This week’s look back in time is focused on the intriguing house at 37 Metcalfe Street which is a favourite of mine (and many local walking-tour guides).
The house was originally built in 1875 by Captain John T. Douglas, and as shown in the photo above, it faced northward (this photograph was taken from the north west of the house in 1892). The third owner of the building, James Morrison made many additions to the home in 1891, including many of the decorative features you can still see today.
A later owner of the property sold the front lawn, which is where the three-storey buff brick building stands today (originally an apartment building, Hampton Mansions became a co-op in 1981).
After the sale of the front lawn, the owner of 37 Metcalfe Street moved many of the ornate features from the north side of the house to the west side which then became the “front” of the house. The house is now divided into rental units and is a truly unique location in the city.
George Rust-D’Eye (Cabbagetown Remembered)
Penina Coopersmith (Cabbagetown: The Story Of A Victorian Neighbourhood)
(both excellent books!)
Here is 37 Metcalfe Street as it appears today, viewed from the west: