Sunday, July 23, 2017
   
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Preserving a historic house

When the Sisters moved into their new home at 2 O’Connor Drive on March 12, 2013, their dwelling place incorporated the John F. Taylor house into the newly built residence. The Taylor house at 2 O’Connor Drive and Broadview Avenue is a designated heritage property registered with the City of Toronto. By restoring this house, the Sisters of St. Joseph have maintained a link to the history of the former municipality of East York.

As part of the John F. Taylor house renovation, the Sisters have:
  • Restored, stabilized and revived the Taylor house as a single structure which is wheelchair accessible while respecting the historic nature of the house
  • Used historically accurate methods of finishing the brickwork
  • Linked the house to the new residence by a discreet enclosed one-storey walkway
  • Maintained and modified the elevator
  • Restored and repaired the windows, masonry, chimney and roof, and enhanced the exterior by using decorative elements of the time such as copper roofing
  • Preserved the decorative glass, doors and trim, plasterwork, fireplaces and woodwork including the main staircase
  • Renovated the space to make it available for meetings, visitor suites, services and storage.
A plaque in front of the Taylor House tells the story of the house and indicates its historic significance. 
The text on the plaque is as follows:
 
John F. Taylor House
1885
 
This house was built for prominent businessman John F. Taylor, a descendant of one of East York's founding families. Designed in the Queen Anne Revival style by Toronto architect David B. Dick, the residence features an asymmetrical design, distinctive corner tower, and shaped gables. Taylor and his brothers inherited the family's brewery and paper mill (York Paper Mill, later Todmorden Mills). In 1889, they founded the Don Valley Pressed Brick Company (later Don Valley Brickworks), which is visible from this property. When the United Church of Canada purchased the site in 1930, it adapted the building for use as the Ina Grafton Gage Home for the Aged, which operated here for 80 years. In 2013, the house was preserved as part of the conversion of this site into a private residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph.
 
Designated under the Ontario Heritage Act
Heritage Toronto 2013
 
Gisela Côté
 
 

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