Monday, December 6, 2021


39 Elgin St, Dundas, ON c.1859

I   Photos and Video by Vogel Creative    I

This storybook Gothic Revival has seduced many admirers over her 160+ years. 39 Elgin Street, standing at the corner of Elgin and Victoria streets, is unassuming but picturesque. Quite and curious. She also had an iconic recent owner which upped the ante on her allure.

When she first hit the market this November jaws dropped, and heart beats accelerated. Now was the first chance in over 27 years to see behind her patinaed double doors and make a bid to call her your own!

The market had reached a boiling point so her $2.0 million asking price was probably not too much of a shock given her architectural significance and owner pedigree. That said, I am sure anyone who did their research was met with a bout of buyer’s remorse upon discovering she sold for $295,000 in 1994 ($4,000 under ask). Not to mention, her now generous 66’ x 132’ lot was twice the size back then, at 132’x132’!

Elgin hit the market like a home run, on her way to the home plate with no offers being held. Surely, she’d be called “SOLD!” in days. Yet nearly 2-weeks passed and she remained in play. Longing spectators probably began to bubble with hope. Maybe this jewel wasn’t so far out of reach?

After all, she only had 1.5 baths, both which needed updating. The kitchen was also dated but with great bones. There were other areas of inevitable investment from the slate roof to interior plasterwork to historic windows.

And heritage status would amplify things given all four facades are designated and protected under the act, excluding the latter addition porch in the southeast corner.

However, the bubble of hope was quickly burst when Elgin received two offers and ended up selling $35,000 over her $2.0 million asking price. Elgin was going, going, gone!

FRESH FACTS (Ontario Heritage Trust)

  • Built for Thomas Wilson in 1859 and remained in the family until 1917.

  • The Wilson family emigrated from Scotland in 1843 and settled in Dundas in 1844.
  • Led a foundry (Thos Wilson and Co. – formerly Gartshore Foundry – now Valley City Manufacturing Co.) that specialized in steam engines, boilers and mill machinery.
  • Thomas also served as town councilor and held office of the mayor twice (1876-1878 and 1885).
  • In 1868 Thomas sold 39 Elgin Street to his son, Richard Todd Wilson.
  • RT Wilson was also a successful entrepreneur and political figure in Dundas.
  • He opened a grocery, wine liquor and provisions store in his twenties in the block opposite Foundry Street; Wilson and Company’s coal oil works in 1885 on King Street; Dundas Axe Works; a skating rink on Hatt street; in 1875 started a malt house which was the largest in the Dominion; bought the Elgin House Hotel in 1876 (since used as a post office, public library, telephone office, and bank).
  • RT Wilson served as mayor 1891, 1892 and 1911.
  • There was originally a large front porch with three classical columns. There was an upper balcony with wooden quatrefoil balustrade which ran the entire length of he front fa├žade. When removed the central gable was removed down the right side to create the present entranceway.

  • The gabled porch over the front door is a new addition (original door in foyer with narrow sidelights and transom).

  • The original finials were removed from the apex of each front gable.

FRESH FEATURES (Ontario Heritage Trust)

  • Fine example of Gothic Revival architecture
  • Vertical in emphasis with sharply pitched gables and curvilinear barge board
  • Asymmetry and variety
  • Projecting eaves
  • Stucco finish added in 1869
  • Foundation is rough hewn stone
  • All major gables are topped with unique kidney shaped clay ornaments
  • Octagonal slates on the roof

  • Variety of window design, place and ornamentation with several popular Gothic window types (two over four paned, ogee, stained glass, quatrefoils, round headed windows with lancet tracery)

  • Fenced with white pickets out front



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