Sunday, 13 April 2014

The American Anglophile, Downton Toronto edition

The popular TV program Downton Abbey is filmed on location at the estate of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon's Highclere Castle. Having just binge-viewed Season 4, I whimsically summoned Google and began a tour of the "Folly". At its simplest a folly is a purposeless architectural anachronism. A structure the laird constructs on a difficult patch of land so that weekend guests will be surprised and delighted to find a roman temple as they reach the far west garden. And something that blocks the view of the manure pile from the path.

My time travel through the Google-verse eventually led to a delightful page on Urban Toronto. Most impressively, the posting was rich with very rare mid 19th C interior photographs.

Here's what's on view:
  • Beverley House, (images circa 1911, just prior to the house's demolition). Situated at the NE corner of Richmond and John, and replaced by Ryerson Press. Now the CityTV Building.
  • The John Gordon House on the SE corner of Clarence Square and Wellington West, later inhabited by Sir William Mortimer Clark, L-G between 1903-1905. A mid-19th C Italianate pile.
  • Government House on the SW corner of King and Simcoe (1868-1912).
  • Chorley Park, the Lieutenant-Governor's residence (circa 1915-1937; demolished in 1960)
  • Most impressively, a series of views of workers residences during the same period. Touching.
  • Flavelle House on Queen's Park Crescent
  • Ermeleigh (SE corner of Sherbourne and Wellesley)
  • Culloden House, home of John Ross Robertson, East side of Sherbourne South of Gerrard (still standing)

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