Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia - Where History Meets Opportunity

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170 St. George Street

170 St. George Street, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia, B0S 1A0, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1981/01/25

Front Facade, 2017

Side Facade, 2017

West Elevation

North West Elevation

North East Elevation

Other Name(s)
170 St. George Street
Woods Property

Links and Documents

Construction Date(s)
1872/01/01 to 1872/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/03/22

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

170 St. George Street, also known as the Woods Property, is a one and one-half storey wood-frame structure. It is sited in the historic waterfront area of Annapolis Royal and was constructed in the mid-nineteenth century. It has been used variously as a store, lumber office, woodworking shop, and doctors’ offices. It is currently a pottery and retail outlet. It is located in an area of mixed use heritage properties. The designation includes the building and surrounding property.

Heritage Value

Historic Value:

The historic value of 170 St. George Street, as recognized in its municipal designation, is found in its early construction as a commercial building and its association with both the Anglican glebe lands and the commercial development of the town. The date of construction of the building is uncertain, although it certainly predates 1875. This land was part of the original Anglican glebe lands (formerly Roman Catholic glebe lands), dating back to the seventeenth century, which were rented out in small lots until the church began selling its property in the 1860s. Thus, there are no deeds for the individual lots, a source that often provides information on buildings. Any structures built on the land would be owned by the renter and not the church, and so would not show up on the deeds. This lot was sold by the church in 1872; the present structure had either already been built or was built shortly thereafter. It is one of the earliest extant structures built for mercantile purposes in town. An examination of its interior in the early 1970s, before the recent interior changes, indicates that it was always used for commercial purposes. It was owned by a number of prominent Annapolis Royal businessmen, including A.D. Gavaze, Albert D. Mills and Christopher Pickels (as the firm Pickels and Mills and later A.D. Mills & Sons). As part of the latter company’s holdings and lumbering activity, it was involved in the spectacular collapse of the firm in 1914, an event that greatly affected the economic life of the town. From 1914 to 1941 the building continued to be associated with the lumber business, which remained important in the economy of Annapolis Royal.

Architectural Value:

The architectural significance of 170 St. George Street is found in its nineteenth century commercial features and its unaltered Greek Revival style. It is the oldest mercantile building in town retaining most of its original commercial architectural features; there have been virtually no modifications to the front façade of the building. Because commercial activity shifted away from this part of the town after the construction of the bridge across the Annapolis River in the early twentieth century, this building escaped the modernization and adaptation that was the fate of most of the commercial buildings further up St. George Street. The building stands with its gable end to the road, and has strong eaves and returns, as well as corner pilasters. The front façade is perfectly balanced, with matching doors on either side, unique among the extant commercial buildings of the town. Assuming a construction date of c 1865-1875, it would appear that the present shop windows, with relatively small panes of glass, are original, the only ones of this type in Annapolis Royal.

Source: Heritage Property Files, Map #209, 170 St. George Street, Annapolis Heritage Society, Town of Annapolis Royal.

Character-defining Elements

Character-Defining Elements of 170 St. George Street include:

-its positioning at the very edge of the street;
- all elements related to its Greek Revival style including the symmetry of the front facade;
- all original and historic elements related to its use as a commerical space including two panel doors and the two small-paned shop windows;
- intactness of the exterior.


Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority
Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute
Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type
Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date

Historical Information

Significant Date(s)
1914/01/01 to 1941/01/01

Theme - Category and Type
Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type

Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Property Files, Annapolis Heritage Society, Annapolis Royal, NS.

FED/PROV/TERR Identifier