Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Cooper and Gillespie Houses
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted March 2017
Near the west stairs at 70 Shuter Street between Church and Jarvis streets can be found this 2016 Heritage Toronto plaque. Here's what it says:
This neighbourhood was developed in the mid-19th century as a district of mansions and upscale residential buildings, including the two townhouses that stood at the northeast corner of Shuter and Dalhousie Streets.
The Edward Cooper Houses were built by architect John Tully in 1850 in the Georgian Revival style. The three-and-a-half-storey homes featured low-pitched gable roofs with extended eaves and wooden brackets. The homes were owned by the family of merchant Edward Cooper for nearly 70 years and were among the oldest surviving buildings in the neighbourhood.
In 1851, Malcolm Gillespie built the adjoining houses to the west. Following his death in 1892, his widow significantly modified the façades of these homes by adding Romanesque Revival detailing. The three-storey dwellings were used as boarding houses throughout most of the 20th century. The Malcolm Gillespie Houses were extensively altered once again the 1970s to accommodate commercial uses.
In 2014, both buildings were dismantled. However, the heritage façades of the Edward Cooper Houses were later integrated into a new development.
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