Notice of intention to designate - 265 Watson Avenue

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

On November 13, 2023, Oakville Town Council resolved to pass a Notice of Intention to Designate the following property under Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.18, as amended, as a property of cultural heritage value and interest:

Nightingale House
265 Watson Avenue
Lots 285 and 286, part lots 345 and 346, Plan 113; Town of Oakville

Description of property

The property at 265 Watson Avenue is located on the east side of Watson Avenue, between Galt Avenue and Sheddon Avenue in the Brantwood neighbourhood. The property contains a 1915 two-and-a-half-storey Craftsman brick and frame house known as the Nightingale House.

Statement of cultural heritage value or interest

Design and physical value

The subject house has design and physical value as a representative example of Craftsman house design and construction. The house was built in 1915 with Craftsman elements such as: expansive side gabled roof; asymmetrical façade with front porch; wooden soffits; brick cladding on the first storey and wooden shingle cladding and stucco with half timbering on the upper storeys; brick arched voussoir headers over windows and doors; and bay window on the south elevation. Collectively, these elements contribute to the building’s character and its heritage value as an early 20th century Craftsman style house.

Historical and associative value

The subject house has cultural heritage value for its direct associations with the development of the local residential area known as ‘Brantwood’, and still retains exterior heritage aspects that have lent to the neighbourhood’s character over the last 100 years. Its presence contributes to the story of Oakville’s early 20th century residential development that was defined by large lots with well-designed Arts and Crafts era homes built by well-to-do families. The house is also associated with its likely builder Sidney Frederick Wiffen, a local builder who constructed other houses in the Brantwood neighbourhood in the early 1900s and who helped create the Arts and Crafts aesthetic of the Brantwood subdivision. It is also associated with Frank D. Law, founder and manager of the Oak Tire and Rubber Company, an important part of Oakville’s industrial past.

Contextual value

The subject property has contextual value because it defines, supports, and maintains the character of the Brantwood neighbourhood. It is physically, functionally, visually, and historically linked to the surrounding residential neighbourhood and places the Brantwood area’s origins in a specific timeframe. The house was one of the earliest built on the block and had a place of prominence on the street, particularly on the large corner lot. As an anchor point in the Brantwood neighbourhood, this house helps to define the original Arts and Crafts aesthetic of Brantwood and continues to support and maintain the character of the neighbourhood.

Description of heritage attributes

Key heritage attributes of the property at 265 Watson Avenue that exemplify its cultural heritage value as an early 1900s Craftsman style house, as they relate to the historic two-and-a-half-storey house, include:

  • The massing and form of the building with side gable roof, including the first storey bay window on the south elevation and the two-storey bump out on the front elevation;
  • The presence of a front porch;
  • Red brick first storey cladding in a running bond pattern with brick voussoirs over doors and windows;
  • Wooden shingle cladding on upper storey;
  • Pebble textured stucco cladding with half-timbering in the upper gables;
  • Wooden soffits, fascia and exposed eaves;
  • Fenestration of the windows on the north, west, and south elevations, excluding the bay window constructed on the south elevation in the 1990s;
  • The presence of multi-paned windows in the Arts and Crafts era style with wooden trim;
  • Concrete windowsills; and
  • Brick chimney.

The two-storey north wing and one-storey rear wings are not included as heritage attributes.

Any objection to this designation must be filed no later than December 15, 2023.  Objections must be directed to the Town Clerk at or 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, Ontario L6H 0H3. The objection must include the reasons for the objection and all relevant facts.

Further information respecting this proposed designation is available from the Town of Oakville. Any inquiries may be directed to Carolyn Van Sligtenhorst, Supervisor of Heritage Conservation at 905-845-6601, ext.3875 (TTY 905-338-4200), or by email at

Issued at the Town of Oakville on November 15, 2023.