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LAST UPDATE: November 20 2020
187 Parliament Street, Toronto is slated for demolition to allow the construction of a 12-storey mixed used project known as Parliament & Co. Warehouse Lofts by the Downing Street Group - an Etobicoke-based development company. This re-development project is pending Final Approval from the City of Toronto. A Heritage Impact Assessment was never conducted for this re-development site, as it does not abut a heritage property and is not in a Heritage Conservaction District. Interestingly and oddly, the Parliament & Co. Warehouse Lofts are being advertised as having \\\"Heritage Design. Modern Everything: This beautiful building only looks old. After all, it’s inspired by the historic structures that surround it, including the century-old We Charity Global Learning Centre nearby. But at Parliament & Co., everything from the walls to the elevators to the loft connect system is brand new and state-of-the-art. Big, bold spaces offer all the character of a traditional warehouse conversion with none of the drawbacks.\\\" It is is very odd that developers are tearing down a century-old building to build this new project, especially as the \\\"Heritage Design. Modern Everything\\\" and surrounding historic buildings elements are specifically advertised as part of the project\\\'s appeal. If they are striving for a heritage-inspired design, why not retain and incorporate the pre-existing building at 187 Parliament Street?
The building has very interesting masonry details which are obscured under several layers of paint. Many of the original external details are intact, though have been painted. Some modifications to the structure have occurred, including the enlargement of some of the Parliament Street (west elevation) windows.
A 2-storey wooden building appears on the site of 187 Parliament Street as early as the mid-1870s. A boot and shoe maker and merchant - John Church - was affiliated with the site during the mid-1870s. In 1895, the City of Toronto Directory lists "Eureka Hall" and "Austen and Bain Laundry" as being at 187.5 Parliament Street, Toronto - whereas Samuel F. Graham - a tailor - was at 187 Parliament Street and Mrs. A. Smith - a tobacconist - was at 189 Parliament Street.
Between 1897 and 1899, the addresses at this site were consolidated from 3 different and distinct addresses and businesses (187, 187.5, & 189 Parliament Street) to 1 address home only to 1 business (187-189 Parliament Street) which may correspond to the conversion and/or replacement of a former wooden building (circa. mid-1870s) with the extant brick building. The extant brick building did not appear on Goad's Fire Insurance Plans until the 1913 edition, which may be due to a lag in updating map data.
Per data from the City of Toronto Directories:
In 1899, the building (187-189 Parliament Street) was vacant.
In 1900, the Townsend Steam Laundry Company was listed at 187-189 Parliament Street.
By 1905, 187-189 Parliament Street was home to New Method Laundry which had a large building near Queen Street East and River Street.
In 1912, the property was vacant again.
By 1913, 187-189 Parliament Street was home to the Antiseptic Bedding Company.
In 1922, the Canadian Toy Company was based at 187-189 Parliament Street and by 1925, the property was vacant again and the address had changed again - with it just being listed as 187 Parliament Street, Toronto - its present numbering.
In 1929, the occupant of 187 Parliament Street was the Bordeaux Wine Company.
As of early November 2020, 187 Parliament Street is being used for a showcase office for the new Parliament & Co. Warehouse Lofts re-development project.
Please note that further research on the site is required for the period between 1930 and 2006.
Research collected through consulting historical sources, such as City of Toronto Directories and Goad's Fire Insurance Plans. I have also photographed the property as of early November 2020 and consulted Google Streetview (Google Maps) data back to 2007 (earliest available).
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