There is a grand Victorian head office, hidden under stucco, on Liberty St between Atlantic and Jefferson. It needs people who understand that the stucco can be removed. There is architectural beauty, cultural heritage and a live-work artists’ incubator under there! These things will attract value and joy to the neighborhood if preserved.
(Views are those of the author.)
The developer has a design that would fit well further east in Liberty Village but will replace one of the nicest heritage buildings at a prime intersection. The proposal, looking from the south, does preserve 25 Liberty St, seen at the lower left.
The Block seen from the east; 25 Liberty St to 65 Jefferson Ave. 25 Liberty St, shown in the foreground, as built in 1901.
1898 Ontario Wind Engine and Power Company. The two story buildings to the right still remain as 35 Liberty St. See “Air Motors”, left. These jobs fuelled the Parkdale economy.
The same Block seen from the west; 65 Jefferson Ave (foreground, currently covered in stucco) was built in 1906 and is almost identical to 25 Liberty.
In 1906 a taller brick building, in the centre of the picture, was added at 65 Jefferson Ave. The entire block is still intact today, as seen in this 1980’s archival photo. The Ontario Wind Engine and Power Company was part of the newly developing Canadian Energy industry.
Time line diagram of building dates by City Planners
The Ontario Wind Engine and Power Company letterhead gives it’s location as the “Cor. Atlantic, Liberty & Jefferson Ave." They had a four digit phone number. Had they added electric motors? It is not clear.
1840 circa Wind power: The historic Toronto wind mill is shown at Gooderham Works. The first industry in the Town of York. York Historical Society. Generating power was a big issue in the 1800s. Saw mills were built on rushing water. In the town of York it started with wind.
1883 John Wright demonstrates first electric street railway at the CNE, now Exhibition Place. In 1885 the overhead power arm was invented by J J Wright. Photo Mike Filey. Someone else improved on the patent later and received all the benefits.
1884 J J Wright of 14 Gwynne Ave. invented while HM Pellatt of Castle Loma invested in electrical development, building the first electric street railway in North America at the Canadian National Exhibition.
1888 Tesla invented the AC motor and generator, enabling long distance transmission. In 1891 J J Wright of Parkdale, formed the Canadian Electricity Association.
In 1891 fire was still used for warmth while horses powered transportation, but this was about to change.
1911 Hydro from Niagara reached Toronto precluding Wind power for almost a century.
2002 Exhibition Place introduced a wind turbine built by the WindShare Co-operative.
This photo taken before 2005 c shows the western wall of 65 Jefferson Ave. The building has been an artist magnet since the 1970s. This picture, slightly touched up for fun, now hangs in the ground floor cafe. Cultural heritage.
The near identical wall at the 25 Liberty end of the building / block, as seen from the east. Similar pilasters, window trim, size, shape, layout and cornices at the top. The entire block is architecturally cohesive outside and in.
The north face of 25 Liberty St is nearly identical to that of 65 Jefferson. The doors are inserted as needed but the same architectural detail appears on both buildings.
Closeup of the 25 Liberty door and the stuccoed walls.
The door and window trim brackets match precisely.
All door and window trim has been reused after the stucco was attached.
More wall detail at 35 Liberty.
The number and size of the windows maintains Georgian symmetry throughout the central section.
An interior view of the cafe at 65 Jefferson Ave. The industrial post and beam construction is still proudly displayed by the business owner. This post and beam is visible through out the entire block, making the internal heritage value high.
Another view of the cafe.
Directly across the street from Ontario Wind Engine and Power Company to the north remains St. David's Wine Growers Company Building at 42 Liberty St. It is being historically preserved.
42 Liberty St, directly across the street, is being preserved, creating the opportunity to create a full block with heritage landscape, both sides.
40 Hanna, the Brunswick Balke Collender Company complex left and at right 43 Hanna, the former Irwin Toy Factory.
The brick facade is still there under the stucco at 65 Jefferson Ave in 2017. The building to the extreme right was stuccoed at the same time and provides an illustration of this. Next Picture.
Restorable! Styrofoam, power nailed onto brick is removable. The above repair work beside a garage door gives us insight into how the stucco was applied. At the bottom left we see how Styrofoam was applied over the red brick. It was probably power nailed in place. The stucco was applied to the Styrofoam leaving the brick in tact. The cement we see was used to stabilize the opening after the garage door was cut and is not related to the stucco.
The picture shows Styrofoam being applied prior to stucco.
A last look at these heritage buildings before stucco and probable future demolition.
Parkdale has stucco too. The Union Meat Market in 1890 at 1400 Queen St West before stucco.
1400 Queen St was converted to a bank.
1400 Queen St West about 1996 before stucco.
1400 Queen St West in 2014 covered in stucco over Styrofoam. The Terra Cotta below the windows is more recessed after the stucco was applied, showing that the stucco was applied over a couple of inches of Styrofoam. 1354 and 1402 Queen St. W have also been stuccoed! Refer to the Then and Now section of this web site.
1920 Liberty Village general interest. The arrow points to 25 Liberty St. City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1244, Item 2420
Your feedback is appreciated. Please comment below.