The present (2020) condition of 106 Huron Street, Toronto is concerning. Since its sale in Fall 2016, the property has fallen into disrepair and several heritage elements - including ornate chimneys and metalworking - have been removed. The 2016 real estate ads indicate that this sale was the first time the property had been on the market in almost a century. As noted above it is possible that the same family of owners maintained ownership of 106 Huron Street between 1926 and 2016 (see attached documents) - a period of 90 years. In January 2019, a Zoning Review application was submitted for 106 Huron Street, Toronto to permit an 8-storey apartment building on the site. This application was closed by March 2019. As of late August 2020, no further steps have been sought for this application. However, this application indicates an interest by the present owner(s) in re-developing the property and that the pre-existing house at 106 Huron Street, Toronto is at increased risk of demolition.
Despite its presently concerning appearance 106 Huron represents some of the earliest residential development of Huron Street and is an architecturally unique property within both the Huron Street streetscape and the broader Baldwin Village-Chinatown Neighbourhood in Toronto. 106 Huron Street (Toronto) would make an interesting candidate for preservation and restoration. Heritage elements of the pre-existing property could be incorporated into a new building design.
Name & Location
106 Huron Street 106 Huron Street Kensington-Chinatown, Toronto
Between 1842 and 1845, much of the present-day Baldwin Village-Chinatown neighbourhood was on the grounds of the St. Leger Race Course / Union Race Course. This racecourse was run by Bill Boulton (1812-1874) - of the same Boulton family that constructed the nearby The Grange. Huron Street first appears surveyed in maps - although without a name - in the late 1840s and early 1850s. The name Huron Street itself first appears in the 1857 Fleming, Ridout, and Schreiber Plan of the City of Toronto. In the 1850s and 1860s, large undeveloped lots - many of which were owned by prominent members of Toronto's upper classes - were created along Huron Street. These larger lots were later subdivided into smaller lots for a mix of small-scale commercial and residential development. Huron Street was not developed (built on) for residential purposes until 1872, although a municipal waterworks (the first in Toronto) was built at the southeast corner of D'Arcy Street and Huron Street in the 1840s and remained extant until 1890s and early 1900s.
Dating to 1872/1873, 106 Huron Street, Toronto was one of the first residential properties (houses) built on Huron Street and is one of the oldest extant properties on Huron Street. Architecturally, the property is of the Queen Anne Revival style with Gothic Revival elements. Its first occupants were Thomas Smith Carré (c. 1841 - 1880/1881) and family. Carré was a builder, foreman, and bricklayer (mason) by trade. It is possible that Carré built and designed 106 Huron Street, Toronto. The property historically has had a high degree of architectural details and craftsmanship visible, although some of these elements were removed after a recent (Fall 2016) sale of the property and others have since fallen into disrepair. The Carrés resided at 106 Huron Street until 1880. Historically, several other individuals and families have been associated with 106 Huron Street. This includes: Frank Lever Blake (c. 1853/1854 - 1935) - a surveyor with the Dominion Land Survey and an astronomer with the Royal Meteorological Service of Canada - who resided at 106 Huron Street between 1883 and 1885; as well as George Alfred Lowe (c. 1867/1868 - 1942) - a prominent philatelist and stamp dealer - who resided at 106 Huron Street with his family between late 1887 and 1894 and again between 1900 and 1913. In 1926, Michael Barkensky (Barchinski) purchased the property. Recent (c. 2016) real estate ads indicate that the sale of the property in Fall 2016 was the first time 106 Huron Street (Toronto) was on the market in almost a century. It is possible (note: further research is required to confirm) that the Barkensky (Barchinski) family - or individuals connected to the Barkensky (Barchinski) family - maintained ownership of 106 Huron Street for 90 years (1926 to 2016).