Toronto's Historical Plaques
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Owen Staples House and Studio 1904
Photos by Alan L Brown - Posted July, 2008
Photo Source - Wikimedia Commons
At 69 Hogarth Avenue, east of Broadview Avenue, is this 2008 Heritage Toronto plaque erected with support from the Riverdale Historical Society. Here's what it tells us:
Coordinates: 43.673823 -79.352403
This house was designed by Owen Staples, with artist and friend C.W. Jefferys, as a studio and home for Staples and his family. Born in England in 1866 and arriving in Toronto as a child, Staples became a well-known artist, as well as cartoonist and long-time illustrator for John Ross Robertson and his Evening Telegram. Staples' vast body of work, rich with historical illustrations of Toronto, is now preserved in major public and private collections. Also a member for 55 years of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Staples was a vital part of Toronto's arts community and shared its interest in the Arts and Crafts Movement - reflected in the design of his home. Constructed by C.W. Jefferys' father from assorted Don Valley brick (assembled from rejected stock), this house is defined by a double-height "great room" that served as both studio and living area. Well-lit by the front window and warmed by an inglenook fireplace, the room was a favourite gathering place for a lively cross-section of Toronto society. Owen Staples died in 1949.
> Posted February 3, 2015
I am going through inherited photos and on a whim Googled "Owen P. Staples house" (because all I had was "Uncle Owen's house, Toronto, Canada" written on the back of 2 of the 5 pictures). And there it was. The house. So I now have an address and information to go along with photos of Owen, his wife, Lillian F.M. Hewitt (my ancestral line). Lillian F.M. Hewitt was my Great Great Aunt (1869-1943). Her brother, my great great grandfather, was Joseph Richardson Hewitt born in Toronto. One of his 13 children was my maternal grandfather born in Chicago. His elder daughter was my mother.
Barbara Oliver email@example.com
> Posted May 15, 2014
Approximately 65 years ago, as a curious teenager, I discovered an ink sketch by Owen Staples in our attic. It was an unfinished attic accessed by a trap door. The picture was framed and was the only item in the attic and it was covered with dust. It was cleaned up and re-framed. It was signed and dated 1889. The picture is approximately 16" X 26". I believe Staples would have been 23 years of age at the time. There is no indication of the identity of the young woman--perhaps she was an artists' model. The house was built in 1911 and was demolished in the 1960's. The house was located on Oakmount Road in west Toronto. The provenance of the picture has always roused my curiosity.
> Posted June 8, 2013
I wonder if Margaret Rosser Watson is monitoring this site. I am writing a book on Riverdale and would like to ask her some questions about growing up there. There are books in the Toronto Library on Owen Staples, one by his son, so others could find info there. It would also be good to have some interesting anecdotes about him, other than what has been published.
Many thanks. Liz Muir, firstname.lastname@example.org
> Posted April 6, 2013
Owen Staples is my Great Great Grandfather. My name is Oliver Staples. We have many of his original arts on display in our house. Owen Staples work is both magnificent and inspiring, and so I am trying to learn more about him.
> Posted July 5, 2012
My grandfather was John Staples, brother of Owen. My grandmother was Helen Staples. My mother's name was Mary Agnes Staples. She was an only child. She married Lawrence Christe and had 12 children, and 76 grandchildren. My name is Anthony Christe and I am looking for any information on my grandfather's family.
Regards, Anthony. My e-mail address. Tonychriste@aol.com
> Posted April 16, 2010
Very interesting! I lived at 60 Hampton just around the corner and took piano lessons in that studio from Owen Staples' daughter in the early 50's. My mother left me some of Owen Staples' original work. Margaret Rosser Watson
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