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Architectural Conservancy Ontario

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Architectural Conservancy Ontario

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233-235 Spadina Avenue

LAST UPDATE: September 20 2021

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

Info:

This property is not under imminent risk of demolition, but the present state of it is very concerning. 

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
233-235 Spadina Avenue
233-235 Spadina avenue
Kensington-Chinatown, Toronto

Owner:
DAC. Investments Ltd.

First Owner:
Adam Rolph

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Notes:
During the late 19th century, there were 8 mansions along Spadina Avenue between present-day Dundas Street West and Queen Street West. All but 233-235 Spadina Avenue had been demolished by the 1930s. 
 
233-235 Spadina Avenue was constructed in 1872 for Adam Rolph - an audit clerk, general agent, and insurance agent for the Northern Railway Company. 233-235 Spadina Avenue may presently be the oldest building on Spadina Avenue (not including properties on Spadina Road, such as the prominent 1868 Spadina House). Of additional note is that in 1872, all of the houses on this block of Spadina Avenue (east side, between present-day Grange Avenue and Sullivan Street) were occupied by various (mostly management-level) employees of the Northern Railway Company. Rolph moved to California around 1873. 
 
After Rolph, 233-235 Spadina Avenue was home to Huson William Munro Murray (also spelled Hewson Munro William Murray) and family. Huson W. M. Murray (1835-1914) was a barrister, an elected bencher of the Law Society of Upper Canada, and later founded the Toronto Pressed Brick and Terra-Cotta Company in 1888. The Toronto Pressed Brick and Terra-Cotta Company had operations based on the Credit River and contributed materials used in the construction of the Confederation Building, the present-day Broadview Hotel, and projects as far away as British Columbia and Prince Edward Island. Interestingly, Huson W. M. Murray studied under the Hon. John Hillyard Cameron - of who nearby Cameron Street was named after. The Murray family was originally from Atholl, Scotland. Huson W. M. Murray's uncle - William Murray - was the manager of the Colonial Bank in Barbados, and several of Huson Murray's children went into banking. The Murray family lived at 233-235 Spadina Avenue between 1873 and 1907. 
 
Between 1908 and 1914, 233-235 Spadina Avenue was home to the F. W. Matthews & Co. funeral home - who likely built the rear addition on the building which fronts the rear laneway. When Huson W. M. Murray died in 1914, his funeral was held at F. W. Matthews & Co. in his former residence.
 
 By the late 1910s, 233-235 Spadina Avenue had been subdivided into 2 addresses and a mix of commercial and residential units. The United Hatters Company and Millinery Workers Union was based here during the 1950s. Prominent architect Irving Grossman (1926-2014) and Canadian artist Graham Coughtry (1931-1999) also resided here at various points in time in the mid-to-late 20th century. During the late 20th century or early 21st century, large signs were erected over the windows on the presently vacant 2nd and 3rd floors of the property. Under the paint and sign is a red brick house with yellow brick accents (quoins, etc.).
 
For photographs of 233-235 Spadina Avenue in 1984, please see the following City of Toronto Archives links: 
 
https://gencat.eloquent-systems.com/city-of-toronto-archives-m-permalink.html?key=101567
 
 
https://gencat.eloquent-systems.com/city-of-toronto-archives-m-permalink.html?key=101568
 
 

Status:
Completed

Year Completed:
1872

Map:
Loading Map

Companies:
No data at this time

BUILDING DATA
Sources:

Sources

  1. Heritage Property Nomination
    Author - Adam G. Wynne
    Date - April 2020
    Document - 1111b3a5e89b191ff86a9bb7aa9449f0.pdf

  2. Spadina Avenue
    Author - Rosemary Donegan and Rick Salutin
    Date - 1986
    Page - 104
    Notes - 233-235 Spadina Aveue is featured on page 104 of Spadina Avenue (1986). 

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