Page 3 Historic Buildings of Toronto

Mackenzie House

Mackenzie House - click to enlarge

Mackenzie House is located at 82 Bond St. and was the home of William Lyon Mackenzie from 1859 until 1861, the year he died. Mackenzie came to York in 1820 from Scotland and was the driving force behind the reform movement in Upper Canada. He gave reformers a voice through his newspapers, the Colonial Advocate and the Constitution. Mackenzie won the first mayoralty race in the newly formed city in 1834. In 1837 he led the largely unsuccessful rebellion which culminated in a brief clash at Toronto, after which Mackenzie fled to the United States. In 1849 he returned to Toronto after an amnesty was proclaimed for those who had participated in the rebellion. This building, built in 1857, would have been part of a terrace (several adjoining buildings of the same design). Today it is a museum, restored to the period.

John Daniels’ House

John Daniels' house - click to enlarge

This charming building is located in Yorkville at the southwest corner of Yorkville and Bellair. John Daniels was a constable for the Village of Yorkville. This house was constructed for him in 1867 and is designated a historic building under the Ontario Heritage Act. Today it contains and antique shop.

Yorkville Fire Hall and Coat of Arms (left)

Yorkville Fire Hall - click to enlarge

Above the red door on the Yorkville Fire Hall is Yorkville’s coat of arms , which was originally on the town hall. When the town hall was destroyed by fire in 1941, the coat of arms was saved and eventually moved to its present location. A plaque on the fire hall reads: “The coat of arms above is from the Yorkville Town Hall, built on Yonge Street in 1859. It contains symbols representing the occupations of the first councillors: John Severn, brewer; Thomas Atkinson, brickmaker; reeve James Dobson, carpenter; James Wallis, blacksmith; and Peter Hutty, butcher. Established in the 1830’s by William Jarvis and Joseph Bloor, Yorkville was incorporated as a village in 1853 and annexed to Toronto in 1883. This fire hall was begun in 1876 and restored in 1974.”

Henry Scadding’s House

Henry Scadding's house - click to enlarge

6 Trinity Square, located behind the Eaton Centre and adjacent to Holy Trinity Church, was the home of the Reverend Henry Scadding between 1862 and 1901. The historic plaque on the building reads: “Scadding was born in Devonshire, England in 1813, and came to Upper Canada in 1821. Educated at Upper Canada College and Cambridge University, he was ordained to the Anglican priesthood at St. James Church, Toronto, in 1838, and the same year became Master of Classics at Upper Canada College. In 1847 Scadding was appointed first rector of the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity, where he served until 1875. He lived in this town house, which complements the church and was designed by William Hay, from its completion in 1862 until his death. Here scadding, a noted scholar, wrote numerous religious, literary, and historical works, including his best-known books, “Toronto of Old” (1873) and, in collaboration with J.C. Dent, “Toronto: Past and Present” (1884).”

Adelaide Court House

Court House - click to enlarge

The York County Court House, located at 57 Adelaide Street East, was designed by Cumberland and Ridout and built in 1851-52. Cumberland and Ridout were also the architects responsible for the current incarnation of St. James’ Cathedral, built in 1853. After the building ceased to function as a courthouse, it served as a meeting place for the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto in the early 1900’s. Today it is home to The Court House Market Grill and Restaurant.

Royal Alexandra Theatre

Royal Alexandra Theatre - click to enlarge

The “Royal Alex” is located on King Street West. The historic plaque reads: “Constructed in 1906-07, this theatre is an intimate but lavish version of the traditional 19th century theatre, with two balconies as well as side boxes. John M. Lyle (1872-1945), one of Canada’s most distinguished architects of the 20th century, designed the Royal Alexandra Theatre following the Beaux-Arts style thus providing an elegant setting for Toronto’s sophisticated theatrical and musical events. Since its rescue and restoration by Ed Mirvish in 1963, when it was to be demolished for a parking lot, this theatre again plays a central role in the social and cultural life of the city.”