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“What a pleasure it was staying in this beautiful guest house… 5 months without any problems. After a hard day at work it was a pleasure to come home to a beautiful quiet setting.”



Don't tell these gardens it's September

by Kathy Renwald, The Hamilton Spectator, September 11, 2008

On MacNab Street North a garden in front of the historical Terrace designed by Hamilton architect James Balfour looked lush and inviting. The 1889 row houses are a one-of-a-kind blend of San Francisco Italianate and high Victorian Gothic-revival architecture.

The little garden under ornate bay windows is mostly green with accents of colour. Hosta, columbine, periwinkle and lamium do a fine job of covering the ground in contrasting shades of green. A curved bench under the garden's one tree is hefty enough to hold its own against the ornate detailing on the house.

City of Hamilton 2007 Award of Excellence
for Heritage Conservation

The MacNab Terrace Guest House was honoured for best heritage conservation in the 2007 Hamilton Urban Design and Architect Awards. This project involved the facade restoration and renovation of the two centre units of the six unit MacNab Terrace, a heritage property constructed in 1879 by local architect, James Balfour. When purchased by the current owners in 1988, the three storey units operated as a licensed rooming house. Through a series of restoration projects and a rear addition the owners have transformed the house into a successful guest house and their private residence. The Competition Jury declared this "a sensitive use and well executed restoration that represents a large investment and commitment. Its success serves as an example of the potential of heritage buildings across the city."

As project architect John Mokrycke stated in an interview with the Hamilton Spectator: "A large measure of the Terrace's local impact is the feelings passersby have seeing the property come awake and blossom. People smile and feel comfortable."

MacNab Terrace Guest House

Our guest house is featured in the new book Heritage Treasures by Susan Evans Shaw, photography by Jean Crankshaw, that was launched in November 2004 and received the Athens Printing Award for Non-Fiction Book, Arts Hamilton Literary Awards, 2005.

Heritage Treasures
The historic homes of Ancaster, Burlington, Dundas, East Flamborough, Hamilton, Stoney Creek and Waterdown

Within the communities of Hamilton and Burlington are many fine heritage homes built in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Together, Hamiltonians Susan Evans Shaw and Jean Crankshaw combed the streets and reviewed archive files to choose a selection that represents the many hundreds of heritage homes in the Hamilton/Burlington area.

Author Susan Evans Shaw researched the history of each home and the people who have lived in it. Jean Crankshaw photographed each one on the day and time that would show it at its best.

This book offers a selection of sixty of these homes, ranging from modest one-storey cottages to the very grand mansions. This architectural heritage is a cultural treasure that Heritage Treasures recognizes and celebrates.

City of Hamilton Designates 256-258 MacNab Street North, as Historically Significant

MacNab Terrace Guest House was built in 1879 and is comprised of the two large centre residences in a series of six brick row houses. The building was designed by famous Hamilton Architect James Balfour. Balfour was responsible for the design of many fine buildings including Hamilton’s old city hall and The Detroit Museum of Art. The building is of flamboyant design combining two styles – San Francisco Italianate and Victorian. The building features elaborate bay windows Gothic gables, intricate cornice work and bargeboard. A unique feature is the original horse carriage entrance through the house to the rear parking area.

The houses were designated as significant properties in 1989. Renovations were designed by local architect John Mokrycke and took two years to complete.

MacNab Terrace Guest House is owned by North Hamilton residents Helen Kirkpatrick and Tom Baker. They have owned the property since 1988.


© 2004, MacNab Terrace Guest House