Waubaushene Home Becomes a Designated Heritage Site

Tay Township Council has designated the home at 200 Cherry Street in Waubaushene as significant under the Ontario Heritage Act; i.e. it is of value to the community because of its history, architecture, or place in the growth of the community. The designation protects the heritage attributes of the structure from any significant changes without the approval of Council.

200 Cherry Street 2016

History and Context

The home has a fascinating history. It sits on a block of land originally owned by William Solomon, a fur trader and interpreter from Drummond Island and living in Penetanguishene (1838), then the Georgian Bay lumber Company and its principals, the Dodge family (1870), and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) (1906).

The Jesuits purchased the block bounded by Cherry Street, Elm Street, Pine Street and Thiffault Street as the site for their mission complex of St. John the Evangelist, located in Waubaushene for its proximity to the site of the martyrdom of Fathers Brebeuf and Lalement in 1649. Here they built a church, a presbytery, a music hall, stables and carriage shed, and an assembly hall for the Catholic Order of Foresters, a fraternal organization.





The adjacent photograph of a Catholic Order of Foresters medallion is inscribed with the letters “C” “O” “F” and the Latin words for faith, hope and charity


North Elevation c.1935


In November, 1914 all the buildings were lost to fire except the Foresters’ hall, which served as a chapel for services until the church was rebuilt in 1916. In 1928 William Brodeur purchased the Hall and two lots on Cherry Street from the Jesuits. He moved the Hall there and renovated it as a residence.


William was one of eleven children of Jeremie Brodeur, who came to Waubaushene from Ste. Paulin, Quebec about 1885 to work for the Georgian Bay Lumber Company, possibly as a millwright. (The first “Canadian” Brodeur had arrived in Varennes in New France about 1675.) The Brodeurs were representative of many Quebec families who moved to Ontario to follow the lumber industry.

Brodeur Brothers Band c1912 Back: Jim, Edmond, Walter, Will. Front: Pat, Sam, Bert, Steve, Ernie


The Brodeurs were very active in the Church and community, earning local renown by forming the Brodeur Brothers marching band, composed of William and his 8 brothers. They played for dances and most community social activities, including many of the concerts in the old St Johns Hall in Waubaushene.


When the timber ran out and the lumber companies closed in the 1920’s, the mill workers had to find other means of employment. William and several of his brothers formed the Brodeur Brothers Boat Works, a local firm which built watercraft for personal, commercial and military use. The business, begun in 1932, was located at the end of Hemlock Street. In 1937 the operation moved down to the old mill site on Coldwater Road. It ceased operations in 1947, unable to compete with mass production techniques.

William died in 1954 and his wife (Delina Paradis) in 1963. The Cherry Street property remains in the family.

Architectural or Design Value

The building form is 1 1/2 –storey wood frame with a gable peak. The original building (c.1910 and extended in 2005) has balloon- style framing with no interior load-bearing walls, consistent with its original use as a community space.

As with many pre–1920 buildings in the area it was built of 12’ x 2” pine planks for the exterior and interior walls and subfloor. Materials were likely sourced at the Waubaushene mill of the Georgian Bay Lumber Company. The exterior was subsequently covered by clapboard, then Insul brick and then pine siding. The original foundation is poured concrete; adjoining is a fresh water cistern, now unused.

Plank Wall Construction 1928


There are 9.5 foot ceilings on the ground floor and 7 foot ceilings on the upper floor. Portions of the pine ceiling and plank walls on the ground floor are visible.



Original Main floor Looking North c1910


The strip flooring on the ground floor (mostly maple) is visible and original to the hall (c.1910) and runs throughout the length of the original building. The flooring for the second level (attic) of the original hall building is red pine, visible and again runs throughout the original upper level.


Original Front Door 1928



Original to 1928 are the pine front door, including a turn chime doorbell, most of the solid pine interior doors, and staircase. All interior doors and windows are trimmed in pine. A number of the furniture items and other fixtures are original.




While there are many properties on the Tay Register and Inventory of Heritage properties, the Cherry Street home is only the seventh building in Tay to receive the official designation. The others include the Village Mercantile, the old Village Library, St. Paul’s Church  and 151 George Street in Victoria Harbour, the Waverley United Church and Rumney house at 1831 Rumney Road.

Presentation of Designation Plaque by Members of the Tay Heritage Committee. Front: Councillor Cate Root, Terry Fegarty, Susan Lucas. Rear: Allan Mantel, Matthew Heffer, John Todd, Stan O’Connor. Absent: Steve Farquharson


For more details on heritage sites in Tay Township, go to taytownshipheritage.wordpress.com

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