158 Mary Street, Hamilton, Ontario
William Pring, appointed Surveyor of Customs in 1851, had this house built in 1855 for himself and his family. At the time Mary Street was a major artery down to the east docks, warehouses, custom house, and old Port Hamilton on Burlington Bay.
The location was ideal for William Pring. It was close to the harbour and the customs office thought to have been in the post office on James Street North. When Pring had his fine stone home built, he had a view to the east of the Ferguson family farm that extended from Rebecca Street to the bay. He saw a growing city full of optimism in all other directions.
Margaret Houghton, archivist at the Hamilton Public Library, says Mary Street is one of the oldest in the city. “Some of the notable institutions along the street included the Lyric Theatre, Chipman Holton, Malcolm and Souter furniture manufacturers, Hamilton Cotton and the Canadian Knitting Company.”
A city heritage designation in 1991 recognized the William Pring House as a rare example of pre-Confederation stone architecture in Hamilton.
- The nine-foot ceilings
- Eight fireplaces
- Three-story spiral staircase with turned banister.
- Wondrous curved panelled doors
- Thick limestone walls
- Renaissance Revival entrance
- Finely detailed shutters
David Cuming, who manages heritage planning for MHBC, an urban design and landscape architecture firm in Kitchener, says the interior woodwork of the Pring house is on par with the finest examples of pre-Confederation architecture in the province, including the Ruthven Estate in Cayuga.
Ruthven Estate, Cayuga, Ontario
Sold in January 2012 after being listed for 1-week for $349,800. The new owners converted the home into a hostel for backpackers called the Hamilton Guesthouse. Click here for details.