Explore Arnprior’s History on this informative walk through some of Arnprior’s historic buildings.
1. The Old Post Office
35 Madawaska Blvd.
This designated heritage structure, was constructed as a Federal Post Office and Customs House. Taking three years to build, it opened in 1897. Designed by Dominion Architect Thomas Fuller, the distinct Romanesque revival features are built from red sandstone from Perth Ontario, Potsdam Sandstone, a reddish sandstone, from Potsdam in northern New York State, used for arches over the doors and windows and limestone- most likely from Aylmer. Saved from demolition in 1963 for the town’s people by David and Jessie Gillies, the building now houses the Arnprior and District Museum.
2. The Bank of Nova Scotia
169 John Street North
The first occupant of this building, the Bank of Ottawa, was established in 1874 by several Ottawa Valley lumbering families. The bank prospered, expanding from the Ottawa Valley to the Pacific Ocean, but by 1917 needed additional capital. The Bank of Nova Scotia was looking to expand at the same time and the two banks amalgamated in 1919.
3. Macnamara Residence
153 Daniel Street North
This board-and batten home with exceptional gable end detail was built by Daniel F. McLachlin (1809-1872) for his eldest son Hugh F. McLachlin. Among the fine heritage homes in Arnprior, it has been owned continuously by the Macnamara family since Richard Macnamara came to Arnprior at the request of H.F.McLachlin as his office manager. Charles Macnamara, field naturalist and photographer, also chief accountant for the McLachlin brothers lives here from 1886 – 1993.
4. Grierson Home
112 Daniel Street North
This stone building was built in 1860 as a private home. For much of the 20th century it was the Oddfellows Hall, and was purchased and renovated in 1999 for a chiropractic practice and has been a spa more recently.
5. The Arcade
114 John Street North
The Arcade Department Store was considered a skyscraper when it was first built in the 1880’s. According to Leo Lavoie, “People came from across the river near and far to view the tallest building in the Upper Ottawa Valley.”
6. O’Brien Theatre
147 John Street North
The first theatre in Arnprior, the Theatorium, was built in 1906 on this site. The present building was originally built as the Casino Theatre in 1919, but with the advent of talking pictures it was completely renovated in 1930 and renamed the O’Brien Theatre. The latest renovation in 2000 added a second screen and restored the theatre to its former glory.
7. Craig Block
140 John Street North.
Denis McNamara built this building along with the Campbell Block in the mid-1850’s. It was the Crown Bakery, owned by the Daze family, and included a confectionary as it entered the 20th century. In the 1920’s Gardner Men’s Wear was located here. It also housed an insurance office, hardware store, grocery store, pharmacy before becoming a dollar store most recently.
8. “Where Friends Meet” Building
148-152 John Street North
Built in the late 19th century, this building has housed various businesses in the past. It has served as a ‘Chinese Laundry,’ telegraph office, men’s clothing store, dentist’s office and a shoemaker’s business. This beautifully renovated building now houses the Arnprior Bookstore, the Gallery Gift Shop and Bonnie Jane’s Coffee House.
9. Campbell Block
39 Madawaska Blvd.
This stone building was erected in 1853. Originally housing the T. McCormick and Son Grocery, Neil Campbell Insurance operated from these premises for most of the 20th century. While the current businesses include a denturist and financial planning consultant, the building continues to be known as the Campbell Block.
10. Wesleyan Arnprior Church
192 Harrington Street
The original church on this location was built in the late 19th century as the one of the local Methodist Churches. Around the year 1875 the Zion Evangelical congregation, presently known as the Wesleyan Church, purchased the frame building from the Methodist Episcopalians. Around the year 1909 the frame structure was demolished and the present brick structure was built. The congregation recently vacated the building and it is now up for sale.
11. Emmanuel Anglican Church
287 Harrington Street
The Emmanuel Anglican Church was built in 1862 on land donated by Daniel McLachlin. The Chancel, vestry and tower were added between 1884 and 1886. The parish hall, Carleton Reid Memorial Hall, was added in 1962.
12. McLachlin Residence
293 John Street North
This large brick home was built in 1874 by Hugh F. McLachlin for his widowed mother, Mrs. Daniel McLachlin. For many years it was occupied by the deRenzy family. The father, Edouard, was the fifth Postmaster of Arnprior and the son, Alex, was an officer of Gillies Bros. in Braeside.
13. Kirkman House
294 John Street North
This home was built in the 1870’s by Claude McLachlin, second son of Daniel McLachlin. From 1916—1995, the house was known as Sacred Heart Convent and was home to the teaching order of Sisters of Providence of Saint Vincent de Paul. In 1996 the house became a bed & breakfast and was renamed Kirkman House.
14. Arnprior & District Memorial Hospital
350 John Street North
The Arnprior & District Hospital was formed in 1945 in what was originally the personal home of Daniel McLachlin (1881 – 1954), grandson of Daniel McLachlin (1809 – 1872). It took two years to convey the building and land to the Town of Arnprior and to remodel the residence into the hospital Required funds for the remodeling of the building were raised by the people of Arnprior.
15. St. John Chrysostom Church
295 Albert Street
The original Roman Catholic chapel in Arnprior was established in 1857. As the congregation grew, this was enlarged in 1869 and a new church constructed by 1873. As the Catholic community outgrew each successive church, the present massive Gothic-style church was constructed around the original building. One of Arnprior’s significant landmarks, this church was completed in 1908.
16. Grace St. Andrew’s United Church
269 & 257 John Street North
1890 saw the construction of the present “Stone Church,” as St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was known. The Wesleyan Methodists constructed the brick building called Grace Methodist at 257 John North in 1894. After the amalgamation of the two denominations into the United Church in 1925, this building began service as the Christian Education Centre. Note the original Presbyterian manse, built in 1864 and located at 24 Ottawa Street.