Visiting the former Rectory of the parish church of St Peter, Erindale, Mississauga, Ontario: sedate, Georgian heritage
Built by Thomas Barker, the beginnings of a Mississauga suburb
This sedate, two storey property in Georgian Revival style was built by Thomas Barker, for Minister Thomas Hodge in approximately 1861 as the Rectory of the Anglican parish church of St. Peter. Some people would be forgiven for thinking that the adjacent, spired church building also dating from the 19th century is the edifice with which the former Rectory was once connected, but actually this is not the case: St Peter's church lies the intersection of Dundas Road West and Mississauga Road.
Interestingly, when in 1861 a former rectory on the same site as the current building was destroyed by fire, it had carried the name 'Erindale', and the name of this former structure, where Minister James McGrath had once resided, was where the village and now Mississauga suburb of Erindale derived its name.
The 'Georgian' appellation is certainly accurate to describe the style or period of architecture which the Rectory represents. It would also be fair to say, however, that its approximate date of 1861 is at the end of the period when the Georgian style is understood to have been particularly popular in Ontario (1).
To quote from Robert Mikel, 'Georgian design was uncluttered, based on the rules of symmetry, proportion and balance' (2). These elements are very much in evidence here at St Peter's former Rectory, with windows and the main doorway constituting a pleasing equilibrium. Returning eaves (or overhangs) are also a conspicuous feature: another Georgian characteristic.
Affixed to this heritage property is a plaque indicating its designated status under the Ontario Heritage Act. The commemorative plaque is sponsored by the Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee of the Mississauga Heritage Foundation, in the City of Mississauga.
The property has sometimes been referred to as the Old Manse, although strictly speaking the term 'Manse' has often referred to the residence of a non-Anglican, Protestant minister.
St Peter's former Rectory, now a commercial property restored to award-winning standards and used as medical offices, is situated at 1556 Dundas Street West, Erindale, Mississauga, in Ontario's Peel region.
(1) In Robert Mikel's excellent and readable Ontario House Styles: The distinctive architecture of the province's 18th and 19th century houses , Toronto: James Lorimer and Company, Limited, Publishers, 2004, the writer gives '1784 - 1860' (see especially p.p.15-27) as the period for the Georgian style in the Province.
(2) Robert Mikel, op. cit., p. 14.
Also worth seeing
In Erindale , Mississauga itself, other attractions include: St Peter's Anglican church itself, dating from 1825; the former Springfield Methodist Church, now Erindale Presbyterian Church (adjacent to the former St Peter's Rectory); Glen Erin Hall Gatehouse ruins at Ivor Woodlands; the Sawmill Valley Trail, and many others.
Ebenezer Hall, Brampton (distance: 34.6 kilometres), a former one-room schoolhouse, now a Community Hall, dating from the late 19th century.
How to get there: Air Canada, flies to Toronto Pearson Airport, with wide North American and other connections, from where car rental is available. (Distance from Toronto Pearson Airport to 1556 Dundas Street West, Mississauga : 22.6 kilometres). A GO Train service operative between Toronto Union and Erindale GO Train stations (distance from Erindale GO Train station at 1320 Rathburn Road West and 1556 Dundas Street West: 4.4 kilometres). Local bus routes include 1C, 44, 101 and 110. Please check with the airline, your travel agent, or transportation company for relevant up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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