ennett Jane (1809-1863), an early Port Hope builder, constructed the house located at 36 North Street circa 1856. Jane also constructed a neighbouring house and other significant buildings in the Port Hope area. The house was constructed in two phases, with a two storey addition added to the north elevation circa 1873 when the ownership of the property transferred to Bennett Jane's son, John Henry Jane, who was also a carpenter.

The house located at 36 North Street does not appear on the 1853 Wall and Forrest Map of Port Hope, however the neighbouring two-storey house with a southerly siting near the corner of North and Pine Streets (now 59 Pine Street North) is one of the few houses recorded in the area.

Bennett Jane constructed 59 Pine Street North (photo left) in 1852, upon his arrival in Port Hope. In 1856, he constructed a similar house at 36 North Street. The houses are both two storeys high with hipped roofs and the main doors have the same transom and sidelights although 59 Pine Street North has a deeper set doorway surround and eared trim. On the front façade of both houses, the upper floor windows are slightly smaller than the first floor windows. The original six over six sash has been replaced with two over two. The porch and bay window on 59 Pine Street were certainly a later Victorian addition.

Both houses have a southerly siting and were originally clad in wood with an ashlar finish. Another unique feature of both houses is the slightly irregular shaped rectangular plan. 36 North Street has a non-conforming south east corner which creates a trapezoidal angle of 45 degrees at the corner of North and Seymour Street. 59 Pine Street has a similar non-conforming south west corner. Constuction of this angled corner posed a significant framing challenge.

Architectural Style
Built in the mid 1850s, 36 North Street incorporates a vernacular or regional design, the creation of a local builder improvising on tradition and his area's tastes instead of a specific formal style. Because 36 North Street has been altered and extended throughout its history, the house displays elements of architectural styles popular during the two principle phases; the Georgian and Italianate.

Georgian houses were typically symmetrical, well proportioned and rectangular in shape. Houses were often situated close to the street or sidewalk and designed to fit the shape of the lot, often assuming a trapezoidal shape on irregular shaped lots.

The entrance doorway was the chief feature of the front façade. Windows were evenly spaced and directly in line with each other and the doorway adding to the symmetry of the facade. The windows were usually double hung with six panes per sash. Doors were often topped with a rectangular transom light or a more elaborate decorative fanlight arch. Shutters, usually louvered, further embellished the windows. The standard room placement in Georgian houses is four rooms to a floor, "four over four", opening off a central hall, with interior chimneys at each end of the house. Two story wings were commonly added to the rear, creating an L or T in the floor plan.

The main section of 36 North Street incorporates many Georgian features; a well proportioned symmetrical façade incorporating a significant entrance doorway with sidelights and transom. Alterations made to 36 North Street in the 1870s significantly changed the original plan and appearance incorporating prominent Italianate features.

Between 1850 and 1880, the Italianate style reached its height of popularity in North America. In Port Hope, many houses reflect the popular style. By 1862, the neighbourhood included a very prominent mid-Victorian house with Italianate styling. 42 Bedford Street (photo left), the residence of local businessman William Craig, had a commanding presence when viewed from Seymour Street. Other Italianate styled houses include 78 Augusta Street built in 1875; 180 Dorset Street East, originally a modest house built in the 1840's, had it's Italinate features added circa 1879. The decorative brackets that adorn the eaves of Italianate houses either singularly or in pairs immediately identify the style. Other distinguishing features are red brick cladding, shallow pitched roofs with broad overhang, tall windows, prominent crown moulding, round arched or semi-elliptical windows, verandahs, towers and projecting bay windows. Often these attributes were added to older houses to give them a stylish uplift.

The earliest mention of Bennett Jane appears in the Evening Guide in October 1852 indicating the Jane family had now settled in Port Hope. His family included his wife Sophia, and adult sons Bennett Robert Jane and John Henry Jane and daughter Sophia. County directories confirm that the senior Bennett Janes lived on Pine Street. Bennett Jane may also have constructed another house on Seymour Street.

In the early part of the century, several skilled tradesmen and carpenters including William and Richard Trick, Richard Coffin and Bennett Jane emigrated from the Cornwall area to Port Hope and were responsible for building several significant buildings in the area. Among his accomplishments, Bennett Jane tendered the lowest bid among eight builders for another local heritage building. He constructed the Wesleyville Church (photo left) (2082 Lakeshore Road) circa 1860 for £599.

As the significant residential neighbourhood around North Street began to expand, other building types were established nearby; two schools and three churches including the Model School across the street at the corner of North and Pine built circa 1867 (photo lower left); the "Old Kirk" located on Brown Street at North Street erected in 1860 and later used as the High School in January 1872 (photo lower right); the Methodist Church erected on the northwest corner of Brown and South Street in 1874; St. John's Church (1869) and St. John School (1873), on Pine Street between North and South Streets.

The Bennett Jane House displays notable attributes of the Georgian and Italianate styles popular during both phases. As mentioned above, features inspired by the Georgian style are the 2-storey plan with hipped roof and the well proportioned symmetrical three bay façade incorporating a significant entrance doorway with sidelights and transom. Contributing Italianate elements are the red brick cladding, extended eaves with paired decorative brackets, projecting one-storey bay window, flat headed door and window openings embellished with pairs of shutters, horizontally aligned wooden lintels embellished with a decorative element resembling a central keystone, round arched window, stained glass and replacement of six over six sash with two over two.