Exploring 5 Architectural Gems in Cambridge, Ontario   

Ah, Cambridge—one part of the Waterloo triad, where the streets are lined with an eye-catching tapestry of architectural styles just waiting to be featured on Insta. Whether you’re an avid history buff, a design enthusiast, or simply curious about the place you call home, come along as Mini Mall Storage gives you the scoop on five popular historic architectural styles in Cambridge and how you can spot them.    

  1. Victorian  
    Victorian architecture emerged during Queen Victoria’s reign in Britain, which lasted from the mid-19th to the early 20th century. This style is known for ornate details, steep gabled roofs, asymmetrical facades, and the use of decorative elements such as turrets, bay windows, and intricate woodwork.  
    You’ll find some Victorian homes in the older neighborhoods in the Galt area, which you can easily spot by their big bay windows, steeply pitched roofs, gingerbread trim, corbels, and use of stained glass. But one of Cambridge’s most notable examples of Victorian architecture has to be the old Galt Post office. Built in 1858, the building is a blend of Victorian, Gothic and Romanesque architecture and was converted to a community hub in 2018.   

  1. Gothic Revival  
    Gothic Revival was a reaction to the neoclassical style that started to pick up steam in the late 18th century and drew its inspiration from the medieval Gothic architecture of the 12th to 16th centuries. Gothic Revival is characterized by pointed arches, steeply sloped roofs, and decorative features like gargoyles and quatrefoils. It’s a bit extra, but we love it.   
    Notable examples of Gothic Revival architecture in Cambridge include the Central Presbyterian Church and the Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School. If you’re searching for other Gothic Revival buildings, look for structures with tall, narrow windows featuring pointy arches and over-the-top, scary-looking gargoyles.  
  1. Romanesque Revival  
    Romanesque Revival architecture emerged in the 19th century as a revival of the Romanesque style from the 11th  and 12th centuries because, in architecture, as in fashion, everything that goes around comes back around eventually. Romanesque is characterized by thick walls, rounded arches, sturdy columns, and decorative elements inspired by Romanesque churches and castles.  
    Built in 1898, The Cambridge Fire Hall Museum and Education Centre, was constructed in Romanesque Revival and High Victorian styles. When searching for Romanesque Revival buildings in the wild, look for rounded archways, thick stone walls, and very symmetrical designs.  

  1. Richardsonian Romanesque   
    Richardsonian architecture, named after American architect Henry Hobson Richardson, was popular in the late 19th century. It’s characterized by massive stone construction, round corner towers, Romanesque arches, and a sense of solidity and grandeur.  
    The Gore Mutual Insurance Company building features the sturdy facades and arched windows that you’d find in Richardson’s work. Look for massive stone walls, semicircular arches, recessed entrances, and buildings that just basically look like a fortress.   

  1. Georgian   
    Georgian architecture is a style that originated in 18th century Britain during the reigns of the first four King Georges. (So far, there have been six King Georges in England… in case you were wondering). The Georgian style is notable for its attention to symmetry, proportionate lines, classical motifs, and red brick or limestone construction.  
    The McDougall Cottage Historic Site was built in 1858 has the design symmetry characteristic of the Georgian style. If you’re looking for Georgian examples in the streets of Cambridge, look for a focus on proportion and balance, sash windows, and simple, elegant facades.   

Ready to go on your own architectural treasure hunt in the historic areas of Cambridge, ON?  Old buildings aren’t just another pretty face, each architectural style has its own story to tell. As your unofficial city guide, Mini Mall Storage is always happy to help you unlock the secrets of your local architectural heritage. We’re also happy to help whenever you need temporary storage for your stuff—whether you’re moving across town, relocating from another area, or just trying to get organized. Visit one of our two Cambridge locations at 1245 Franklin Blvd or 416 Franklin Blvd, and secure your unit today!  

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