Site Specific 492 Hurontario Street


Regarding its Historical or Associative Value, the property at 492 Hurontario Street was associated from 1862 to 1876 with Joseph Hill Lawrence and his wife Sarah Drown. Lawrence had a successful career in the printing trade of Upper Canada before arriving in Collingwood about 1853. In 1858, he was appointed Clerk of the Council for the newly incorporated town. He served in this capacity until his death in 1877. The frame dwelling built for Lawrence in 1866 is no longer visible, but its presence is reflected in the unusual roofline at the west end of the existing brick structure, and the character of the window openings on the north and south facades.


It was Thomas Fair and his wife Elizabeth who in 1877-1878 had a large brick dwelling erected as an east addition to the Lawrence dwelling. Thomas Fair arrived in Collingwood about 1863 to join a successful partnership in the dry goods business known by various names in its history, including Melville, Fair & Co. When Thomas died in 1885, his wife and sons operated the business under the name of E. Fair & Co. Elizabeth died in 1908. During their ownership of the subject property this was a landmark estate with extensive gardens.

Richard and Mary Stephenson and their children owned the property from 1911 to 1974. Their daughter Muriel is remembered as a noted concert pianist and music instructor.

Regarding its Design or Physical Value, this property contains an attractive example of a fashionable, third quarter 19th century dwelling influenced by Italianate and Queen Anne styling. It is somewhat peculiar in that the Fairs, who had the financial means and acreage to do otherwise, chose to incorporate an earlier frame dwelling on site, into their substantial brick addition. The outcome was still a symmetrical, square plan structure. The well-crafted brickwork may be that of Collingwood mason John Chamberlain.

Regarding its Contextual Value, this property, with its dwelling and picturesque setting, enhances the residential character of the streetscape. It still presents a sense of having been a landmark.



  • No part of the 2006 west addition or the north and south new/rebuilt verandahs are included.
  • The cultural heritage value or interest of this property is expressed by the principal heritage attribute of an 1877-1878, two-storey, brick dwelling, including the following exterior features:
  • The historic form, massing, height, scale, and design elements
  • All original components of the roof including the form, pediments, gables, and dormer
  • The original chimneystack on the south roof
  • Any original eaves brackets
  • The masonry including red-orange and buff-yellow brick, accent banding, quoins, voussoirs or heads over the door and window openings, and other decorative treatments
  • All components of the original window openings, trim, and various sash types
  • All original elements of the stacked bay windows on the east façade
  • The enclosed brick porch on the east façade and all original components of the doorcase and upper balcony
  • All the etched and stained glass
  • All original entryways, including trim, transom windows, and panelled doors
  • All original wood trim
  • The iron fencing and gate, including the manufacturer’s crest
  • The view of the front (east) façade of the dwelling from Hurontario Street

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