Heritage Properties

Heritage advisory responsibilities:

The Committee, in its role as a Heritage advisory resource, is responsible for:

  • Establishing criteria for the evaluation of properties of cultural heritage value or interest;
  • preparing, evaluating, and maintaining a list of properties and areas worthy of conservation;
  • Advising Council on means of conserving heritage properties and locations, and available funding sources;
  • Advising Council on current heritage conservation legislation and assist council in the preparation of municipal legislation to conserve heritage properties areas;
  • Implementing programs and activities to increase public awareness and knowledge of heritage conservation issues;
  • Advising and assisting council on all mattress relating to Parts IV & V of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter O.18; and
  • Advising and assisting Council on any other matters related to properties or cultural heritage value or interest areas.

Properties with heritage designation


Mount Pelion Park, situated at the northern end of Dufferin Avenue, is widely recognized as a site of significant historical value. This park, also known as Mount Ossa, holds a special place in Trenton due to its rich and captivating history, intertwined with enduring legends that have fascinated the local community for generations.

One of the notable legends associated with Mount Pelion Park revolves around a cannon positioned atop the mountain. According to local lore, this cannon is believed to have originated from a British warship that sailed Lake Ontario during the tumultuous War of 1812. The presence of this cannon adds a touch of intrigue and connects the mountain to a pivotal moment in the region’s past, evoking images of naval battles and the struggles endured during that era.

The ascent of Mount Pelion by Samuel de Champlain, a renowned explorer and the founding figure of Quebec, has become part of the mountain’s historical narrative. It is said that Champlain scaled the mountain to gain a vantage point for surveying the surrounding countryside. This account not only enhances the mountain’s historical significance but also reinforces its connection to the early exploration and mapping of the Trent River, making it a site of cultural and geographical importance.

The scenic allure of Mount Pelion further contributes to its value within the City of Trenton. From its summit, visitors are treated to awe-inspiring vistas that stretch far and wide. The panoramic view encompasses the majestic Murray Hills, offering a captivating backdrop that showcases the natural beauty of the region. To the east, one can admire the striking skyline of Belleville, while to the south, the observer’s gaze extends to encompass the idyllic Prince Edward County and the serene Bay of Quinte. This remarkable viewpoint not only serves as a central landmark within the city but also acts as a gateway to the region, allowing visitors to appreciate and connect with the surrounding landscape on a deeper level.

Mount Pelion

15 Dundas Street East is recognized as a historically valuable building due to its unique architectural features and its association with the influential Gilmour and Company administration. Constructed in a local vernacular style using limestone, it stands as the sole remaining industrial/commercial administrative building of its kind in the City.

The building’s exterior exhibits distinct characteristics, such as a front façade made of cut “quarry-faced” limestone and squared limestone walls. A shot sawn limestone plinth surrounds the structure, while a sawn limestone string course embellishes the front facade above the second-floor windows. Notably, shot sawn quoins adorn the corners of the front facade, adding visual interest and architectural integrity.

Retaining its original form, the building showcases a two-story elevation and a shed roof. The cornice on the front facade parapet remains intact, preserving its original appearance. The facade features a symmetrical arrangement of five bays, each marked by limestone voussoirs composing the arches. Even in areas where openings have been modified or blocked, the visible presence of the arches in the wall structure remains, demonstrating the building’s architectural continuity.

While the window sashes have been replaced with metal, the 18 and 30 pane casement sashes installed maintain a sympathetic aesthetic to the original design, ensuring a harmonious visual appeal.

Constructed around 1852, the building served as the administrative center for Gilmour and Company. This company played a significant role in Trenton’s economic growth during the latter half of the nineteenth century, particularly through its lumbering operations. As a major employer in the area, the Gilmour Company left a lasting impact on the local community and its development.

15 Dundas St. E

108 Henry St. is a historically significant residence built in 1877 for Robert Potts Fidlar. This notable house showcases a captivating blend of Italianate and Queen Anne Revival architectural styles. Its striking features include tall double sash windows, cast stone sills, decorative brackets beneath the eaves, and a steeply pitched roof with multiple gables adorned with sunburst ornaments. The front porch exhibits a combination of elements from different periods, featuring an ornate upper level and a lower porch with fluted columns.

The property’s historical value is further elevated by its association with Dr. Jacques, a prominent local figure. Dr. Jacques acquired the property in 1888 and made significant contributions to the community during his tenure. Serving as Mayor for six years, he played a key role in local governance and held influential positions such as Chairman of the Board of Education and Director of the Central Ontario Railway. Dr. Jacques’ ownership adds an additional layer of historical significance to 108 Henry St, highlighting its importance within the local narrative and solidifying its place as a cherished part of the area’s heritage.

108 Henry St.

The former Police Station, Town Hall and Market House is recognized as a building of great historic value, being the only one of its kind in the City. Constructed in the Classical Revival Style using limestone, it exhibits architectural features such as proportional design, a distinctive roof form, pediment, and fenestration. Many original details have been meticulously preserved, including six-pane over six-pane window sashes, decorative “ear-mould” window surrounds, a rear entrance doorcase, and portions of the cornice and pediment. Notably, this architectural gem was designed by Kivas Tully, a prominent nineteenth-century architect.Furthermore, its prime location in the downtown area adds to its historical value, as it stands proudly at the heart of the cityscape, underscoring its visual and cultural importance as an indispensable part of the local heritage.


55 King St.

The property at 196 Victoria Ave. is recognized as having significant historic value due to its rich history and architectural characteristics. The dwelling was constructed by William Ireland, a prominent merchant, around the time he secured a mortgage in 1873. It was hailed as one of the finest residences in West Trenton in the late 1870s. However, Ireland’s financial situation declined, leading to a transfer of the property to James Biggar, the mortgagor, in 1881. Anson Greenleaf Whittier, a successful grain merchant, later acquired the property in 1881 and became the Town Clerk in 1887.

The one and a half storey dwelling, known as “Blantyre,” was built circa 1873 using red brick with decorative white brick accents, creating an intriguing polychromatic appearance. Architecturally, it follows a Gothic Revival Style vernacular. The front facade features a three-bay design, with a projecting center bay housing the entrance. The entrance itself is segmentally arched with a transom, and the bay windows on the front facade have distinct treatments. One projects at a 45-degree angle with lancet arch windows, while the other is a box bay with segmental arch windows. The dormer windows and the upper window in the center bay also exhibit variations of the lancet arch design. The house’s roof has a medium to steep pitch and is adorned with fretted bargeboards, adding decorative elements. Additionally, the chimney at the north end showcases recessed panels, further enhancing its visual appeal.


196 Victoria Ave.

The Clock Tower in Trenton is recognized as a historically significant landmark with a rich backstory. Originally part of a grand Post Office constructed in 1888, it symbolized the town’s anticipated growth and prosperity with the completion of the Murray Canal. Though the Post Office was demolished in 1971, the Clock Tower remains as a lasting reminder of the past.

The construction of the Clock Tower was a meticulous endeavor, sparing no expense. Designed by renowned architect Thomas Fuller, the tower featured high-quality limestone from Ox Point Quarries and the finest red brick from the Belleville Brickyard. Fuller’s preferred Romanesque Revival style is evident in the tower’s bold round-arched windows and doors, complemented by quarry-faced limestone walls and smooth-faced cut stone bands. This architectural choice aimed to create an imposing and stable structure, projecting a strong government image.

Standing as a prominent landmark in the downtown core, the Clock Tower underwent modifications during its construction due to concerns about clock visibility. Following requests from Mayor Morrison and other citizens, the tower was raised by ten feet, bringing its approximate height to 90 feet. Today, the octagonal tower proudly displays clocks on all four sides, tolling the hour and serving as a focal point of the town’s historical and architectural heritage.


65 Dundas St. W

72 Byron St. is a historically valuable building that showcases a fusion of Gothic Revival and Classical Revival architectural styles, predominantly constructed with limestone. This one-and-a-half-storey dwelling includes a lower storey and a half tail extending from the west side. The front facade features a three-bay design with a central gable embellished with a chamfered finial and drop. The gable ends of the house exhibit eaves returns, while casement windows and French doors adorn the front openings.

The house was built in 1863 by Sheldon Hawley, a significant figure in Trenton’s history and considered one of its founding fathers. Hawley arrived in the settlement in 1817 and played a pivotal role in the lumbering industry and mercantile business. He spearheaded the construction of Trenton’s first bridge across the Trent River and played a key role in petitioning the government for the establishment of a town site on the river’s west bank. In 1855, Hawley served as the reeve of Trenton.

Situated prominently on the block between George Street and Princess Street, this dwelling holds a notable location, further adding to its historical significance within the community.


72 Byron St.

Applying for a heritage permit

A heritage permit is required to make changes to properties designed under the Ontario Heritage Act. Properties can either be designed individually or within a heritage conservation district. There is no fee for heritage permits. 

The permit is needed when alterations are being made to a designed property. It ensures alterations complement the heritage attributes of the house and the neighbourhood. Heritage attributes include materials, details, spatial configurations, historical associations, and character-defining elements that collectively contribute to the property’s heritage value. 

Regular maintenance items such as replacing black roof shingles with black roof shingles are considered maintenance and do not require heritage approval. 

The first step is to contact the planning staff at planning@quintewest.ca to determine if a permit is required and discuss what options may be considered for alterations that will meet heritage guidelines. 

The second step is to complete the heritage permit application. Applications that meet heritage guidelines and are minor can be reviewed and approved by planning staff.

If you do not receive approval through the City’s approval process, you may request that council consider the application.

Supporting documents:

Depending on the type of work proposed, supporting documents may be required. These documents can be determined through discussion with planning staff. Supporting documents could include: 

  • Drawings: architectural drawings should clearly show all proposed changes to the structure.
  • Site plans: showing existing and proposed structures and additions on many, setbacks from the front, rear and side lot lines, demolition of existing site features, and location of proposed site features. 
  • Photos: showing the property’s front and its main structure; nearby streetscapes and neighbouring properties; and any other relevant portions of the properties and structures.

Important information: 

  • If you are doing a more massive alteration to a designed property, it is recommended that you retain services from an experienced designer/architect/contractor who understands the heritage guidelines.
  • Approval of a heritage permit precedes any other municipal approval, including building permits, site plans and minor variances.


For further information, please call 613-392-2841 or email planning@quintewest.ca. Additionally, you can speak to a representative at the customer service counter located on the second floor of City Hall. We’re open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.

Heritage conservation is legislated under the Ontario Heritage Act. The act requires a permit to make alterations that may change heritage features. 

The City of Quinte West is committed to supporting the preservation of its heritage. Council recognizes the importance of promoting and protecting the unique collection of historic properties and resources that make up Quinte West’s past. 

City council has formed a Heritage Advisory committee. This committee will be the heritage advisory resource in the development and review of planning policy and its impact on heritage preservation in the City Quinte West. 

If you live in a heritage property, you may require additional approvals for renovations. Find more information here.


Ontario Heritage Trust 

Last Updated: 1 year ago

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