15 Douglas Street
The County Solicitor's Building is located at 15 Douglas Street and is situated on the south side of the street, between Woolwich Street and Wyndham Street North, in the City of Guelph. This two-storey limestone building is reminiscent of the Romanesque style and was constructed between 1865 and 1866. The property was designated, by the City of Guelph, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (Bylaw (1980)-10467).
The County Solicitor's Building represents the historic centre of the legal profession in the City of Guelph. The ground floor was originally occupied by the Honourable Adam Fergusson-Blair, County Solicitor and son of Adam Johnston Fergusson, one of the founders of Fergus. Adam Fergusson-Blair was also the first judge of Wellington District in 1842, and served for many years as a Parliamentary representative. Since the completion of its construction, in 1866, for the County Solicitor, the building has housed law offices; with successors of the original firm and its partners utilizing the space. For many years the second floor also served as offices for the local Master of the Supreme Court and Crown Attorney. In 1970 the County Solicitor's Offices expanded to occupy the entire structure.
The County Solicitor's Building is considered to be one of the most architecturally significant County buildings in Guelph. This building was constructed using local limestone with quarry faced blocks framing the windows, doors and corners. This rugged surfacing contrasts with the smooth-faced masonry of the walls. The façade is symmetrical with two three-paneled windows in the centre. This building has survived with relatively few alterations.
Sources: City of Guelph By-Law (1980)-10467; Designated Buildings and Structures of Architectural and Historic Interest in the City of Guelph, LACAC, 1994.