Notice of Intention to Designate - 291 Watson Avenue

Wednesday, October 18, 2023
On October 16, 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:

Wanless House
291 Watson Avenue
Lot 292 and 293, PLAN 113; Town of Oakville

Description of Property

The property at 291 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 circa 1916 two-and-a-half-storey Craftsman style brick and frame 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 style design and construction, built during the Arts and Crafts era. The house was built in 1915-16 with Craftsman style elements such as: high side gabled roof with central dormers; asymmetrical façade; wooden soffits; upper storey balcony with square pickets and posts; stucco and half timbering on the upper storeys; multi-paned sash windows; brick arched voussoir headers over windows and doors; stone window and door lintels; and a large front verandah with prominent brick pillars. The home retains most of its historic exterior features, making it a good representative example of the Craftsman architectural style.

Historical and Associative Value

The home 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 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. 

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. 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 291 Watson Avenue that exemplify its cultural heritage value, as they relate to the historic two-and-a-half-storey house, include:
  • The massing and form of the two-and-a-half-storey building with side gable roof and central dormers, including the front verandah, rear wing with covered porch, and bay window bump out on the west elevation;
  • Brick first storey cladding in a running bond pattern with brick voussoirs over doors and windows;
  • Stucco and half timbering cladding on upper storey;
  • Wooden soffits;
  • Large front verandah with square brick columns, low wooden railings with square pickets, and wooden ceiling;
  • Upper porch with low wooden railings with square pickets;
  • Fenestration of the windows on the north, west, and south elevations;
  • The use of multi-paned wood windows in the Arts and Crafts style with wood trim;
  • Stone windowsills; and
  • Brick chimney on the north elevation.

Any objection to this designation must be filed no later than November 17, 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 October 18, 2023.