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LAST UPDATE: November 21 2020
The entire block of homes at 44 to 56 Harbord Street is slated for demolition to allow room for a new University of Toronto Student Residence. As a result of this, these properties are at risk.
54 Harbord Street is 1 of only 4 Ontario Gothic Revival Cottages (Ontario Houses) in the Huron-Sussex neighbourhood. 3 of the 4 Ontario Gothic Revival Cottages (Ontario Houses) in Huron-Sussex are slated for demolition in the near future, with 2 of them being demolished as part of the new Harbord Street student residence project by the University of Toronto.
54 Harbord Street is also 1 of only 3 Ontario Gothic Revival Cottages (Ontario Houses) on Harbord Street. 2 of the 3 of these Ontario Gothic Revival Cottages (Ontario Houses) on Harbord Street will be demolished as part of the new Harbord Street student residence project by the University of Toronto.
City of Toronto Planning Staff have indicated that the properties at 44 through 56 Harbord Street do not meet criteria for heritage preservation despite being some of the oldest extant (perhaps the oldest houses) houses on Harbord Street and the only remaining (19th century) houses on Harbord Street east of Spadina Avenue.
Dating to 1879, 48 and 54 Harbord Street were some of the first houses built on Harbord Street and are some of the oldest extant houses on Harbord Street. The block of homes at 44-56 Harbord Street, Toronto are also the only surviving 19th century homes on Harbord Street east of Spadina Avenue.
54 Harbord Street is an uncommon adaptation of the Ontario Gothic Revival Cottage (Ontario House) architectural style, in that its main floor windows on the primary elevation are bay windows. This may indicate design elements were drawn from 2 popular architectural styles in Toronto during the 1870s: Ontario Gothic Revival Cottage (Ontario House) and Toronto Bay and Gable.
Laughlin McEachern (54 Harbord Street): McEachern (also spelled McEachren) was the first resident of 54 Harbord Street, residing at the property between 1879 and 1891. McEachern was a builder and carpenter.
Zachariah Brookes and Martha Brookes (54 Harbord Street): Zachariah Brookes (also spelled Zaccariah and/or Brooks) was a designer and painter. Zachariah Brookes is noted to have died around 1951. A Martha Brookes (also spelled Brooks) is additionally noted to have resided at the property, though no further information is available beyond Martha Brookes being Zachariah Brooke’s widow. The Brookes resided at 54 Harbord Street for 31 years, between 1921 and 1952.
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