The Grange In Toronto, Ontario

The Grange 1909 (Toronto Public Library)

Welcome to our first post exploring Canada's houseporn of yesteryear. Yes, as young as Canada is, this country has some spectacular vintage architecture worth learning about.

Toronto is full of incredible historical houses. Some are still used as family homes, many were divided into apartments, while others have become public buildings like today's post, called The Grange.

Now part of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) this property, built in 1817 for Darcy Boulton, is one of the City's oldest.  It is unknown who designed the original house, but like many of its age it has undergone major renovations and additions in its history.

Originally constructed in a square design with columns at the entrance, following the design program of the Georgian Style, additions were added in both the 1840’s and in 1885 to accommodate the needs of the owners. 

The 1840’s saw the enlargement of the drawing room and additions for the office of William Boulton, who was mayor of Toronto four times and a representative for Toronto at the legislative Assembly. In 1885, the staircase was updated in the trend of the Victorian style, and a library was added.

After the death of the owners, The Grange became the Art Museum of Toronto in 1910, which later was integrated into the AGO.

This is the home in 1910 before the galleries were added. (Toronto Public Library)

In 1918 and 1926 gallery wings were added onto the house.  The new purpose of the building influenced its development.

This was taken in 1923 showing the North entrance into The Grange Art Gallery (Toronto Public Library)

In the 1970’s the house was partially restored to replicated its 1835 appearance. It was declared as a National Historic Site in 1973.

The Grange today (Wikipedia Media Commons)

The Grange itself serves as a testament to the changing architectural styles popular though the nineteenth century. 

You can visit the Grange House and the AGO in Toronto. Here is a Map to the Grange. And for a great resource, check out the Toronto Public Library Guide!

Researched and Written by Sarah Coates - Masters Student of History at the University of Toronto.

Posted In: Ontario

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