The Manor, Guelph's only strip club, is getting a heritage designation

The Manor building in Guelph, Ont., is getting heritage designation after council published the notice of intention to designate June 13.  (Karis Mapp/CBC  - image credit)
The Manor building in Guelph, Ont., is getting heritage designation after council published the notice of intention to designate June 13. (Karis Mapp/CBC - image credit)

A long-standing Guelph building, now known for being the southern city's only strip club, is getting a heritage designation.

The Manor at 211 Silvercreek Parkway South will soon be protected under the Heritage Act because of its historic value.

Stephen Robinson says that means any proposed demolition or alteration that would affect the heritage attributes would first require approval.

Robinson is Guelph's senior heritage planner who presented the staff report to council on June 13.

He added The Manor met five of the nine heritage criteria, as the building has both historic and contextual value.

"The original building form of the 1891 residence would be protected by the bylaw," Robinson said.

"That's all exterior stone walls, all the exterior wood trim features of the original doors and window openings, the slate roof cladding, the existing chimneys and all surviving stained glass windows."

Original stained glass located in a room on the top floor of The Manor.
Original stained glass located in a room on the top floor of The Manor.

Original stained glass located in a room on the top floor of The Manor. (Karis Mapp/CBC)

Sam Cohen is the current owner of The Manor, though the business has been passed down in his family.

Cohen told CBC News he will continue to treat the building as it deserves.

"We've been here so long, we understand the heritage, we understand what we have here," he said. "We've taken care of it for the past 30 years and we continue to keep up the building."

When asked what his favourite part of the building was, Cohen said the overall look of it.

"It obviously looks like an older castle, the old Sleeman mansion. We have numerous pictures around inside the building that actually shows what the building was. What the use was and what i actually looked like back in the 1900s," he said.

A stairwell in The Manor with various photos depicting the building's history.
A stairwell in The Manor with various photos depicting the building's history.

A stairwell in The Manor with various photos depicting the building's history. (Karis Mapp/CBC)

"We haven't really changed anything other than the paint," Cohen added. "We've maintained the roof, we maintained a lot of the structures inside and outside the building. I'd like to say that we're going to continue to do so for many more years."

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Heritage history

The Manor mansion has deep historical roots within Guelph.

The building dates back to the mid-1800s, when it was originally built by the Sleeman family. George Sleeman completed construction on the home in 1891 and is known today for the brewing company of the same name.

John Sleeman is George's grandson, who is carrying on the brewing legacy and is the founder and chairman of Sleeman Breweries.

The original windows, slate roof and chimney on The Manor building.
The original windows, slate roof and chimney on The Manor building.

The original windows, slate roof and chimney on The Manor building. (Karis Mapp/CBC)

Sleeman said he was surprised to hear his great-grandfather's home was getting a heritage designation.

"Our family hasn't been in the building or lived in the building since the late 1950s. I drive by it a lot because I've got the brewery in Guelph and then downtown I've got our distillery. So I tend to drive by it a lot and it's still there and it's functioning as a business," Sleeman said.

He added that back when the house was first built, breweries were multi-generational businesses, and his grandfather wanted his house and business to last through the years.

The original doors on the top floor of The Manor.
The original doors on the top floor of The Manor.

The original doors on the top floor of The Manor. (Karis Mapp/CBC)

"He had the resources to build a house out of stone that was locally quarried. He also had the financial resources to bring craftsman and tradesmen from Europe to build the furniture and build the staircases and everything else," explained Sleeman.

"So he built it to last and I'm quite pleased that it has lasted this long and with this heritage designation, hopefully it will continue to last because I have two sons and two daughters and the two boys work with me at the distillery and they drive by the place and it's nice for them to look up and go, 'Hey, this is my great, great-grandfather's house.'"

An original mat seen on the original wood flooring of The Manor's top floor.
An original mat seen on the original wood flooring of The Manor's top floor.

An original rug seen on the original wood flooring of The Manor's top floor. (Karis Mapp/CBC)

Having spent the bulk of his time in the residence when he was a young boy, Sleeman said he has limited memories of the mansion, but they are fond ones.

"There was an enormous fireplace," Sleeman recalled "You could touch certain bricks in the fireplace and parts of the fireplace would open up into little tunnels and it was great as a little kid."