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487 Church Street

LAST UPDATE: January 13 2022

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487 Church Street, Toronto - 22 November 2020 - Photograph by Adam Wynne

487 Church Street, Toronto - 22 November 2020 - Photograph by Adam Wynne

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

Info:

487 Church Street, Toronto is part of an ongoing land assembly by KingSett Capital at the northeast corner of Church Street and Maitland Street. KingSett is a large developer linked to a number of redevelopment projects (including condominiums) around the City of Toronto. As of early January 2022, no redevelopment application has been submitted for the site. However, steps should be taken to ensure that the historical buildings that are part of this site are not lost to demolition in the future. 

 

BUILDING INFORMATION
Name & Location
487 Church Street
487 Church Street
Church-Yonge Corridor, Toronto

First Occupant:
William R. Scott and Family

OTHER IDENTIFICATION
Alternate names:
Historically: 487-487½ Church Street

Notes:

Description:

487 Church Street is a 2-to-2.5 storey Georgian Revival building located on the east side of Church Street approximately 30-to-35 meters north of Maitland Street in the Church-Wellesley Village neighbourhood of Toronto. 487 Church Street was originally constructed in c. 1869/1870 and had a storefront addition — originally known as 487½ Church Street — added to its primary elevation in 1915/1916.  487 Church Street has since been converted to a wholly commercial property. 

 

487 Church Street is situated on former Park Lot 7. Park Lot 7 was granted to Commissary John McGill on 4 September 1793. 

 

The east side of Church Street between Maitland Street and Wellesley Street East was still undeveloped as of 1868. Constructed in c. 1869/1870, 487 Church Street was one of the very first buildings built on this block of Church Street and is representative of the earliest development of this block.  


Prior to 1890, 487 Church Street was known as 405 Church Street (pre-1873) and 433 Church Street (1873-1889). 


485-487 Church Street may have originally been a semi-detached house. The original house at 485 Church Street was demolished and replaced with the extant building during the 20th century. However, this requires further research to verify with certainty.


The exterior of 487 Church Street has been covered with stucco. However, fire insurance plans indicate the underlying structure may be of both brick and frame construction.  

 

Since the early 2000s, 487 Church Street has been associated with use as gay bars. Further information on this contemporary usage has been included below. 

 

Early Occupants and Uses:

 

The Scott Families:

 

487 Church Street was first home to two brothers — William R. Scott (1839-1903) and John R. Scott (1837-1873) — and their respective families.

 

William R. Scott and John R. Scott were both melodeon makers. Of note is that there were several melodeon makers active in the vicinity of Church Street and Maitland Street during the late 1860s. By the late 1870s, William R. Scott was employed an organ trimmer. Subsequently, by the 1880s, William R. Scott was employed as a piano maker at the Newcombe Piano Company Ltd (then known as O. Newcombe). His son - also named William Scott - became a broker. 

 

The Scott brothers were both born in Athol Township, Upper Canada (now part of Prince Edward County, Ontario) and identified as Irish-Canadian. Both were Wesleyan Methodists. Their father was Isaac Scott Sr. (1797-1848) who was originally from New York. Their mother was Maria Calhoun (1803-1857) who was originally from Sixmilecross in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Isaac and Maria Scott emigrated to Athol Township prior to 1821. Isaac and Maria Scott had 12 children. 

 

William Scott was married to Sarah Ann Scott. William and Sarah Ann Scott had 4 children — 1 daughter and 3 sons — born between 1868 and 1886. 

 

John Scott was married to Caroline Ann Woodall (1847-1912). John and Caroline Scott had 2 daughters, 1 of whom died in infancy. John Scott died in 1873. Following the death of John Scott, Caroline Scott moved in with her father — John Woodall — who lived at 121 Mutual Street. 

 

William Scott and his family resided at 487 Church Street from 1869/1870 until 1885/1886. In 1886/1887 William Scott and his family moved next door to 489 Church Street — a larger residence — where they resided until the mid-1900s.  

 

The Stanbury Family:

Between 1886/1887 and the 1910s, 487 Church Street was primarily the residence of the Stanbury family. The head of the family was James Stanbury (1816-1892). James Stanbury was a manufacturers' agent and operated under the name  James Stanbury & Co. 

 

The Stanbury family were originally from Devon, England.

 

James Stanbury was born in 1816 and died in Toronto in 1892. He was married to Mary Stanbury (born 1816). James and Mary Stanbury had 2 children: a son named James William Stanbury (born 1851) and a daughter named Elizabeth Stanbury (born 1853).

 

During the late 19th century, James Stanbury & Co. was based on Front Street. James William Stanbury worked as an accountant and took over James Stanbury & Co. following the death of his father. By the early 20th century, James Stanbury & Co. had moved to 33 Colborne Street.

 

William J. Farquharson:

Beginning in the early 1900s and continuing through the early 1930s, William J. Farquharson was a resident of 487 Church Street.

 

William J. Farquharson's occupation was initially listed in city directories as a traveller and later as a presser. He first appears as a co-resident of 487 Church Street alongside the Stanbury family. Further research is required to determine Farquharson's relationship with the Stanbury family.

 

Cowan and Campbell (later Thomas Campbell):

The first commercial uses of 487 (487½) Church Street was as a dry cleaning and pressing shop known as Cowan and Campbell. Cowan and Campbell first appeared at 487½ Church Street in 1915/1916. Cowan and Campbell was run by William Cowan and Thomas Campbell. It remained in operation at 487 Church Street until the early-to-mid 1920s at which point Thomas Campbell wholly took over operations of the business and it became known as Thomas Campbell. Thomas Campbell remained in operation at 487½ Church Street until the early 1930s.

 

Later Occupants and Uses:

Please note the following list of former occupants and uses of 487-487½ Church Street is not exhaustive and aims to provide a general overview. Dates are also approximate. 

 

Circa 1934/1935:

487 Church Street: Hugh Spence — grocer.

487½ Church Street: Sky's Cleaning and Pressing. 

 

Circa 1939/1940:

487 Church Street: Albert Hall — fruit and grocery shop.

 

Circa 1949/1950:

487 Church Street: Albert Hall — fruit and grocery shop.

 

Circa 1959/1960:

487 Church Street: Kent Cleaners and Harold Mott.

487½ Church Street: Langley's Ltd. — cleaners and dryers. Langley's Ltd. was a large chain of dry cleaners. 

 

Circa 1968/1969: 

487 Church Street: Kent Cleaners and Tailors; and Samuel A. Stephenson.

 

Circa 1974 to 1998:

Between circa 1974 and 1998, 487 Church Street housed Badali's — an independent grocery store which also sold baked goods, confectionery, and cigarettes.  

 

In circa. 1977, the upstairs of 487 Church Street housed Cat Country — a store which sold goods for cats and cat lovers. 

 

Circa 1999-2001:

487 Church Street: Dale's Mart — a convenience store.

 

Early 2000s to Present Day (2022):

Since the early 2000s, 487 Church Street has been the home of various gay bars, including:

 

  • Blü Lounge (circa 2002-2004) 

 

  • Lüb Lounge (circa 2006)

 

  • Statler's Bar (circa 2009) 

 

  • Elevate Bar and Lounge (circa 2009-2010)

 

  • Statler's Bar / Statler's Piano Bar & Cabaret (re-opened and in operation from October 2010 to January 2020) 

 

  • The Well Bar and Restaurant (2020 to present-day (January 2022)). The Well also has locations in Hamilton and Windsor.

 

These gay bars offer significant associative and cultural value with the surrounding Church-Wellesley Village (one of the largest LGBTQ enclaves in North America). 

 

 

Potential Future Redevelopment:

487 Church Street, Toronto is part of an ongoing land assembly by KingSett Capital at the northeast corner of Church Street and Maitland Street. KingSett is a large developer linked to a number of redevelopment projects (including condominiums) around the City of Toronto. As of early January 2022, no redevelopment application has been submitted for the site. However, steps should be taken to ensure that the historical buildings that are part of this site are not lost to demolition in the future. 


(Research by Adam Wynne)

 

Year Completed:
Circa 1869/1870

Map:
Loading Map

Companies:
No data at this time

BUILDING DATA
Main Style:

Sources:

Sources

  1. John R. Scott
    Author - Ancestry.ca Library
    Date - n.d.
    More information

  2. William R. Scott
    Author - Ancestry.ca Library
    Date - n.d.
    More information

  3. James Stanbury
    Author - Ancestry.ca Library
    Date - n.d.
    More information

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