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Tour Title East Woodfield Walk - ACO London 39th Geranium Tour
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Lord-Roberts.jpg Lord Roberts Public School In 1862 the two-room Bond Street School was built on what is now called Princess Avenue. The growth of London’s first suburb resulted in the building of a larger 10-room school called Princess Avenue School on the northwest corner of Princess and Colborne Street in 1883. By 1914 the cost of installing electricity, heating and plumbing as well as adding 2 classrooms was deemed too expensive. The large frame house that once stood on this property, named Bleak House after Charles Dickens’ novel, went up for sale for $30,000. It belonged to George Macbeth, heir to Thomas Talbot, and is rumored to be where Talbot died. With the urging of the chair of the London Board of Education’s Maintenance Committee, A. E. Silverwood who lived at 519 Dufferin Avenue, the property was purchased and a school built for $69, 295, twice the cost of other schools built at this time. The 14-room school which officially opened on November 17, 1916, included a large kindergarten, Manual Training and Household Science facilities. Luxury features included fireplaces in the second floor kindergarten and third floor Household Science room, and a heated swimming tank in the basement. An assembly room was provided by folding doors that opened from the kindergarten into the hall and identical doors on the principal’s classroom directly across the hall. The track for these doors is still visible on the second floor. A determined effort to create a bright, sun filled school was achieved by large banks of double hung windows many of which faced north, skylights in two third floor classrooms and in the third floor hall, and a basement at ground level to allow for the placement of good sized windows. The old Princess Avenue School was demolished in 1931 after being put to temporary use when the Collegiate Institute burned down and as a holding place for students during the construction of Sir Adam Beck High School. In 1930, the old school bell was presented to Lord Roberts School and still hangs on the east wall of the second floor. Lord Roberts was named in honour of Lord Roberts, the Earl of Roberts, Commander of British Forces in the South African War (Boer War) in which Canadian soldiers “distinguished themselves, bringing glory and fame to Canada.” The school building has undergone only two major physical changes: in the 1950’s when the pool was filled in; and in 1972 when the gym was added and change rooms and a hallway used the space once occupied by the pool. Many original interior and exterior features are still to be found. The greatest change has come in the student body of Lord Roberts. In 1926 the enrollment reached a peak of 456 with large classes that often numbered more than 50. Attendance slowly declined as the neighbourhood character changed and by 1981 it was a dual track school with English and French Immersion programmes in the one building. By 1985 Lord Roberts became the first completely French Immersion Public School in London. Although it is not technically a neighbourhood school and attracts students from a wide area of the city, it is the last public elementary school in London’s core and essential to the vitality of the Woodfield Heritage districts. Rear of School: Before turning your attention to the external architectural features of Lord Roberts, take a moment to enjoy the welcoming naturalized area at the back of the school. In 1992 work started to turn an asphalt-covered area into the beautiful sanctuary that you see today. Students, teachers and the Woodfield community have been involved in the process. Lord Roberts is a fine example of the Collegiate Gothic style. On the back (north) face of the building, the large banks of windows are arranged symmetrically but vary in size to create a pleasing balance. Notice the banks of three windows above the doorways which flood the landings inside with light. The tall narrow windows using small panes of mullioned glass is typical of Collegiate Gothic, as is the parapet roofline. The graceful arches in this roofline are another example of the attention to detail in the design of this school. Front Facade: Take time to look at the fine craftsmanship evident on the front façade. The impressive triple bay which housed the Household Science room, kindergarten, and Manual Training room, centres the symmetry. Notice how the windows in the lower bay reach to the ground and give the school the appearance of being “rooted” to its site. The single windows on the outer edges of the third floor are in classrooms that originally had skylights. Buttresses often appear on Collegiate Gothic and were used in several places on the façade, particularly above the Girls and Boys entrances. The space between the hanging buttresses and stone gable is filled with a different brick than the walls. How many different brick treatments can you find on the front façade? The separate entrances, typical in this era, are recessed and framed by stone arches and pilasters which are also typical of Collegiate Gothic. Street View only   Click here to show map location
  Princess Ave. Take time to appreciate the many exquisite details on the houses that you pass on Princess Ave.. 473 Princess Ave. is a charming Side-Hall Plan cottage in a block of two-storey homes. In this area there is a wealth of white brick Italianate houses built in the 1880s. 475 Princess, along with 472, 474, and 486 all have a center gable, double brackets, segmental-headed windows and a side doorway on the front façade. Compare the bargeboards, brackets, and other decorative elements such as keystones, on these homes. The trim on the stucco house at 483 Princess is ornate and very unusual. The decoration around the doorway is repeated on the windows and, in a modified form, in the corners below the eaves frieze. Street View only   Click here to show map location
489-Princess-Cloud.jpg 289 Princess Ave. This unique wood frame house was built for Charles F. Colwell, a printer who worked with the London Advertiser and the Free Press. He later opened Colwell’s Popular Music House. This is a proud corner house, with an elegant presentation toward both streets. The edges of the home are dramatically accented with wooden “sticks”, making this one of the few Stick style houses in London. Diagonal wooden slats in the two storey bay and on the verandah further demonstrate this style, and make a nice contrast with the tongue-in-groove siding covering most of the house. Intricate bargeboard accentuates the front and side gables, and brackets draw attention to the roof. The sharp edges of the house are softened by graceful columns on the corner verandah, where the doorway is quietly tucked. Notice the great variety of styles in window trim. Some windows have squared headings, some have pointed Gothic style framing. There are double windows on the north side and single on the east. Notice also the variety in rooflines – a pointed gable roof on the north side and bell-cast roof on the east, echoed atop the verandah. Somehow all of these features work together to produce an eclectic but pleasing design. It’s no wonder this home has been referred to as a “fantasy in wood”. Street View only   Click here to show map location
9-Prospect-Ave.jpg 9 Prospect Ave. This Side-hall plan cottage is one of three in a row built by Jones Brothers Construction in the 1880s. Originally frame like its neighbour at 7 Prospect, this cottage has been pebble stuccoed and the verandah enlarged. The hipped roof has been extended over the verandah and its shape is echoed in a small roof capping the dormer window. Notice the original double leaf front door, a common feature in homes along this street. The tall windows and doorway transom welcome light into the house, and a bay window on the south side catches more rays of the sun. Simple yet elegant wood framing around the windows and doorway adds a finishing touch to this charming cottage. Street View only   Click here to show map location
  Prospect Ave. South As you walk south on Prospect Ave., compare the three Side-Hall Plan cottages at 9, 7 and 5 Prospect Avenue. 7 Prospect Avenue retains its original frame siding and ornate gingerbread verandah with its cut-out fretwork brackets. The details on this attractive cottage illustrate the pride taken in the construction of a relatively modest home. 5 Prospect Avenue has been altered significantly over the years. The Italianate house at 3 Prospect Avenue was once the home of Charles Beal, father of Herbert (H.B. Beal), the first principal of the technical high school on Dundas Street. It later became his namesake. Street View only   Click here to show map location
26-Prospect.jpg Prospect Ave. North The Italianate buildings at 20 and 24 Prospect Avenue appear, at first glance, to be mirror images. Look closely and you will see a number of differences. The house at 26 Prospect Avenue is another house in the Italianate style, unusual in London because it is frame. Notice the decorative eaves brackets, rope twist detailing around the bay window and elaborate window heads on both the front and south facades. Metal cresting has been used to trim the porch and bay roofs. Street View only   Click here to show map location
507-Princess.jpg 507 Princess Ave. An elegant classical porch now adorns this home, but look beyond it to imagine how this High Victorian townhouse appeared when first built in 1885 for piano tuner William D. Taylor. Constructed of “white” brick, the two-and-one-half storey house is unique in many of its architectural details. The front gable roofline commands attention with its squared top and elaborate cornice, featuring single and paired brackets. Centred beneath is a bull’s eye window accentuated by a raised brick surround. A single bay on the ground floor balances the side doorway, and upper floor windows are also balanced, with twins over the bay and a larger window over the door. Notice that the paired brackets of the bay imitate those in the cornice above. The addition of a porch with paired Ionic columns and dentil decoration has added further drama to this stately home. Street View only   Click here to show map location
510-Princess-porch.jpg Princess Ave. Next door, at 513 Princess Avenue, pause to admire the shingle work on this Queen Anne style house. Note also the large arched window in the front façade and the arched detail that is repeated in the porch. Another feature to appreciate is the use of brackets to elongate the second-storey windows. Look across the street to 510 Princess Avenue, with its pierced wood-work in the porch, pair of rounded windows above the stately one-storey bay and the off-centre gable. The house was built c1882 for Reuben Brummit, a blacksmith and carriage-spring maker. Street View only   Click here to show map location
522-Princess-Sun.jpg 522 Princess Ave. Intricate gable decoration and brickwork design are prominent features in this Queen Anne style townhouse. The tall, offset gable is adorned with bargeboard, fishscale shingles, and a sunburst pattern in the peak. Carved consoles outline the paired windows and a double row of dentil patterning completes the gable decoration. The large rounded window on the ground floor, crowned with brick voussoirs, contains original stained glass. Its shape is echoed in a smaller window on the second floor over the door. The verandah, a later addition, features turned-wood columns and a pediment over the doorway which balances the gable nicely. The first owner listed at this address was William Angus, a boilermaker. In the early 1900s, Albert McMullen operated a printing company in a building behind the house, and listed it as 522 ½ Princess Ave. Street View only   Click here to show map location
Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10.19.35 AM.png 527 Princess Ave. This grand home was built for Frank Cooper, London’s leading portrait photographer at the turn of the century. The Queen Anne style is on full display here, with a prominent corner tower, elaborate gables on the front and side, and wrap-around verandah. These nicely balanced design elements are topped by a steeply pitched slate roof with five corbelled chimneys. The pediment in the gable is a masterpiece in itself, and its triangular shape is echoed atop the doorway. Take a moment to notice the multitude of decorative elements, and then step back to see how they harmonize. Rows of dentils underscore the gable pediment, and are echoed in smaller fashion on the tower and verandah. A fish-scale pattern in the slate roof is repeated in the tower roof and infill in the gable. The tower commands your attention, with its neat row of third floor windows and large cap roof. Its rounded form is balanced by curves on the gable side of the house, a large rounded window on the ground floor and a rounded Palladian window above on the third floor. An elaborate stone window heading above the ground floor window is balanced, again, by simpler headings on the tower windows. This house is truly one of London’s architectural gems. Street View only   Click here to show map location
515-William.jpg William Street Look across the street to the yellow brick houses at 518 and 520 William Street. Notice how the delicate pierced woodwork in the porch gables enlivens these small twin houses. 515 William Street, a combination of several styles of architecture, is believed to be the work of architect George Durand. Look for keystones, handsome bay windows and interesting gable treatment with pierced bargeboard on three sides of the house. 514 William Street, on the east side, is an Ontario cottage that has been modified to provide a second storey. 509 William Street, an Italianate house, has elaborate bargeboard in the gable, beautiful cresting, paired brackets, a double-leaf door and two bay windows. The cresting is said to have been made by the original owner who operated the Dennis Steel Company, an early manufacturer of ornamental ironwork. Street View only   Click here to show map location
553-Dufferin-Cloud.jpg 553 Dufferin Ave. This stately Tudor Revival style residence was built for Charles Keene, a cabinetmaker and partner in the Keene Brothers Furniture Store from 1892 to 1914. He later became president of the Ontario Furniture Company, whose building still stands proudly at 228 Dundas Street. Formerly part of Benjamin Cronyn’s land, this lot was the site of a skating rink in 1886 and then a lumberyard. The house was designed by architect J. Vicar Munroe of the noted London firm Moore and Munroe, and during its construction Charles Keene lived next door at 557 Dufferin. Typical of Tudor Revival style is the half timbering in the upper storey above a red brick first storey. The central doorway is flanked by a tall gable on the left side and a bay window on the right, with a wide dormer window gracing the roof above. Contrast the simplicity of decoration on this house to others you have seen on the walk. The multiple-paned windows have simple outlines and the gable has flat bargeboard with only a slight flare at the bottom. The most decorative part of the home’s façade is the entranceway. The small porch is adorned with large wooden brackets and the doorway itself sparkles with a glass door, transom and sidelights. Street View only   Click here to show map location
518-Dufferin.jpg Dufferin Ave. Unlike Queens Avenue, which we will reach later in our Tour, most of the fine homes on Dufferin Avenue retain their original single family use. As you walk west look across the street to the handsome Queen Anne style residence at 532 Dufferin Avenue. The immense and ornate bargeboards in the gables and the differing window shapes are just two of the architectural features that make it so attractive. 518 Dufferin Avenue is a unique interpretation of the Ontario Cottage style. Note the attractive recessed doorway, large centre bargeboard-trimmed gable, stained glass transoms over the front windows and the corner quoins. Street View only   Click here to show map location
521-Dufferin-Sun.jpg 521 Dufferin Ave. This two-storey Italianate style home was built in 1875 by brothers James Moran, a cabinet maker, and Jeremiah Henry Moran, a carriage maker with a shop on Richmond Street. They also built the house next door at 517 Dufferin once owned by Albert Silverwood. Typical of the Italianate style, the house has strong vertical lines and a hipped roof with wide eaves and paired brackets. The tall windows have gently rounded tops crowned with brick voussoirs and carved keystones. Notice the small roof over the door, supported by brackets, with its gentle curve echoing the window tops. Take special note of the elegant triple-arched London doorway, a feature especially abundant in our city. Approximately 50 of these custom-made doorways have been found and documented, however the identity of their creator(s) remains a mystery. It is thought that the Moran brothers may have built several of them, having had the skills required to bend and shape wood. Furthermore, the first London doorway appeared in 1868, the same year the brothers emigrated from Ireland to London. Street View only   Click here to show map location
510-512-Dufferin.jpg Dufferin Ave. 517 Dufferin Avenue, a well- proportioned and substantial residence with a newer addition, was once the home of Albert E. Silverwood whose egg and poultry business grew into Silverwood-Sealtest Dairies. Cross Dufferin Avenue to view 510-512. This unique double house is set further back than the houses on adjacent properties. The fine architectural features of this Italianate-style home include twin, narrow, semi-circular headed windows above the two main entrances. Picture framing brickwork delineates the front façade. Street View only   Click here to show map location
506-Dufferin.jpg 506 Dufferin Ave. Ontario Cottages can be found throughout London’s older neighbourhoods, nestled amongst larger Italianate and Queen Anne homes. They are known for their stately symmetry, with a central doorway flanked by large windows on either side. An excellent example of the Ontario Cottage style, this house has a low hipped roof and central gable above the door. A round-headed “window” in the attic is crowned with brick voussoirs and a keystone. The ornamented front and side porch are later additions, enlivening a fairly simple façade. Notice the elegant doorway with its glass sidelights and transom. The house was built in 1876 for Andrew Ellis, a retired accountant listed in the city directory as a “gentleman”. His son, Andrew Ellis Junior, lived on Prospect Ave. for a time but then repurchased this house in 1900 and remained here for 30 years. Street View only   Click here to show map location
486-Dufferin.jpg Dufferin Ave. 500 Dufferin Avenue is a charming Italianate building most notable for its intricate frieze with brackets and pendules. The windows are high and wide with stone sills and gracefully curved stone headings. 498 Dufferin Avenue was built by James Smith, who lived at 500 Dufferin, for his daughter and son-in-law. Notice the Dutch-style gable with the contained arched window on the Prospect side. Other features include a heavily corbelled chimney and a decorative slate roof. Pause a moment at the intersection of Prospect and Dufferin to enjoy and admire the variety and charm of the nearby homes. They vary in age, size, style and building materials but they blend beautifully together. Cross to the west side of Prospect Avenue. 486 Dufferin Avenue, one of the best examples of Queen Anne Revival architecture in London, was built for George Matheson, an executive with the London Free Press. The position of the octagonal tower and the elaborate classical verandah give the house a commanding presence from both streets. An attic dormer overlooks Prospect while a small gable with bull’s eye window faces Dufferin. Cross Dufferin Avenue to the south side. 489 Dufferin Avenue (1881) exhibits unusual decorative woodwork. The Side- Hall Plan cottage at 491 Dufferin Avenue (1881) boasts elaborate woodwork on the verandah and a miniature pediment above the entrance. 493 Dufferin Avenue was long occupied by the Ingram family, coowners of Smallman and Ingram’s department store at the corner of Dundas and Richmond Streets. Note the slight curve of the front façade, a very unusual feature, the triple-windowed attic dormer and the dentiled wooden frieze under the eaves. Street View only   Click here to show map location
499-Dufferin-Cloud.jpg 499 Dufferin Ave. This house first appears in the City Directory c 1875 and appears to have been owned by several businessmen until it was purchased by Lemuel Ingram c 1890. Ingram relocated from Wortley Road to his double lot in Woodfield where he was able to walk to his thriving business, Smallman & Ingram’s Dry Goods. He and his partner, J. B. Smallman whose home is the present location of the Mocha shrine, eventually acquired the entire southwest corner of Richmond and Dundas Streets. J. Gordon Ingram became president of the company following the death of his father and later, Mr. Smallman. Smallman & Ingram was London’s largest department store and was bought by the Robert Simpson Company in 1944. That location is now known as Market Tower. Gordon originally lived next door at 493 but in 1920 as the president of London’s finest department store, he changed homes with his mother and younger brother, Kenneth. He immediately hired Hayman Bros. to build a two storey addition to the back of the house. The house stayed in the family until his death in 1959. It has never been subdivided and as a result, many original features are still in place. Today it enjoys life as the Woodfield Bed and Breakfast. The outstanding feature of the 2 ½ storey, Gothic revival white brick house is the bandshell verandah with its classical columns and balustrade. Dentil detail lines the top of the verandah. Fire insurance maps indicate that the sunroom was at one time an open verandah and the small verandah at the back of the house was added between 1890 and 1910. The front façade gable is filled with half timbering and supported by large brackets. The L shaped dormer roof on the east side is filled with the same half timbering. Notice the fascia line in the gables that is broken at midpoint. Wooden soffits are still in use and are lined by brackets. Wood moulding surrounds the two-storey front bay. Two large corbelled chimneys dominate the west roof and a third is found at the back of the house. The Ingram brothers, Gordon and Kenneth, walked every day from their homes at 493 and 499 Dufferin Ave to their department store at Dundas and Richmond. Street View only   Click here to show map location
22-Peter-St..jpg Peter Street This street was named for Samuel Peters, who conducted the original survey of the Woodfield area in 1853. 22 Peter Street, the oldest house on the block (c1870), is an Ontario Farmhouse style. The first owner was Owen Benson, of Benson Brothers Organ Manufacturers. Note the arched window in the gable and the relatively simple but very pleasing decorative detail. 23 Peter Street is an exceptionally fine example of the Italianate style. The porch is original and the doorway is unique with its gently arched and divided transom with bevelled glass. Notice the second storey arched window over the porch and the unusual dormer in the roof. Street View only   Click here to show map location
518-Queens-Sun.jpg Queen's Village for Seniors This magnificent building is now known as Queen’s Village for Seniors, however it was built as a residence for James Duffield and his family in 1872. James Duffield made his fortune in oil refining, and played a role in the formation of Imperial Oil. After his death in 1888 his nephew, James C. Duffield resided here until 1920. The younger Duffield founded the London Gas Light Company, providing natural gas to light homes and street lights. One of three mansions in this area built in the Second Empire style, the original house actually faces Queens Street. A portion of its original façade remains although it is obscured by a large addition on the south side. As you approach from Peter Street you are facing the side entrance, where nineteenth century guests would have disembarked from their carriages and entered through the sheltered doorway. The horses would have been led to the coach house, still standing to your left. The most prominent feature of the Second Empire style is a mansard roof inset with dormer windows. In this case the roof is very impressive; its single and double dormers decorated with heavy white outlines and massive window surrounds. The entire roof is capped with elaborate cresting like icing on a cake. Beneath the eaves is a wide decorative cornice adorned with rows of small dentils and large circular discs. Notice that additions to the building have continued many of the original décor themes. Street View only   Click here to show map location
534-Queens.jpg Queens Avenue Look across Queens Avenue to a streetscape of impressive Victorian houses that reflect the former prestige of the neighbourhood. 507 and 513 Queens Avenue were designed by architect George Durand. Both High Victorian houses have elaborate gables, bichromatic brickwork, two-storey bays and handsome eaves brackets. Turn left and walk east along Queens Avenue. Many houses on this part of Queens Avenue are now occupied by businesses or institutions. Sometimes, as with 533 Queens Avenue on the southwest corner of Queens and William, the adaptive reuse has been accomplished without any significant change in the important architectural features. Notice that the carved stone porch and large stained glass window on the west side have been carefully preserved. Other interesting features include the highpitched roof, corbelled chimneys and roof finials. 534 Queens Avenue is a Second Empire house built c1870 for William Spencer, one of the founders of Imperial Oil. Observe the handsome mansard roof and the three-storey bays. Cross William Street to the east side. 536 Queens Avenue was designed by George Durand for Charles Murray, manager of the Federal Bank of Canada. A square central tower is flanked by a deep two-storey bay with a conical roof on one side and a gabled two-storey projection on the other. Street View only   Click here to show map location
Bishop-Cronyn.jpg Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church Anglican services and Sunday School sessions began on the east side of London as early as 1860, leading to the establishment of a parish known as St. George’s, housed in a small wooden building on the east side of Adelaide St. near York St. The rapid growth of London East necessitated parish expansion after 1870. This need coincided with the desire of the Cronyn family to honour the memory of Benjamin Cronyn, the first Bishop of Huron, who had died in 1871. In March 1872, an agreement was reached by the family and parishioners, and in the short space of twenty-one months, a new church was designed and built, opening on December 14, 1873. Designed by the Toronto architect Henry Langley in the then-popular neo-gothic style, the original building was 104 feet long and 44 feet wide. In 1879, the north and south transepts and west gallery were added and in 1893, the wooden ceiling was installed (at a cost of $410.00!), giving the church its present interior dimensions. An enlarged parish house, including offices , an auditorium and Sunday School facilities, opened in 1925. Named Warner Hall in honour of Quintin Warner, rector of the parish 1917-1945, it was demolished and replaced by Warner Place, the adjoining seniors’ apartment complex, in 1986. The exterior of the building is marked by a free-standing, open bell tower over the west entrance and by the liberal use of polychrome brick (red brick inserts contrasting with the walls of yellow brick). The wooden doors and hardware on the north and south sides of the west entrance are original, while the glass centre door is a recent addition, replacing a wooden one which was beyond repair. The church’s interior uses a centre aisle with two side aisles, the original high altar and choir being elevated at the east end. In the last five years, several front pews have been turned inward ninety degrees, to allow the high altar’s placement at the crossing of the nave and transepts. Several rear pews have been removed, creating a gathering space at the west entrance. The south transept is now a memorial chapel, celebrating lives lost in war and marking the history of the parish as the garrison church for Wolseley Barracks. The north transept is a Lady Chapel, housing several renditions of Madonna and Child. Memorials abound in the stained glass windows, sculpture and plaques around the church’s interior. Visitors might take particular interest in the military colours laid up in the church, in the Memorial Chapel; in the small Madonna and Child recovered from a bombed-out church during World War I and now located hear the pulpit; and in the dramatic memorial plaque for Col. Woodman Leonard in the Lady Chapel. The pulpit itself was originally Benjamin Cronyn’s, standing in St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was given to the parish on its opening in 1873.   Click here to show map location

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Group Heritage Resources Centre
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Date Added March 4, 2014
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