Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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Kew Williams House 1902
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted September, 2015
In The Beach at 30 Lee Avenue, south of Queen Street East, stands this former home. Here's what the 2015 Heritage Toronto plaque says:
Coordinates: 43.668171 -79.297110
Kew Williams (1873-1956) built this house for his wife, Bertha Curran, in The Canadian Kew Gardens, a campground resort opened in 1879 by his parents, Joseph Williams and Jane Henry. Using mostly shale and limestone that Kew and his brothers gathered from Lake Ontario and transported here by schooner, this two-storey stone building was designed in the Queen Anne Revival style. It features an asymmetrical front façade, a variety of window types, a corner tower with a bell-shaped roof, and a round verandah. Joseph Williams sold the house and 8 ha property to the City of Toronto in 1907. A year later, this was the only building not moved or demolished when Kew Gardens was made into a public park. The house was a residence for the park caretakers from 1911 until 2002, before becoming an occasional community event facility.
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