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Historically inspired lofts in the heart of Guelph

Bold Living with Historic Charm

Otherwise known as the Ward, this eclectic area has been named as one of North America’s Top Ten established neighbourhoods to live in. Alice Block perfectly embraces the historical characteristics of its industrial building while welcoming modern refinement in its new renovations.

In the early 1900s, James Walter Lyon, a successful businessman in the publishing industry, bought 400 acres in the Guelph Ward and financed numerous other lands in the area. As an enticement for industries to establish operations in Guelph, he granted free tracts of land for factories there.

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Aerial photograph of Harding Yarns Worsted Spinning Plant, circa 1950. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 1987.60.2

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James Walter Lyon, 1913. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 1969.69.1

“In 1906, I conceived the idea of making an industrial city of Guelph.”

- James Walter Lyon

Aerial View of Morris Street (in the centre) with Gilson Manufacturing and Biltmore Hats to the lower left and Northern Rubber in the centre, 1948. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 2014.84.577

In 1919, The Northern Rubber Company purchased the land from John Kennedy and began producing rubber footwear (on the current Alice Block site) in April 1920. The workforce uniquely employed nearly all women.

The business mushroomed and in just five years became the top employer among Guelph’s industries, with a payroll near the 600 mark in the late 1920s.

A state-of-the-art facility at the time it was constructed, the firm’s four-storey factory that stands before you boasted more floor area than any other Guelph industry.


Aerial view of the industrial area at York Road, Huron and Ontario Streets, circa 1950. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 2014.84.799

Northern Rubber Co. Employees, 1932. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 1998.3.1

Map of Guelph. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 1981X.230.1

Plan of Subdivision at York and Industrial, 1924. Courtesy of Guelph Museums, 2013.39.3

“Alice Block” Now

A Part of the Pulse

Literally minutes from the downtown core, Alice Block is a 2-minute drive and a 15-minute walk away from everything Guelph has to offer. From an amazing night life to historic old-world charm, Alice Block perfectly blends being a part of all of it with a quiet space to call home.

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