Ancestral Roofs

"In Praise of Older Buildings"

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shopping District - Castleton

pilasters, eaves returns, classical symmetry in frame
My mother raised me right. To her, it was just polite to send thank you notes directly after the event which had brought joy. I have been remiss.

I owe my thanks to the Northumberland branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, and to Nanci Anderson in particular, who remembered to invite the members of Heritage Belleville to a celebration of the wit and wisdom of the incomparable Peter John Stokes, pioneer in the field of heritage architecture in Canada. And to the lovely folks of this organization, who worked hard to organize the day, yet remembered to save a bit of energy to make an out-of-towner welcome.

an incongruous but sweet Italianate porch
rare original 12 x 12 sash
The presentation took place in the unique and lovely Castleton town hall, which displays some inspired brick-work. But the building that caught my eye, and kept me trotting back and forth across the intersection in the sun and wind for yet another look, was this amazing Castleton General Store.

Post Office, LCBO, general merchandise - what more could a village want? Judging by the traffic in and out, folks are pretty satisfied with the services offered. Built in 1870, and featuring some of the original counters and display cases, the building has Greek Revival grandeur - reminds me of the old store in Queensborough, though the years have been kinder to this structure.
great doors - asymmetrical lights
lovely Victorian store window

view from old Percy Road
The Castleton General Store glowed serenely in the spring sunshine, satisfied with her years of service to the little community, confident that she is still making a contribution, and secure in the knowledge that someone is still taking good care of her. She is a proud of her, Castleton.


  1. This is inspiration, Lindi! It sounds like the Castleton general store could be a model for Queensborough, which I firmly believe would be elevated to a higher plane completely with "un commerce," as we say in Quebec, located there. And you were there for a celebration of Peter Stokes! Heritage preservation in Ontario owes more to Peter than one can say. A genius and a gentleman.

  2. Peter was at the Castleton ACO to talk about his new book 'A Village Arising' about the creation of Upper Canada Village. Having just spent a day (and what a day) at UCV, I have returned to the book and am immersed once again in his scholarship and sensibility.