Historic Osler House from 1847 in Hamilton goes up for sale for $3.25M


Published May 10, 2023 at 4:25 pm

William Osler House - Martinus Geleynse, Sotheby's International Realty Canada listing agent

There is hope for the future of the historic Osler House in Dundas after McMaster University listed the childhood home of globally renowned physician Sir William Osler for sale for $3.25 million last week.

Ward 2 Coun. Cameron Kroetsch says the city is “on track” to pursue heritage designation for the property at 30 South St. W. in Dundas, which will essentially provide more protections. The city reportedly decided to elevate the property to high priority for heritage designation after McMaster’s announcement in December that it would sell it.


Kroetsch says he is “not concerned” about any risks to the home, including potential demolition.

“We have a lot of things in place that will protect the property,” he told inthehammer.com in a phone interview. “There are many checks and balances.”

A “designated property” is considered “a significant heritage resource protected by a municipal by-law,” according to the City of Hamilton’s website. Changes to the property may be permitted through a heritage permit, and the property may qualify for city grants and loans to help with maintenance, restoration and adaptive reuse.


Ken Coit, the city’s director of Heritage and Urban Design, said the Osler House is under review for designation by December 2024.

“Staff have conducted a preliminary review of the property and are in active communication with the current owner and listing agent for the sale to discuss the current heritage status of the property and Council direction to pursue designation of the property,” Coit said Wednesday (May 10) in an emailed statement to inthehammer.com. 

Olser House ‘fast-tracked for designation’

The home at 30 South Street W. in Dundas is part of the city’s inventory of over 6,700 heritage properties, including buildings with heritage value or interest. Inventoried properties, however, are not designated and not subject to legal restrictions and heritage permits, according to the City of Hamilton.

Since Osler House has been “fast-tracked for designation,” Shannon Kyles said she’s “not worried” about potential demolition.

“The property was restored to pristine condition and was left to McMaster as an absolute gem. I hope the person who buys it has the same love for historic buildings,” Kyles, president of the Hamilton branch of Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, said in a phone interview with inthehammer.com.

The two-storey home is up for sale with a $3.25-million price tag. It’s advertised on realtor.ca as sitting on a rare and private 1.28-acre lot overlooking Dundas.

Martinus Geleynse, the listing agent from Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, says  McMaster bought the home off-market and he believes this is the first time it is being publicly offered since 2005.

The home, built in 1847, has 4,600 square feet of living space, including large rooms and windows and soaring 11-foot ceilings, according to the listing. Inside, it has a grand staircase and four spacious bedrooms and a shared bath. It was constructed by lawyer and judge William Miller, served as the Osler family home, and operated as a bed and breakfast that closed last October.

“Its setting is extraordinary, completely private with mature vegetation and trees, and it’s just a beautiful property with extraordinary architectural accents. It’s a gem,”  Kyles said.

McMaster didn’t provide new comments about the listing. However, its spokesperson referred to its remarks from December when the university had announced it was no longer proceeding with plans to use the property as a “living museum” and a place to host meetings and notable visitors to the campus.

The university reportedly bought it for $2,818,200 in January 2021. It originally intended to “preserve local history and provide the opportunity to recognize the contributions of a variety of medical pioneers to the history of health care in Hamilton and Canada,” it said in the December release. 

But remarks made by Osler were seen as racist and sparked public discussions.

“These discussions influenced McMaster’s decision not to pursue its original plan,” said Paul O’Byrne, dean and vice-president of McMaster’s Faculty of Health Sciences, in a statement in December. “The more we discussed the issues, we realized that our energies were better focused on our commitment to Indigenous reconciliation and to inclusive excellence.”

All photos courtesy of Martinus Geleynse, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada listing agent

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