Nova Scotia Archives

Built Heritage Resource Guide

What style is that house?

Nova Scotia has many diverse architectural styles, spanning the province's four centuries of built heritage. These styles include:

  • French Colonial, 1604-1790
  • Dutch or Georgian Colonial, 1700-1830
  • Palladian Architecture in Canada, 1749-1830
  • Picturesque, 1790-1840
  • Neoclassical Architecture in Canada, 1820-1860 (includes Classical, Roman and Greek Revival)
  • Scottish, English, German or Irish Vernacular, 1830-1880
  • Gothic Revival, 1840-1890
  • Italianate/Italian Villa style, 1840-1885
  • Second Empire, 1860-1890
  • Queen Anne Revival or High Victorian Eclectic, Shingle Style, 1880-1905
  • The Four Square, 1895-1930
  • Craftsman and Bungalow, 1910-1940
  • Tudor Revival, 1915-1940

Most of the province's heritage structures, especially private residences, were not architecturally designed, but were instead built by knowledgeable carpenters. Consequently, while most have characteristics of a particular style they will not necessarily be 'pure' examples, due to many vernacular influences. Some may even be transitional buildings, with the characteristic style of the time predominating, but overlaid with first touches of the next architectural trend or with vestigial reminders of an earlier style.

Nearly fifty photographs are featured below, presenting typical examples for each of the predominant architectural styles found in Nova Scotia homes. The broad characteristics of each style are identified in the Note Area accompanying the image.

This Built Heritage Resource Guide is unusually rich in the information given in the Note Areas accompanying most images. So... when you scan down the pages, be sure to click on the thumbnails so that you can enlarge and explore the images, plus read the extra details provided beneath each.

 scan 200501861
"A Habitant's Home" 
Date: 1777
Artist: J.F.W. DesBarres
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Nova Scotia: 1777

Topic: What style is that house? / French Colonial
 scan 200803071
"Banks House, at Annapolis Royal... Said to be the Oldest Habitable House in Canada." 
Date: 1958
Photographer: E.G.L. Wetmore
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Annapolis Royal: Houses: Banks House

Topic: What style is that house? / French Colonial
 scan 200803069
"The Manor House or Willow Park, Bedford, NS" 
Date: ca.1896
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Bedford: Houses: Ternan Property, # 7

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
W.L. Bishop scan 200803016
"Jas. Farquarson's Farmhouse" 
Date: 1897
Reference no.: W.L. Bishop Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1983-240 no. 122

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
Thorpe family scan 200803017
"Wood Hall Farm, T.D. McGill, Proprietor, Middle Celyde [Clyde], Shelburne County, NS" 
Date: ca. 1900
Reference no.: Thorpe family Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1986-466 no. 69

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
Frederick McQuahae scan 200803068
Harlow's Hotel or Central House, Shelburne, NS 
Reference no.: Frederick McQuahae Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1982-462 no. 13

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
 scan 200803015
"Home of Simeon Perkins (1735-1812), Merchant and Diarist of Liverpool, NS" 
Date: ca.1936
Photographer: Nova Scotia Bureau of Information, #1260
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Liverpool: Houses: Perkins House

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
Clara Dennis scan 200800418
"DeWolfe House, Wolfville, NS" 
Date: 1930s
Photographer: Clara Dennis
Reference no.: Clara Dennis Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1981-541 no. 409

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
Nova Scotia Information Service scan 200803088
Amberman House, Granville Ferry 
Photographer: Nova Scotia Information Service
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Information Service Nova Scotia Archives no. 4885

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
 scan 200803089
"The Old Corner House, Grand Pre, NS" 
Date: ca. 1930
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Grand Pre: Houses: Old Corner House

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
 scan 200803070
Romkey House, Lunenburg, NS 
Date: 1958
Photographer: E.G.L. Wetmore
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Lunenburg: Houses: Romkey House

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
 scan 200803014
Medway Inn, Mill Village, Queens County 
Date: 1958
Photographer: E.G.L. Wetmore
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Mill Village, Queens County: Houses: Medway Inn

Topic: What style is that house? / Dutch or Georgian Colonial
Nova Scotia Information Service scan 200803067
Prescott House, Starr's Point 
Photographer: Nova Scotia Bureau of Information
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Information Service Nova Scotia Archives no. 7117

Topic: What style is that house? / Palladian Architecture in Canada
Clara Dennis scan 200800416
"Old Prescott House, Starr's Point, Kings County, NS" 
Photographer: Clara Dennis
Reference no.: Clara Dennis Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1981-541 no. 407

Topic: What style is that house? / Palladian Architecture in Canada
 scan 200803083
Mount Uniacke, NS, Summer Residence of the Uniacke Family 
Date: ca. 1830
Reference no.: Nova Scotia Archives Photo Collection: Places: Mount Uniacke: Houses: Mount Uniacke

Topic: What style is that house? / Palladian Architecture in Canada
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