Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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St. Lawrence Lofts
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted May, 2012
Located just inside the doorway at 81a Front Street East, on the south side between Church and Jarvis streets is this 2001 plaque. Here's what it says:
Coordinates: 43.648771 -79.372488
Georgian Corporation's renovation of 77, 81 and 85 Front Street East is a proud moment in the company's history. The residences known as the St. Lawrence Lofts consist of three historically designated buildings on the wharf. Each is unique, but similar as they represent a distinct pre-confederation architectural period in Toronto's history.
77 Front Street built in 1860 for Alexander Mortimer Smith was a wholesale grocery warehouse. Smith, a Scotsman, was active in the Board of Trade and served on Toronto City Council from 1855 until 1859. The Smith Building is original in its materials and composition using masonry, white brick and limestone. Stylistically in its tall arches and mezzanine level, the building is an adaptation of Northern Italian Renaissance architecture, known in Ontario as Vernacular Italianate.
Thomas Helliwell Jr., a brewer in Upper Canada, and his son in law, Thomas Clarkson, a founder of Jim Clarkson & Gordon, owned 81 and 85 Front Street East. Built in 1857 and 1858, the warehouse included the general offices and commercial activities of a wholesale grocery, handling produce, wheat, hides and leather. The Helliwell and Clarkson Buildings with their monumental pilasters and intended symmetry reflect elementary Georgian classical design principles.
Georgian Corporation's reclamation of these buildings ensures that they will continue to be a living landmark in Toronto's history.
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