1437 Queen Street West was built in 1905-1907. The house is of the Edwardian Classical architectural style and was designed by James Hartley Galloway (1881-1961). The house was built for the Sparrow family who resided here until 1949. The Sparrow family were quite prominent in Parkdale. Dr. Malcolm Weethee Sparrow (1862-1936) was a dentist who was based in Parkdale for over 40 years. Dr. Sparrow and his wife (Bessie Hamilton Sparrow (1875-1948)) were well-known singers in Toronto who performed at a number of churches and community organizations. Dr. Sparrow also wrote local history articles and poetry which were published in the Globe and other publications. The Sparrows had 2 sons.
In the early 1900s, the Sparrows sponsored the lodging of a British Home Child by the name of Stanley Maxted. Maxted lived here with the Sparrows. Maxted served in World War I and was injured by the gas attacks. After the war, Lieutenant Maxted became a well known actor, entertainer, radio host, and singer. During World War II, Maxted was a well-known war correspondent and a critical voice for both Canada and the United Kingdom.
Of contextual and historical note is that, the Metropolitan School of Music was based at 1496 Queen Street West between 1895 and 1912. This institution may have later been known as the Parkdale Branch of the Canadian Academy of Music until 1924. This was immediately across the street from 1437 Queen Street West. Of interest is that several of the former occupants of 1437 Queen Street West during the early 20th century were and/or later became well-known singers and entertainers. Dr. Malcolm Weethee Sparrow and his wife Bessie Sparrow were noted singers who sang in churches and at charity and community events around Toronto. The Sparrows sponsored the lodging of British Home Child Stanley Herbert Maxted who went on to become a globally known tenor singer, entertainer, actor, radio host, and war correspondent during the 1920s through 1960s. It is interesting to consider that Dr. Sparrow may have opted to purchase the property in the first place and commissioned James Hartley Galloway in 1905-1907 to design 1437 Queen Street West, given that it was immediately across the street from the prominent Metropolitan School of Music. The British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association has also confirmed that Maxted was tutored by Otto Morando (1869-1953) who taught at the Canadian Academy of Music between 1913 and 1924. The Canadian Academy of Music was founded by Colonel Albert Gooderham (1861-1935) who was its President for its entire existence between 1911 and 1924. In 1913, the Canadian Academy of Music absorbed the Metropolitan School of Music, which became its Parkdale branch.
Between 1949 and 1983, the property was used as the Sunnyside Private Hospital. This likely coincided with the construction of the ground floor commercial additions. For many years now, the units have been vacant. Recently (July 2020), the owner(s) applied for a demolition permit for the property but have no plans for a new building. The demolition application is now on hold pending further heritage review.
Note: this building is less than 25 meters from the boundary of the Parkdale Main Street Heritage Conservation District - which is presently under study. As such, it is not included in the HCD. A Heritage Property Nomination for 1437 Queen Street West was submitted in late July 2020. Councillor Gord Perks (Ward 4 - Parkdale-High Park) and the local BIA also oppose the demolition of this property.
A Change.org petition was created in 2020 in opposition to the demolition application for 1437 Queen Street West: https://www.change.org/p/toronto-city-councillors-objection-to-demolition-of-1437-queen-st-w