The culture within a society is often displayed through various forms of art and craftsmanship, which is a prominent expression of history evident within the heart of downtown Guelph. Such artistic expression is prevalent in the craftsmanship and architecture of the Petrie Building on Wyndham St., commemorated as Canada’s last standing machine-stamped metal-clad building constructed before 1890. The architect of the building, John Day designed this unique structure to act as D.B. Petrie’s pharmacy which opened in 1882. Over the past century, several businesses have occupied the main floor of this building, however, the purpose of the upper floors have remained a mystery since they have remained empty for almost a century. A recent discovery illuminated that the fourth- floor attic contained 20-foot ceiling, but the use of this space remains a mystery which may never be solved.

Now, “The Restore the Petrie Facade Campaign” is calling upon citizens of Guelph for support of their mission to replace missing elements of the metal covering on the building. The campaign requires a $375,000 budget to restore the exterior structure of the building and replace lost or damaged elements. Donations towards this cause are collected by Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, who will work in collaboration with Tyrathlen. For more information and a walking adventure in Guelph, the Guelph Arts Council offers a Downtown Walkabout which explores the architecture and historical sites that downtown Guelph has to offer.

Street corner of downtown Guelph depicted with stone buildings and Petrie Building placed to the left. Main floor of Petrie Building covered for presumed renovations. Metal framing over front of building with numerous metal elements on top of building. Limescale noted over window, showing the building was left in disarray.
Historic street corner of downtown Guelph with Petrie Building placed to the left.


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