street, you will notice
an old home on the left (15 Park St. E.) which was built in 1869,
and a cottage-style stone home on the right (at 16 Park St. E.),
of similar vintage.
The corner of King and Cross Streets was the scene of a spectacular fire
in 1881. All of the buildings east of the Collins Hotel and on the west
side of Cross Street were completely destroyed. The lone exception was
the brick house at 22 Cross Street, which still stands.
No. 9 Across
the street from Town Hall, at the corner of York Street, is what used
to be the Merchant's Exchange Hotel which was built by the Overfields.
Now occupied by a dance studio and the IOOF Lodge it has also been a public
school, a carriage shop, and a factory.
No. 10 As
you walk down Main Street, towards the business section, you see the Cattel,
Eaton and Chambers Funeral Home at 53 Main Street. In the 1820's, at this
address, stood one of a chain of stores owned by Edward Leslie, and operated
by William Lyon Mackenzie. The building currently on this site was constructed
in 1872 to replace the home and store destroyed by fire on May 12, 1869.
No. 1 As
you stand on the southeast corner of the intersection of York and King
Streets, the original plot for the village of Cootes Paradise lies entirely
to the East. Looking eastward down King Street East, you are looking at
what used to be North Street, the northern boundary of the village. Not
very far along, where Crodon Kitchens now stands on the left side, is
the site of the Free Union Church, opened January 3, 1830. By the time
the construction was completed, it was already struggling because the
Methodists had decided to leave the non-denominational church. The Methodists
built their first church on Ogilvie Street that same year.
No. 2 In
the distance you can see the Desjardins Canal, just past Centennial Park.
The canal was officially opened August 16, 1837 and went into liquidation
40 years later.
up West Street to Dundas Street, which you will later observe is an
extension of Governor's Road -- Ontario's first road -- begun by Lieutenant
Governor Simcoe. On your right, as you walk up Dundas Street, are some
interesting older homes. One of these homes belonged to the McKechnie
family who where, at one time, partners with the Bertrams -- another
of Dundas' prestigious families.
No. 7 At
the corner of Main and Governor's Road stands what is probably the oldest
building in Dundas, now occupied by Folkes Electric. It was constructed
about 1803 by Richard Hatt (the number of the building is actually 2 Hatt
Street), served as a blacksmith shop for 140 years, and was a private
residence between 1943 and 1961.
No. 8 The
building at 8 Hatt Street now houses Alternative Audio. Built in 1832,
as the Bank of Midland District, it was taken over in 1844 by the Bank
of British North America. It was the town's second bank, but it's most
No. 11 The
parking lot adjacent to the Mainhatten Apartments is the site of the former
Bamberger's Inn, which opened in 1827 and sold to Peter Riley in 1848.
Dundas Town Council Minutes of the day show that councillors often "adjourned
to the Riley House" after their meetings. The building was later
used as a boarding house before its demolition in 1957.
No. 20 On
the South side of King Street, between Ogilvie St. and Memorial Square,
some of the ground floors and all of the upper levels still reflect the
early architecture of the buildings.
No. 21 Before
turning onto Sydenham Street, take a nostalgic look up the South side
of King Street to the old Elgin Hotel, opened in 1837, now the Music Block
Apartments. It also accomodated the Post Office, Customs, and the Library
in years gone by. Today, only the upper floors of the facade speak of
the Elgin's original grandeur. William Lyon MacKenzie and John Rolph were
guests of honour at the 1837 opening. Only a few days later, they led
their armed revolt against the Government at York.
No. 23 Turn
East down Victoria Street for samples of elegant older homes. On Victoria
is the "Walnut Cottage" which shows the Ontario Cottage Style
as it was adapted to the tastes of a wealthy Dundas Mayor in 1869 (Alexis
Begue, nephew of Peter Desjardins).
The house at 35 Cross Street was built in 1896 by Colonel T.H. McKenzie,
three times the Town's Mayor.
No. 26 The
stone house at 32 Cross Street was built in 1846 by Colonel William Notman.
Emigrating from Scotland in 1822, he became involved in a commercial venture
in West Flamborough Village with James Crook, after whom Crooks Hollow
is named. The house was purchased by the late H.G. Bertram in 1924, and
was completely modernized at that time.
The first Mayor of Dundas, James Coleman, built his home in the early
1840's where 25 Cross is today. The original structure was demolished
in the 1940's, and the current building was erected to the specifications
of Mrs. J.J. Grafton. It was constructed of old brick from the Grafton's
carriage house which stood on Melville Street in the late 1800's.
No. 17 Across
from the Library at 19 King Street West, formerly Hugh Walker's Hardware
Store, is Heirlooms Bridal Shoppe which, even in it's interior design,
remains reminiscent of days gone by.
by is the distinctive Collins Hotel, built in 1841. It was the oldest
continuously operating hotel in the Province, until recently.
No. 22 Turning
North, up Sydenham St., you will pass by several interesting homes on
this historic street, constructed as a practical business, about 1845,
by George Rolph. He successfully operated it as a toll road for farmers
who wanted to get up or down the escarpment safely.
As you turn left onto King Street West, at No. 2 (Grafton Square)
you pass the location of the former Grafton's Store. Their flagship store
and manufacturing operations occupied virtually all of the present site
including 8 Main St. and 15 Ogilvie St.
No. 14 The
Masonic Hall at 5-9 Main St. was built by B.B. Osler in the mid 1870's,
and once housed the Desjardins Canal Company.
No. 13 The apartment building at 11-15
Main St. was the Dundas YMCA from 1903 until 1910. It was donated for
that use by the Grafton family, who reclaimed it when the Y moved to new
quarters in 1910.
No. 12 The
double red brick building that once stood at 18 Main St. originally housed
the newspaper office of James Somerville, who published the "Dundas
True Banner". For many years of the 20th Century it was the
home of the Frost and Donald Glove Factory. This building was demolished
to build Grafton Square Condominiums (on the right), but would
have been of similar design to it's neighbouring building shown in the
No. 24 As
you turn right at the corner of Victoria and Cross, across the street
you will see one of the oldest houses in Dundas: the residence of George
Rolph, built in 1816. Inside is an intriguing maze of stairways, hallways
and cozy rooms.
a Virtual Walking Tour
Pass your mouse over each number on the map below:
text & map reprinted with permission from the Dundas Star News.
Photos are the property of the photographer.