ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Millichamp Building, Toronto, Ontario: by John Gemmell and James Smith, 1874-75, tastefully restored

Updated on January 4, 2013
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
Millichamp Building, 39 Adelaide Street East, Toronto
Millichamp Building, 39 Adelaide Street East, Toronto | Source
Historical plaque, Millichamp Building, 39 Adelaide Street East, Toronto
Historical plaque, Millichamp Building, 39 Adelaide Street East, Toronto | Source
Map location of Toronto, Ontario
Map location of Toronto, Ontario | Source

Slightly out of place? but saved from demolition

This 19th century building at 39 Adelaide Street, East, Toronto, Ontario, with its striking frontage, was commenced in 1874 and completed the following year. Its architects were John Gemmell and James Smith (1).

Significant alterations were made to the structure in 1885.

A notable feature of the Millichamp Building is its asymmetrical, staggered cornering at its east end, giving the building altogether a strong, multidimensional sense. A Classical balcony at the third storey adds to its distinction.

The edifice underwent a program of restoration in 1983, and it now fits in reasonably (2) with its somewhat distinct high-rise environment. Rather than complain about any element of design tension between the somewhat elaborate, 19th century frontage of the Millichamp Building, it is (I feel) more constructive to be glad that it was saved from demolition when intense interest in this prime, Downtown vicinity was being shown by developers.

It may be added that the spelling of the name of the building varies according to sources. Some of these give 'Millichamp'; others, 'Millichamps'; others, 'Millichamp's'. I have retained the spelling used by the historical plaque affixed to the frontage of the building: 'Millichamp'. the plaque was sponsored by the Toronto Historical Board, under the Ontario Heritage Act.

September 17, 2012


(1) Originally from Scotland, John Gemmell went into partnership with James Smith; the firm Smith and Gemmell was also responsible for various Toronto buildings, including the Presbyterian Church at 452 College Street, and the Church of the Redeemer, 162 Bloor Street West.

(2) This is to say, in my humble opinion, at least; I am aware of adverse published comment also.

Also worth seeing

In Toronto itself, among the numerous visitor attractions and architecturally significant sites are, some of these within walking distance of the Millichamp Building include: the Birkbeck Building in Adelaide Street East; the former Commercial Bank building at 181 Bay Street; the Confederation Life Building; Union Station; Old City Hall; Osgoode Hall, Campbell House, and St James's and St Michael's Cathedrals, the United Metropolitan Cathedral, and others.


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 sights to be easily walkable. Some facilities may be withdrawn without notice. For up to date information, you are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent. For any special border crossing arrangements which may apply to citizens of certain nationalities, please refer to appropriate consular sources.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may be of interest


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)