Notice of Intention to Designate Sixteen School

Thu, 27 Feb 2020

On February 10, 2020, 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:

Sixteen School
2477 Fourth Line, Oakville, Ontario
PT LTS 22 & 23, CON 1 TRAFALGAR, SOUTH OF DUNDAS STREET , AS IN 549835, T/W 198455, IF ANY ; S/T THE INTEREST(S) IN 49377 ; OAKVILLE

Description of Property

The Sixteen School property is known municipally as 2477 Fourth Line. It is an approximately two-acre parcel of land located on the south side of Dundas Street on the west bank of Sixteen Mile Creek. The property contains a former schoolhouse and a detached garage. The building was originally used as a school for many decades before it was converted to residential use. In recent years, the property has been vacant.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value or Interest:

Design and Physical Value

The Sixteen School has cultural heritage value as a representative and early example of a 19th century brick one-room rural schoolhouse and as one of the few remaining examples of its kind in Oakville. The building has a typical one-room schoolhouse design with a front gable roof, brick walls on stone foundation, three windows on each side and a central front door, which was for many years accessed through a frame vestibule wing.

The schoolhouse today remains in its original form, excluding the front frame portico which was removed, possibly when the building became a residence. Despite several 20th century alterations, the gableroofed rectangular form of the building remains, including its red brick walls, stone foundation, original fenestration, wood window trim and stone sills. The key elements that reinforce the building’s role as a one-room schoolhouse have endured and continue to support the property’s cultural heritage value.

Historical and Associative Value

The Sixteen School property has cultural heritage value for its associations with the ancestors of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation who occupied this land for centuries. Located along the banks of the Sixteen Mile Creek, the schoolhouse property and its surroundings along the river would have been a significant site as an area of transportation, gathering, cultivating and also as a sacred space.

The subject property also has cultural heritage value for its associations with the former village of Sixteen Hollow, also known as Proudfoot Hollow. Starting in 1826, Scottish settler Colonel George Chalmers began to develop the area, building a dam to run a grist mill
and sawmill. This industry brought settlers to the area and the village began to grow. Dozens of homes and numerous businesses sprang up, including a tannery, ashery, tavern, carding mill, stave and barrel factory, brewery, distillery and blacksmith shops. By the 1850s, the village began its decline but the area remained active as one of the main crossing points over Sixteen Mile Creek on one of the busiest and most significant roads in the county.

The Sixteen School property has significant cultural heritage value as one of the few remaining schoolhouses in Oakville and as a building that contributed greatly to the development of rural Trafalgar Township and to the education of its early residents. The schoolhouse provided greater accessibility to education for the children living in what was a fairly remote area at the time. The building provides a physical reminder of the larger movement of education in Upper Canada at the time, spurred on by the two Common Schools Acts of 1846 and 1850 which aimed to standardize the public education system and support the construction of more schools, especially in rural areas.

The property also has cultural heritage value as one of the earliest known schoolhouses in Oakville, having likely been built around 1851. The history of a school at Proudfoot Hollow began as early as 1823 when, according to some historical records, a frame schoolhouse was built near the church. None of the other schoolhouses built around this time in Oakville remain today.

Contextual Value

The Sixteen School property has cultural heritage value for its setting along the Sixteen Mile Creek and Dundas Street, both of which have been significant transportation routes and features in the area for centuries. As a former rural schoolhouse, the
building continues to define and support the natural character of its immediate surroundings which remain undeveloped and, in many ways, unchanged from their historic appearance.

The local area also has contextual significance to the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation whose ancestors occupied these lands and used the waterway for transportation and sustenance. The river and its embankment upon which the schoolhouse was built continues to be a sacred space for the Mississaugas.

The schoolhouse also has significant value as a remnant of the former Sixteen Hollow village and remains one of the few remaining structures of this former rural hamlet. The building was constructed at the main turn in the switchback road that led down to the valley, before the new Dundas Street bridge was constructed across the river in 1921. The building played a significant role in the local community as the only schoolhouse for many miles and remains physically and historically linked to its surroundings.

Description of Heritage Attributes:

Key attributes of the property which embody the cultural heritage value of the Sixteen School include the following attributes, as they relate to the exterior elevations of the one-storey brick former school building:

  • The one-storey rectangular form of the schoolhouse, including the medium pitch gable roof;
  • The red brick cladding in Common Brick Bond, including red brick headers;
  • Fenestration of the original front door and the window openings on the side elevations;
  • Wood window trim;
  • Wood soffits; and
  • Lakestone cladding on foundation above grade.

The contemporary garage building is not considered to be a heritage attribute.

Any objection to this designation must be filed no later than March 30, 2020. Objections should be directed to the Town Clerk, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, Ontario L6H 0H3.

Further information respecting this proposed designation is available from the Town of Oakville.

Any inquiries may be directed to Carolyn Van Sligtenhorst, heritage planner at 905-845-6601, ext. 3870 (TTY 905-338-4200), or by email at carolyn.van@oakville.ca.

The last date to file a notice of objection is March 30, 2020.