228-230 Dundas Street, Ontario Furniture

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Dundas, 228-30 Ontario Furniture




The Ontario Furniture

In 1910 Arthur and Oliver Keene, together with their cousin Norman, formed the Ontario Furniture Company Limited and opened a store at 228-230, Dundas Street, where it would remain until 1969. Literally a palace of home furnishings, the building was designed by the prestigious architectural firm of Moore, Henry and Munro. The structure is, to this day, a unique example of Chicago Commercial architectural style in London (ON) and the six large bay windows were meant to give maximum exposure to the furniture on sale. This architectural style never became particularly popular in the downtown of this city. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the northern side of Dundas between Clarence and Wellington Streets was attracting a number of similar retailers selling furnishings, including stoves and the pianos that were common in late Victorian and Edwardian drawing rooms.

Prior to this location, the Keene brothers' furniture store, founded by Charles and Henry Keene, fathers to Arthur, Oliver and Norman, was a fixture of the Market District. In 1892 Henry and Charles Keene, two cabinet makers who left their jobs at the London Furniture Company factory, started their own furniture and upholstery shop at 127, King Street. Only at a later stage did they abandon their own production to focus on retail, expanding to the adjoining building at 125, King Street. The façade of 125-127 King, much of which still exists, was put on sometime before 1919, possibly soon after Henry's son, Arthur Keene, took over the business at the beginning of WWI.

For entire decades Londoners remember the façade at 228-30 Dundas St. to have been covered with tin cladding. It was only in the summer of 1998 that the tin cladding was removed and the original façade restored.


228-230 Dundas Street
London, Ontario
Canada N6A 1H1