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The Page House and Grocery Store

LAST UPDATE: August 31 2021

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505 Balliol Street, Toronto - October 2020 - Image via Google Streetview

505 Balliol Street, Toronto - October 2020 - Image via Google Streetview

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

Info:

In early 2018, a redevelopment application was brought forward which would have seen the demolition of the extant circa. 1889 structure and its subsequent replacement with 2 modern townhouses. Significant community support has emerged advocating for the heritage protection of 505 Balliol Street from 2018 onward. 

In August 2021, 505 Balliol Street was put back on the market for $2.98 million. This real estate listing shows an alarming redevelopment rendering without the heritage property being retained, although notes that all redevelopment plans would need to be approved by municipal (including heritage) staff. Attention should be paid to 505 Balliol Street to ensure that it is not lost to illegal demolition, fire, and/or neglect. 

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
The Page House and Grocery Store
505 Balliol Street
Mount Pleasant East, Toronto

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Notes:

505 Balliol Street was Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in 2018. This occurred around the time that a Developer proposed its demolition to construct 2 townhouses. Significant community support has emerged advocating for the heritage protection of 505 Balliol Street from 2018 onward. 

Reasons for Designation

The property at 505 Balliol Street is worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value and meets Ontario Regulation 9/06, the provincial criteria prescribed for municipal designation under all three categories of design, associative and contextual value.

Description:

Located on the south side of the street between Mount Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue in the Davisville neighbourhood, the property at 505 Balliol Street contains the Page House and Grocery Store, a one-and-a-half storey, gable-roofed structure completed by 1889 and adapted to function as a neighbourhood store from 1924-1951. The property at 505 Balliol Street was identified as having potential heritage value in the “Midtown in Focus: Cultural Heritage Resource Assessment (2017).”

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value:

The Page House and Grocery Store has design value as a representative example of the classic 19th century Ontario house which comprised a one-and-a-half storey gable-roofed building with a dormer gable and entrance centred on the principle elevation. It is also valued for the adaptation of the house to include a local neighbourhood grocery store at ground floor which is indicated by the later addition of the two large bay windows on the principal elevation.

As one of the earliest and rare surviving 1880s houses on Balliol Street, the Page House and Grocery Store has historical value for its association with the Page family who occupied the house for over 75 years. It is valued for its association with the Davis family, the historic evolution of the Davisville neighbourhood and the late 19th century subdivision which included the creation of Balliol and Merton streets, named for two of the oldest colleges at Oxford University, England. (Balliol is an anglicization of Bailleul, the name of the town in Northern France whence came the college's Anglo-Norman benefactors.) The house is also valuable evidence of a pattern of urban living that evolved in the late 19th century and continued beyond the mid-20th century which relied on a small grocery store located on a residential side street that was accessible by foot. This type of localized economy was once common across Toronto but is now increasingly rare.

Contextually the property at 505 Balliol Street supports the remaining historic character of Balliol Street as it developed as a residential street in the late 19th century. In its scale, form and details, the building maintains the link with the original 19th century character of the first houses on the street, the majority of which have been demolished and replaced. In its transformation as a local convenience store, serving the adjacent community connected by the streets perpendicular to Balliol, Forsyth Road, Forman Avenue, Martin Road and Cleveland Street, it is historically and functionally linked to the final development of the Davisville neighbourhood in the early 20th century. As a local community amenity, with its distinctive form and proximity to the street edge, the property is a local landmark.

Heritage Attributes:

The heritage attributes of the building at 505 Balliol Street are

  • The setback, placement and orientation of the building on the south side of Balliol Street between Mount Pleasant Road and Bayview Avenue
  • The scale, form and massing of the one-and-a-half storey house-form building with its gable roof and gable dormer – this includes the front gable-roofed volume of the house
  • The principal (north) elevation with its central door flanked by two symmetrical windows with a central gable dormer above
  • The windows on the principal (north) elevation including the two bay windows and their upper lights and the round-headed dormer window with its one-over-one double-hung sash.
  • The projecting hipped roof which links the two bay windows together.
  • The two-over-two double-hung sash window on the second floor of the side (west) elevation
  • The two-over-two double-hung sash window on the second floor of the side (east) elevation
  • Original exterior building cladding
  • The brick chimney on the east elevation

Note: The rear south elevation and the rear wing, all porches and decks are not included in the attributes.

Year Completed:
c. 1889

Map:
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Companies:
No data at this time

BUILDING DATA
Main Style:

Sources:

Sources

  1. Home Listed in Toronto is Raising Eyebrows With Impossible Sales Pitch
    Author - Jack Landau
    Date - 22 August 2021
    Notes - BlogTO Article.
    Document - Home Listed in Toronto is Raising Eyebrows With Impossible Sales Pitch
    More information

  2. 505 Balliol Street - Intention to Designate
    Author - City of Toronto
    Date - February 2018
    Notes - Intention to Designate: Ontario Heritage Act.
    More information

  3. Heritage status thwarts owner’s $3.1 mil investment
    Author - Mackenzie Patterson
    Date - 28 February 2018
    More information

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