Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adelaide and John/Mostly Now

These classic urban townhouses (circa 1870) on the S/W corner of Adelaide on John were a pub (The Fox and Fiddle) for many years. Developers have bought up the entire block over the last few years and are now in preparation to build more condos.

It's been raised off it's foundations in preparation for a move one block south.
From Historic Toronto:
In 1870, on the west side of John Street, two homes were built. The house at 114 John Street was occupied by Charles Bender, a piano manufacturer. The residence at 116 John Street was that of Richard West – a contractor. In 1872, when more homes were constructed, the numbers 114 and 116 were changed to 86 and 88 John Street.

In 1890, the houses were again renumbered and they became 104 and 106 John Street, the numbers being retained to this day. These houses were considered substantial residences, their owners possessing excellent incomes. Their neighbour immediately to the south, at 102 John Street, was the Reverent John Barclay of St. Andrew’s Church on King Street.

Saturday August 13th Update.

The building was moved this morning across john to the east side of the street.
All in all a successful move with very little damage.
The building will remain here until the condos are built and then shifted back to it's new resting spot.

Bishop's Block Returns/Adelaide and Simcoe/Then and Now

Dismantled for condo construction, the facade of the Bishop's Block is being re constituted. A small portion was visible through the scaffold this past weekend.
Bishop's Block on the N/E corner of Adelaide and Simcoe circa 1890. Built in 1833.
According to Patricia McHugh in her excellent book "Toronto Architecture-A City Guide"
"These two brick and stucco row houses are Toronto's oldest example of the genre. though now sadly bereft of their three original sisters and most of their Georgian dignity as well. Joseph Bishop was a butcher who built these houses for speculation."
Bishop's Block some time in the late 1960's when it operated as the Pretzel Bell Tavern.
The remaining houses of the block shortly before demolition.
Sadly, since the book was written, the remaining two houses were torn down last year to make way for more condos. The developers are supposed to re-build the original facades and incorporate them into the new structure.
The city did conduct an extensive archeological dig at the site.
Details can be found here.
The resurrected facade has now been revealed.
The front.
When demolition started I was lucky enough to spot this old hand painted sign (Harv's Hang Inn) that had been covered up for years and managed to liberate it...
Bishop's Block as seen in 1856.