Guelph Waterworks Engine House and Pumping Station, Waterworks Place

The Guelph Waterworks Engine House and Pumping Station is located at 29 Waterworks Place, on the east side of Waterworks Place, south of York Road and north of the Speed River. The one-storey limestone building was constructed in 1879. The one-storey limestone wing was constructed in 1908. The property was designated, by the City of Guelph, in 1997, for its heritage value, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act under By-law 1997-15462.

Guelph Waterworks Engine House and Pumping Station sits alongside more recent buildings which house waterworks operations and services for the City of Guelph. It provides a visual reminder of the early development of public works and municipal services in Guelph and their evolution through time.

Built in 1879, Guelph Waterworks Engine House and Pumping Station is associated with the development of public works and municipal services in the City of Guelph. Prior to 1879, the City of Guelph's water needs were met by private wells, cisterns and the Speed River. Built initially to provide a reliable source of water for firefighting, the Guelph Waterworks engineering design employed the “Holly System”, which used a reservoir and standpipe to supply pressure for firefighting purposes. With the discovery of a natural spring during the excavation for the Waterworks, the function of the Waterworks was extended to supplying water to Guelph residents for domestic purposes.

Built in 1879, Guelph Waterworks Engine House and Pumping Station is a rare example, in Guelph, of a public building designed in the Italianate style and rendered in local limestone. Elements of the Italianate style include the raised architraves, the square, curved and round structural openings and the paired roof brackets supporting the gable roof. It was designed by Guelph City Engineer T.W. Cooper, who also directed its construction. It is also associated with Guelph's most prominent stone cutter, Matthew Bell, who carved the stonework around the entrances and windows of the building. Matthew Bell is best-known for his work on Guelph's landmark, Church of Our Lady.

Source: City of Guelph By-law 1997-15462.