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9-15 Palmerston Avenue

LAST UPDATE: December 12 2020

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9-15 Palmerston Avenue, Toronto - Looking Northeast - Early 2020 - Photograph by Renée Degen

9-15 Palmerston Avenue, Toronto - Looking Northeast - Early 2020 - Photograph by Renée Degen

AT RISK INFORMATION
At risk status:
This building is at risk

Info:

9-15 Palmerston Avenue are a row of 1-storey Workers' Cottages in the Ontario House (Ontario Gothic Revival Cottage) style on the east side of Palmerston Avenue just north of Wolseley Street.  9 Palmerston Avenue is situated at the northwest corner of Palmerston Avenue and Wolseley Street. 

11 1/2 Palmerston Avenue is slated for redevelopment, which may include the entire demolition of the property and/or the addition of a large 2 or 3 storey rear addition which would be visible from the front elevation. City of Toronto Heritage Planning has set out conditions that the front facade of the house must be maintained, although it is unclear at present whether these conditions will be enforced as 9-1 Palmerston Avenue do not presently have heritage status.


The demolition of 11 1/2 Palmerston Avenue would significantly impact the appearance and architectural integrity of this row of 1871 Ontario House Workers' Cottages. 

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
9-15 Palmerston Avenue
9-15 Palmerston Avenue
Trinity-Bellwoods, Toronto

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Notes:

9-15 Palmerston Avenue are a row of 1-storey Workers' Cottages in the Ontario House style on the east side of Palmerston Avenue just north of Wolseley Street. 9-15 Palmerston Avenue were constructed in 1871.

The houses have remained in very similar conditions since being constructed in 1871, although had some alterations and intensive repairwork in 1940 - which included excavation under the houses to create basements.

 

 

The History of 9, 11, 11 ½, and 15 Palmerston Avenue by Renée Degen (2020): 

 

Note: A full version of this document is available in the "sources" section of this entry. 

 

9-15 Palmerston Avenue are located on former Park Lot 19, which was granted to Dr. John Gamble (Queen's Ranger Surgeon) circa. 1795/1797 and patented by Captain David Shank (second in command, Queen's Rangers) on 31 December 1798. 

 

 

The houses have been renumbered on several occasions: 

 

1871

1872

1873

1881

1888

1889

1918

6 Ontario Street

5 Muter Street

6 Muter Street

17 Muter Street

17 Palmerston Avenue

9 Palmerston Avenue

 

8 Ontario Street

7 Muter Street

8 Muter Street

19 Muter Street

19 Palmerston Avenue

11 Palmerston Avenue

 

10 Ontario Street

9 Muter Street

10 Muter Street

21 Muter Street

21 Palmerston Avenue

13 Palmerston Avenue

11 1/2 Palmerston Avenue

12 Ontario Street

11 Muter Street

12 Muter Street

23 Mutter Street

23 Palmerston Avenue

15 Palmerston Avenue

 

 

 

Assessment Roll for the Ward of St. Patrick, City of Toronto, 1872, and Land Records (Historical Book #82 - Plan D114 Lot 2 & 3), we see Edward Drew purchases Plan D114, Lot 2 (6 & 8 Ontario Street) and Samuel Phipps purchases Plan D114, Lot 3 (10 & 12 Ontario Street), both on Oct 25, 1871, from James Colebrooke Patterson et al esquire; No. B5432.

 

History of the Original Owners and Tenants of the homes

Edward Drew was born about 1841 in England, and lived in Belleville prior to moving to Toronto for good. Cannot confirm immigration dates and original location of where he landed. He was married to Phyllis M. Todd, had 7 children and lived at 9 Palmerston Avenue until 1884. He purchased #11 1/2 & 15 Palmerston from Samuel Phipps in June of 1880, and remained the owner of all four homes until 1909 was he sold them all to Charles Thompson who died May  31 1912, and Daisy Thompson became heir. Edward Drew died on September 9, 1922 and is buried at Mount Pleasant Cemetery L4620.

Samuel Phipps was born June 17, 1846 and was also from England, Bristol Gloucestershire. He immigrated to Canada in 1858, was married to Amelia J. Todd and had 9 children. Samuel had an outstanding career with both the G.T. R and the C.P.R., becoming known as the "Grand Old Man" of the C.P.R. He moved out of #15 Palmerston Avenue in 1877 and sold #11 1/2 & 15 to Edward Drew in June of 1880. He continued to work for the Railways until 1913, living in Winnipeg and Vancouver, and became C.P.R.'s oldest pensioner. He died June 7, 1941 in Vancouver, BC. (See three articles attached).

Both Edward and Samuel lived in Belleville where they both worked at the Grand Trunk Railway as Engineers (Belleville Directories 1864 & 1869) and they both married their wifes' (sister's Amelia and Phyllis) on the same day, Oct 30, 1867 (See copy of marriage info from Ancestry.ca and Census 1861 for Amelia and Phyllis Todd). They also both served in the Grand Trunk Rifle Brigade during the Fenian Raid in 1866 and both applied, signing each other's forms, for the Grant in 1912. Neither received a metal as Edward stated that he was told they ran out and Samuel did not request one. (see attached Fenian Raid Service - Grant App) (The Canadian Encyclopedia)

According to Assessment Rolls for the Ward of St. Patrick, City of Toronto 1872, Edward lived in #6 Ontario Street and rented #8 to J.P. Macdonnel (master's clerk, chancery), and Samuel lived at #12 Ontario street and rented #10 to Lt. Col Wainwright.

Wainwright was an important figure at that time as he was assigned to Major in the 1st (Ontario) Battalion for the Red River Expedition, (The Canadian Magazine of Politics, Science, Art and Literature, Vol XII, November 1898 to April 1899, inclusive, Page 98) a military expedition to the Red River Settlement to oversee the transfer of political control from Louis Riel's Provisional Government in 1870 (Parks Canada).  Wainwright documented his journey in a diary that can be found at the University of Alberta Libraries.  Also see photo of Major Wainwright, image No. NA-2050-1 (Glenbow Museum).

Major Wainwright was also part of the Fenian Raid and applied for the Grant in 1912. (see attached Fenian Raid Service - Grant App).

 

From the Toronto City Directories we see many people have rented these homes throughout the years from all walks of life, many workers for the G.T.R & C.P.R, a machinist, Edgar Quackenbush from Massey Manufacturing (#15 Palmerston from 1883 - 1895) http://torontoplaques.com/Pages/Massey-Harris_Company.html,  and  a Matron of the Mercer Reformatory, Florence L. Ives (#15 Palmerston from 1961- 1962) (BlogTO). 

 

Besides current changes that we see in the homes today, I was only able to make note of one considerable renovation back in 1940. All four houses were still owned by Daisy Thompson at the beginning of 1940 and per Toronto Archive photos dated May 3 1939 and April 22, 1940, we see that the houses are in need of much repair. Note in the photos that the homes had the traditional pinnacle and bargeboard of the workers cottages and were made of wood and roughcast. On April 12 1940 per Land records (Book 84B), Daisy Thompson sells all four homes to Helen Lepofoski who I believe had the homes repaired and we can see these repairs in Toronto Archive photos dated September 25 1940. The photos show that the pinnacles and bargeboards have been removed, makeshift outbuildings removed, new faux brick siding is added to the fronts and roughcast repaired. Basement windows are added which leads me to believe that the basements were dug out at that time in the front areas only. Also front doors were raised and replaced and porches added as well as windows and roofing repaired. I believe that the insides were also updated as all four homes still have the same hardwood flooring in the front parts of the homes. #9 has the same front door today as in 1940. Since the homes were built, no additions have ever been made, and no major changes other than basements have been added. The fact that only superficial changes such as siding, one house now with brick, and two with enclosed front porches, shows that these homes have been a staple to this area in Toronto for many home owners, and have stood the test of time. Even though specific heritage trims are missing, these homes are completely intact and this has been become rare and unique in Toronto since most other workers cottages have either been demolished or added onto. These homes have also been important in defining, and supporting the character of this working class area.

Year Completed:
1871

Map:
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Companies:
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BUILDING DATA
Sources:

Sources

  1. The History of 9, 11, 11 ½, and 15 Palmerston Avenue
    Author - Renée Degen
    Date - 2020
    Document - 712780df08df3db0abd3d3824dfe8c1d.pdf
    More information

  2. 11½ Palmerston Avenue, Committee of Adjustment (City of Toronto) - 26 February 2020
    Author - Committee of Adjustment (City of Toronto)
    Date - 26 February 2020
    Document - e647d6ee3f3ad7385fc28f06bce0dea0.pdf
    More information

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