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LAST UPDATE: June 2 2021
295 Jarvis Street, Toronto is At Risk. It is slated for demolition as part of a new 36-storey condominium proposed by Minto Communities.
The Inglewood Hotel (known as the Inglewood Arms Hotel since 1944) appears to have incorporated 3-storey Victorian rowhouse residences - constructed in 1856 and containing shared firewalls - into the hotel structure upon opening in 1915. These 3 properties were used as a consolidated boarding house and/or hotel as early as 1909, under different proprietors than the Inglewood Hotel. An original structure is still visible and it is possible there is a forgotten and/or hidden gem of Jarvis Street under the building modifications and paint. 295 Jarvis Street is located only 50 meters west of the boundary of the Garden District Heritage Conservation District (presently under appeal). Furthermore, Jarvis Street itself is a historically significant street within the City of Toronto. Jarvis Street was - during the 19th century and early 20th century - associated as Toronto's Millionaire's Row due to many of its residents being influential and leading business, political, and societal figures. Comparisons were also made between the historical condition of Jarvis Street (Toronto) and the Champs-Élysées (Paris). 295 Jarvis Street also backs onto the George Street Revitalization Project. This is indicative of the presence of significant and/or at-risk heritage assets, potential, and/or resources in this area of the City of Toronto.
Several elements on and in the building point towards a mid-19th century design with later additions. Elements of the masonry point towards an Italianate design, whereas an internal ship medallion and fireplace may predate the opening of the hotel. The rear additions were added in the early 1910s; whereas the 2-storey entry addition was likely added in the 1940s.
Several historical individuals of note are associated with this site, including:
Andrew Taylor McCord: McCord (1805-1881) was a prominent public official and philanthropist in 19th century Toronto who resided at 295 Jarvis Street (then known as 237 Jarvis Street) in 1859-1860. It is possible McCord was the first occupant of 295 Jarvis Street and lived here as early as 1856, though this requires further examination of archival and historical documents presently inaccessible to the public due to the City of Toronto Archives being closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. McCord was the second Chamberlain (Treasurer) of the City of Toronto and served in this position between 1836 and 1874. By the mid-1850s, McCord had become the highest paid city official except for the Mayor. McCord was also a notable philanthropist and was involved in the administration and management of many charities and non-government organizations in 19th century Toronto.
George Buckland: Buckland (1804-1885) resided at 293 Jarvis Street (then known as 235 Jarvis Street) between 1866 and 1869. Buckland was a prominent 19th century English-Canadian agriculturalist, a public lecturer, and the Chair of Agriculture at the University of Toronto.
Conyngham Crawford Taylor: Taylor was a dry goods merchant and author who resided at 295 Jarvis Street (then known as 237 Jarvis Street) between 1864-1867 and 1870-1875. In the late 19th century, Taylor wrote Toronto "Called Back" which was a popular series of books detailing the history of and life in Toronto. Toronto "Called Back" was published in no fewer than 4 editions during the late 19th century. Comparisons can be made between Taylor's Toronto "Called Back" and the writings of Catherine Parr Traill and Susanna Moodie. Notably, Moodie lived nearby at 233 Dundas Street East only a few years later in the early 1880s.
Captain James Dick: The Heritage Impact Assessment identifies a decorative metal medallion depicting a sailing ship with oars mounted on a wall in or near the front lobby of 295 Jarvis Street (Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects 2018, 28). This medallion is theorized to both predate the Inglewood Hotel / Inglewood Arms Hotel and be indicative of the building existing prior to the opening of the hotel in 1915. This medallion may be connected to Captain James Dick who resided at 295 Jarvis Street in 1869-1869. Captain Dick was a master mariner of the Atlantic Ocean, Great Lakes, Red River, and Saint Lawrence Seaway and the first individual to navigate a steamboat along the north shore of Lake Superior. Captain James Dick was also the brother of Captain Thomas Dick, who was the renown proprietor of the Queen's Hotel in Toronto.
Of additional note:
In 1903, the Door of Hope Home (established in 1901) - a supportive mission for unwed, pregnant women and single mothers and their babies - was based at 295 Jarvis Street. It is possible that 295 Jarvis Street was the first distinct and/or formal home of this organization, as it does not appear in City of Toronto Directories until 1903. The Doors of Hope Home was renamed The Victor Home for Women (after Fred Victor Massey) in 1904, which was incorporated as The Massey Centre in 1989 and remains an active organization as of 2021.
During the 1930s and 1940s, the Consulate of Belgium and the Consulate of France were located immediately next door to the Inglewood Hotel / Inglewood Arms Hotel, although it is unclear at present if there were any formal relations between these parties. Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects does identify in the 2018 Heritage Impact Assessment that the fireplace in the lobby of the building contains a decorative coat of arms containing elements symbolic of English and French royalty. Whether this design element was inspired by the formerly adjacent consulates is uncertain at present.
The Inglewood Hotel opened at 295 Jarvis Street circa. 1915 - during World War I. The Inglewood Hotel became the Inglewood Arms Hotel in 1944. The 2-storey front entryway addition also appears to have been added around this time. The Inglewood Hotel / Inglewood Arms Hotel has continued to be in operation in some form for over 100 years. Recent (circa. 2019-2021) media articles indicate that building presently functions as a rooming house and hotel. There is an ongoing fight for the residents of the building to receive formal recognition as tenants, as well as adequate and fair compensation if they are displaced - temporarily or permanently - due to redevelopment.
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