Perth Town Hall National Historic Site of Canada
(© Parks Canada Agency/ Agence Parcs Canada, 1980.)
80 Gore Street East, Perth, Ontario
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
1863 to 1864
Event, Person, Organization:
Perth Town Hall
Research Report Number:
Town Hall Study - 1984
Existing plaque: 80 Gore Street East, Perth, Ontario
Perth's stately town hall is an enduring expression of the vitality and importance of local governments in the 19th century. Erected in 1863-1864, shortly after the town's incorporation, it recalls an era when such buildings served as more than the headquarters for municipal administration. In addition to offices and a council chamber, this town hall originally housed a market, band room, fire hall, police station, post office, as well as a large public hall. The building's elegant, classically inspired design and prominent location testify to its central role in community life.
Description of Historic Place
Perth Town Hall National Historic Site of Canada is an elegant two-storey stone building topped by an ornate layered cupola containing a town clock. It stands prominently at 80 Gore St. E. in Perth Ontario. The designation refers to the building on its legal property.
Perth Town Hall was designated a national historic site in 1984 because: it is an enduring symbol of the vitality and importance of local governments in the 19th century; and its elegant, classically inspired design and prominent location testify to its central role in local life.
The Perth Town Hall was built in 1863-1864 to serve the growing Town of Perth. It was designed by architect John Power, and built by Alexander Kippen. As was typical of its place and time, it not only provided offices and council chambers for municipal administration, but also space for a market, a concert hall, a fire hall, a police station and a post office. Over the years, its interior has been substantially altered but the exterior is remarkably intact. Market facilities at the rear have been converted to serve as a fire hall. This building has continuously served as Perth's town hall since it was built.
Sources: Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Minutes, November 1984, June 1992.
Key features contributing to the heritage value of this site include: its two-storey pavilion massing with projecting pedimented frontispiece under a hipped roof with central cupola and end chimneys; its symmetrically organized five bay facade with three-bay centre pavilion flanked by shallow recessed single-bay wings; its Italianate detailing, notably the paneled main door under a shallow, rusticated masonry porch with a Palladian window above, high double-hung windows with arched stone surrounds, corner quoining, denticulated cornice, high chimneys with ornate caps, tripartite domed cupola; its incorporation of the Georgian town clock design symbolic of municipal governance; its finely crafted local stone and woodwork; surviving evidence of multiple original functions, particularly as reflected in evidence of the building's original interior layout; surviving original materials and detailing in major public spaces and those associated with public participation in municipal government; its high, visible siting on a landscaped property; its continuing use as a centre of municipal government.