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Building's History

History of 17 Ontario Street Oshawa

The lot was owned by William Carr and was subdivided into some of the first properties in downtown Oshawa.


Dr. McGill, a physician that had graduated from McGill, purchased the lot and subsequently built the house that is now 17 Ontario Street. Dorothy Broadbent, a local historian, sought the history of this interesting building and discussed its history with Thomas Bouckley, Lowery family and Seventh Day Adventist historians. It was related that during the construction of 17 Ontario Street, there were two well know bricklayers building homes close by. A competition was started to determine who could lay the best brick. From reports from the Lowery family, 17 Ontario was the winner. Dr. McGill bequeathed the building to his daughter for $1 as a dowry.

The original building was finished around 1885 and was located 50 feet south of it’s present location. Around 1900, the city of Oshawa was granted it’s first Custom’s building. For some reason it was determined that the new Customs building would serve the community better if it was located on the original location of 17 Ontario Street so in 1900 the building was moved 50 feet north and put on a new foundation.

17 Ontario Street was close to the original Courthouse and Oshawa’s first magistrate, Mr. Hines, lived at this location. Over the years, 17 Ontario Street served as a home, was divided into a duplex and in the 1960’s became the location of Clancy and Mcleod Printers. Evidence of their occupation can still be seen in the basement where an old binder still resides. There was a massive hole cut into the ceiling to allow room for the head of the press. Large timbers remain in the basement as evidence of the weight of the presses.


Around 1978, Morden Helwig, Insurance Brokers, bought the building and did a complete renovation from the studs creating their new Central Ontario Office. In 1987 Gerd Meyer bought the building from Morden Helwig. Gerd and Dr. Kevin McAllister met at the building, and a deal was struck and hands shook on the front porch. Having the building subdivided from a larger property that had merged on title proved difficult however it was completed and 17 Ontario Street has remained a Chiropractic office since September 1987.

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