The Thornhill Heritage Foundation was founded in 2009 to own and maintain assets deemed to be of significant heritage, historic, cultural importance, or of major financial value
About The Robert West House
The Robert West Heritage House, as 7780 Yonge Street is known, is the only house in Thornhill to be continuously inhabited by the same family since it was built. Robert Arthur West (1816 - 1884), an English immigrant, came to Upper Canada in the 1830s.
Katherine Louisa Keith (nee West) was born in Toronto in 1912. She was the great grandaughter of Robert West and became his last living descendent.
In 2008, with her advancing age, she decided that the best way to ensure that the house was preserved was to donate it
About the Foundation
The Thornhill Heritage Foundation was founded in 2009 to own and maintain assets deemed to be of significant heritage, historic, cultural importance, or of major financial value, donated directly to the Foundation, or re-assigned from the Society for the Preservation of Historic Thornhill. Following approval by the Ontario Historical Society (OHS) Board of Directors on April 19, 2008, the Thornhill Heritage Foundation was affiliated with The Ontario Historical Society and incorporated as a not-for-profit charitable corporation in the Province of Ontario.
On August 18th, 2009 the OHS was present at a major public announcement by the Foundation. It announced the acquisition of the Thornhill Heritage Foundation’s first asset: the Robert West House. This property, located on Yonge Street in the heart of the heritage district of Thornhill, was acquired by Robert West, an 1833 immigrant from England, for the purpose of opening a general store. The house has been preserved by the West family for many generations. It is the only 19th century home in the area to have been occupied by the same family since its original construction. The building was designated as a heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act in 1982 based on its architectural value.
Over 160 years after being built, the house was generously donated by Mrs. Katherine Louisa Keith, the great-granddaughter of Robert West, to the Thornhill Heritage Foundation. It has been given the name "The Robert West House" to honour and recognize Robert West’s role in the development of the original village of Thornhill.
Members of the Thornhill Heritage Foundation with Mrs Keith in 2009
[Back row L to R] Nigel Connell, Chair; William Wylie, Vice Chair, David Rawcliffe, Secretary,
[Front row L to R] Wendy Locke, Treasurer,
Dr. Ed Pamenter, Executive Director; and Robb Stitt, Administrative Officer.
View the Foundation's Constitution here.