Tag Archives: late nineteenth century
Wychwood Park is a neighbourhood enclave and former gated community located north of Davenport Road, just west of Bathurst Street. All of Wychwood Park’s houses are listed on the Toronto Historical Board’s Inventory of Heritage Properties.
The neighbourhood proper is one of the smallest in Toronto, composed on only the one single street, Wychwood Park, with only 57 houses on it. The surrounding area may be called Wychwood, but it is not the same.
A handful of the first Wychwood Park houses were built in the late 1800s, however most of the houses in Wychwood Park were built in stages between 1906 and 1935. A few houses were also built in the early 1950s.
Many of the older Wychwood Park houses were designed by Eden Smith, an architect who specialized English Arts and Crafts style houses. The influence of Smith’s traditional English design forms is evident throughout Wychwood Park.
Wychwood Park was originally founded as an artists’ colony in the late nineteenth century as a private project by Marmaduke Matthews and Alexander Jardin. The area was still a rural region on the edge of the city then, and Matthews planned out a bucolic community and named it after Wychwood in his native Oxfordshire. It is considered part of the overall Wychwood official neighbourhood as designated by the City of Toronto.
In 1874, Matthews built the first house in the community, at number six Wychwood Park. The second Wychwood Park house, at number twenty two Wychwood Park, was built in 1877, by Matthews’ friend Alexander Jardine. Matthews and Jardine jointly bought the land that abutted their estates and in 1891, registered a plan of subdivision for what is now the Wychwood Park neighbourhood.
The land was divided into irregularly shaped lots, with a central park built around a pond and tennis courts designed by the architect Arthur Edwin Whatmough (born 1884, Toronto) who put careful restrictions upon what could be built in the community. Whatmough designed many of the houses that were built in the Arts and Crafts style. A few others were also designed by prominent architect Eden Smith, who lived in the neighbourhood.
One of Toronto’s ravines ran through the heart of the neighbourhood, and this was preserved as parkland. Taddle Creek once ran through the ravine, and it was dammed to create a large pond in the middle of the park. This is now one of the only parts of the city where Taddle Creek is still visible above ground (nay, one of the only areas in Toronto where ANY of the old creeks can still be seen unburied).
While the area was amalgamated into the city of Toronto in 1909, it remains a private community. The streets and amenities are paid for by the local residents, and the community is managed by an executive council. It is one of Toronto’s more exclusive neighbourhoods with house prices well over a million dollars. Several prominent figures have lived in the area, including Marshall McLuhan and Anatol Rapoport. In 1985 the area became the first residential zone in Ontario to be granted heritage status.
Wychwood Barns, a former Toronto Transit Commission streetcar maintenance facility located immediately to the north of Wychwood Park, was transformed into a community park, while the original structure remains.
Contact the Jeffrey Team for more information – 416−388−1960
Laurin & Natalie Jeffrey are Toronto Realtors with Century 21 Regal Realty.
They did not write these articles, they just reproduce them here for people
who are interested in Toronto real estate. They do not work for any builders.
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