Visiting 441-443 Queen Street West, Toronto, Ontario: Italianate Grace Dating from 1886, by H. Langley and E. Burke
At a busy Toronto intersection
[This hubpage deals briefly with a few historical aspects of the building which stands at 441-443 Queen Street West, Toronto. For enquiries about the fine café establishment on the ground floor of this property, contact should be made directly with its management.]
In what is now firmly part of Downtown Toronto, at the intersection of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue, residential properties tended to be more the norm in the mid-19th century.
Increasingly, however, the commercial pressure on this residential area was acute and not a few residential properties were demolished.
One of the buildings to emerge from this process stands at 441-443 Queen Street West (1). Architects Henry Langley and Edmund Burke (2) designed this gracious, Italianate building, executed in red brick, with wood features including a decorated cornice.
From a visual perspective, the building's crowning feature is arguably its turret, the prominence of which is accentuated by the property's location at the intersection of Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue. The turret was renovated in 1984, as was the wood elements of the Spadina and Queen West elevations.
The inaugural occupant of the building was the Devenay Brothers' goods store.
Interestingly, the building has been known to be referred to as the Oddfellows Hall, which, in the light of the prominent building of that name at the intersection of Toronto's Yonge and College Streets, can seem to be a mistake. However, it is indeed true that the Odd Fellows did once occupy a floor of 441-443 Queen Street West, as have many other tenants since the 19th century.
March 19, 2019
(1) See also: https://tayloronhistory.com/tag/441-443-queen-street-west-toronto/
(2) Architects Langley and Burke were together responsible for many of Toronto's buildings; these include: St Luke's Church at Sherbourne and Carlton Streets; St Andrew's Church, Jarvis Street; Jarvis Street Baptist Church; McMaster Hall; Beverley Street Baptist Church. In their individual right or with other collaborators they were separately responsible for many other structures, including (the later named) Metropolitan United Church (H. Langley) and the Prince Edward Viaduct (E. Burke).
Also worth seeing
In Downtown Toronto, other noted buildings on Queen Street West include the imposing Osgoode Hall and the historic Campbell House. On Queen Street East are the United Metropolitan Church; adjacent to the Eaton Centre renowned among shoppers, is Old City Hall, dating from 1899. Further east along Queen Street East is the Ashbridge Estate, associated for over 200 years with the family whose name the property bears; the centrepiece building dates from 1854.
How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. However, visitors to Downtown Toronto will find many visitor attractions to be easily walkable. TTC line 501 passes 441-443 Queen Street West. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information. Please refer to appropriate consular sources for any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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