Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some Historic Buildings Toronto

(67 Bond Street) St. Michael’s Choir School is a boys' semi-private school located in downtown Toronto's Garden District and was founded in 1937 by Msgr. John Edward Ronan for the training of a professional boys' choir for St. Michael's Cathedral. At that time it was known as  "Cathedral Schola Cantorum" .

The School's Front Entrance

(82 Bond Street) The Mackenzie House was the home of William Lyon Mackenzie, the city's first mayor and leader of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion.  This Georgian-style house was built in the 1850s and was occupied by the Mackenzie family in 1859. The house had a printing press, where Mackenzie used to publish newspaper which seemed to get him into a lot of shit.

Mackenzie was forced into exile in the United States after having led the Rebellion of 1837. He returned 1850 and died in the 2nd floor bedroom of the house in 1861. He and his wife Isabel had 13 children of which only six survived to adulthood.

The Mackenzie family eventually sold the house and it operated as a boarding house until the 1930s when it was listed for demolition. All other neighbouring row houses were also listed for demolition and were destroyed in 1936, but because William Lyon Mackenzie's Grandson (William Lyon Mackenzie King) was the Prime Minister of Canada at that time, the Mackenzie house was spared due to its historical significance to the Mackenzie family.

The Mackenzie house was designed in the Georgian architecture style, today the house serves as a municipally-run historic house museum about 1860s Victorian life.

Now there are rumours that Mackenzie House is allegedly haunted by Mr. Mackenzie, who has been reported as standing beside working his printing press. Some have seen a man wearing a frock coat resembling William Lyon Mackenzie standing in a 2nd floor bedroom. Others have heard sounds coming from William's printing press.

As an old newspaper man I can confess  that there have been times that I have felt the presence of an old publisher or two. Scary feeling!!!

Campbell House is the oldest remaining house from the original site of the Town of York.  It was built in 1822 by Judge William Campbell and his wife Hannah. The house is one of the few surviving examples of Georgian architecture left in the city.
Campbell House was originally located on a plot of land 1 ½ kilometres to the southeast of its' present location at the intersection of what is now Adelaide St. and Frederick St. (where the George Brown School of Hospitality is located today). After Sir William's death in 1834, the house was willed to his wife, Lady Hannah, for her use. After her death in 1844 the property and contents of the house were auctioned off and the proceeds were distributed amongst their heirs. For most of the 19th century the house was maintained as a private residence. After the turn of the 20th century the building was used by several businesses as office space and as a factory, including a horseshoe nail company and an elevator company, and the house fell into disrepair.

The last owners of the property (Coutts-Hallmark Greeting Cards) wanted to demolish the house to extend their parking lot. At this time the house was offered to anyone who could remove it from the property. A professional association of Trial Lawyers known as the Advocates' Society intervened to save the house, move the building and restore it to its present appearance. The house was moved to its present location at the corner of Queen and University