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Save a Piece of History

Top off the Petrie


The Petrie Building Needs You! 

Guelph's iconic Petrie Building is being restored, and we are looking to the community to save iconic upper section. The building owners are repairing the façade from the fourth-floor roof down to the existing base.  However, over the past 100 plus years, the iconic ornamental upper section which sits on top of the building has suffered extensive deterioration, several of its original decorative elements have been lost or destroyed due to a lack of maintenance, and its internal structure has rotted through. 


The upper façade section is an intrinsic part of downtown Guelph, it rises above the building and also hangs out over Wyndham Street and is in urgent need of repair or it will be lost forever.


The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) and community leaders and volunteers have kicked off this campaign with a goal of raising $100,000 to “Top off the Petrie” and to save the upper facade. The Downtown Guelph Business Association has jump-started the campaign with a commitment to match the first $24,000 in community contributions.


The campaign to restore this nationally recognized heritage resource is being lead by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) which will issue charitable tax receipts for all funds donated.  The ACO will also manage all funds, approve all budgets and oversee the project.  


All donors will also receive permanent recognition on a plaque in the building’s new lobby. Don’t miss this opportunity to “Restore a piece of the Petrie” and donate today!


About The Building  

The Petrie Building is Canada’s last remaining example of a pre-1890 machine stamped metal clad building.  Restoring this downtown landmark is an investment in Guelph that will last a long, long time. Once completed, the Petrie Building owner will enter into a Heritage Easement with the City of Guelph which is a commitment that the restored exterior will be maintained for the future.


The Petrie Building has been a downtown Guelph icon since opening in 1882. It was designed by architect John Day for businessman A.B. Petrie, who ran a pharmacy on the ground floor. Petrie was an entrepreneur, community leader, bank president, city councilor and he had several buildings constructed in Guelph.


The Petrie Building is one of three remaining Canadian buildings built before 1890 that had full metal façades, and is now truly one of a kind, as it is the only remaining machine, stamped building.


The façade was made by Bakewell & Mullins in Ohio, which ran a mail-order business that allowed customers to create the façade that best suited their plans. A. B. Petrie customized the façade for his building crowned by the iconic mortar and pestle (tools of the day for a pharmacy).

Read more about the building here!


The Restore The Petrie Façade Campaign 

The Restore the Petrie Façade is a crowdsourcing campaign focused on replacing the missing elements on the metal façade. It is part of a collective effort to save the façade involving Tyrcathlen Partners, the City of Guelph and the Community. This $375,000 effort has two parts:


  1. Restoring the existing exterior of the building estimated to cost approximately $300,000 and to be paid for by Tyrcathlen Partners and supported by up to $91,000 in tax relief from the City of Guelph over the next years.

  2. Replacing the lost elements (link Missing Elements to the page with the image of the missing elements) including the destroyed lower section and fabrication and installation of missing pieces estimated to cost approximately $75,000. The objective of the Restore the Petrie Façade is to raise these funds from members of the Guelph community. All funds raised will be collected and receipted by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO). The ACO will work with Tyrcathlen to ensure proper allocation of the donated funds.

Read more about the campaign here!


Contact Us 

111 Farquhar St., Box 100

Guelph, ON N1H 3N4​

Tel: 519-823-2974

Email: info@tyrcathlen.ca     

2016. Tyrcathlen Partners Ltd.  | In collaboration with pearlstreet.ca