Pause Awhile, Part 1

A landmark restored

The recent renovations of the Main Street South landmark known as ‘Pause Awhile’ has returned the building to its place of importance in the history of the community.

The building, formerly known as the Waterdown Post Office, is the only mid-19th century store of frame construction in the village and one of a handful remaining in the province of Ontario.


It has undergone very few alterations during its history and stands today much as it did when built between 1857 and 1858.

The large two-storey structure is clad with horizontal clapboard and rests upon a rubble and concrete foundation.

When first renovated in 1976, many examples of early pioneer construction were revealed, including massive hand-hewn eight-inch by eight-inch beams that stretched across the building with the lengthwise struts soundly mortised into them.


Symmetry is the most appropriate word to describe the Main Street South façade of the building.

The ground floor is highlighted by a central double leaf door with moulded panels, each leaf inset with a six-paned window, above the door, a four-paned rectangular transom and on either side a pair of very large windows, reaching almost to street level.

Each large window or sash is glazed with sixteen small panes and set into moulded casements – all elements of its early construction.

In the apex of the roof gable and centered over the entrance is an unusual architectural feature in a commercial building, a small circular window called an ‘oeil de boeuf’.

According to historic photographs held by the Flamborough Archives, at one time there was a verandah that extended the length of the front façade, providing shelter to customers and a traditional feature of 19th century commercial buildings – its removal being the only conspicuous change that has occurred in its almost 160-year history.

Sylvia Wray is the former archivist with the Flamborough Archives. She can be reached through the Archives at

This article was originally published in the Flamborough Review, 17 March 2011.

Editor’s note:

We were contacted by Mrs. Margaret Robertson, who owned Pause Awhile with her husband. She wanted readers to know that when they purchased the property, there were no windows on the main floor, it was all boarded up. Her husband, Mr. J. Robertson, built the windows to specific detail. Mr. Robertson saved the building from demolition with extensive renovation and hard work, and the building is still a part of our community today.


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