Kanttila, Kuopio
Historic building survey, 2020

Eeva Martikainen and Hannu Puurunen

You can read the whole survey from here in Finnish.

The survey concerns Kanttila, a building that is located on the first district’s third block in plot six in the grid plan of Kuopio centre, in the corner of Minna Canth’s katu and Kuninkaankatu. The report was ordered by the Association of Minna Canth’s house. The survey delved into the history of the block and the property of Kanttila from the early stages of the city.

The main focus is on the building history and its stages regarding the current buildings. The different uses of the building, Minna Canth’s business and life, or later residents will be covered only lightly, as well as other surveys, conservation process and status.

At the end of the survey the authors summarize their perception of the stages of the buildings of Kanttila and the importance of the site. The report is based on archive and field research that was done during the winter of 2019-2020. The survey was constructed by M.A. Eeva Martikainen, who has been in charge of the report, and architect Hannu Puurunen.

The building now known as Kanttila, which is located beside Snellman Park in Kuopio, was the former home and place of business for author Minna Canth. Minna’s father Gustaf Wilhelm Johnson was Finlayson factory’s work supervisor who moved to Kuopio in 1853 to manage a store that sold Finlaysons products. He brought the rest of the family with him: Wife Ulrika and their children Ulrika Wilhelmiina, Gustaf Wilhelm and Augusta Katariina.

Their oldest child was Ulrika Wilhemiina (1844) who was known by nicknames Miina or Miinu, lived on the property as a child during 1853-1863. Later she started using the name Minna and was also known as the wife of lecturer Canth. After her husband’s passing in 1879, she moved back to Kuopio the following year to her former childhood home, and started to write more. Minna Canth lived in the house until her death in 1897. Author Minna Canth is now the reason the house carries the name Kanttila.

Kanttila has gone through many modifications, and because of that there is little left from Minna Canth’s time from the 1800s. The current exterior is mainly from the modifications of 1909-1910 and changes made in the 1930s and 1940s. The interior was renovated in the 1970s, and the changes were still present before the renovations started.