|THEN : Opening night celebrations for Toronto's City Hall, in 1965.|
|THEN : A man who needs little introduction, John Graves Simcoe. As the first lieutenant governor of the newly created Province of Upper Canada, he began many legacies here. One of them was the use of a viceregal residence, or "Government House".|
When Simcoe returned to England in 1796, Peter Russell became the provincial administrator, but was never given the full title of lieutenant governor. Simcoe's official replacement was Peter Hunter, who became lieutenant governor in 1799. Hunter would have lived in the viceregal home that was built in 1800, on the grounds of Fort York. It was a single storey building, built in a "U" shape. Viceroys who lived in this Government House included Peter Hunter, Alexander Grant, Francis Gore, Sir Isaac Brock, and Roger Hale Sheaffe. It would have been Sheaffe's official residence when it was destroyed during the American invasion of York in April of 1813.
|THEN : A sketch of the Government House, or viceregal residence, that once stood on the grounds of the garrison at York. It was destroyed in the American invasion of April, 1813.|
|THEN : A sketched floor plan of the viceregal residence built at the garrison at York.|
Elmsley House served as the colony's Government House from 1815 until 1841, and then intermittently from 1841 until 1858, during those times that Toronto served as the capital of the Province of Canada. This was the period in which the capital moved between Toronto, Montreal, Quebec and Kingston, before finally settling in Ottawa.
|THEN : A painting of Elmsley House, which stood at the southwest corner of King and Simcoe streets, from 1798 to 1862.|
|THEN : Party at the viceregal palace ~ celebrations for Queen Victoria's birthday on the front lawn of Elmsley House in 1854.|
|THEN : Elmsley Villa, Bay and Grosvenor streets.|
|THEN : Ontario's first grand Government House, built at the southwest corner of King and Simcoe streets and opened in 1870.|
|THEN : The southern exterior of Government House, showing the conservatory in the foreground and the southern tower of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in the background.|
|THEN : Lord Grey, the Governor General of Canada (seated at centre), and his wife, Lady Grey, visiting Sir Mortimer Clark (seated next to Lord Grey), the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, at Government House in 1905.|
|THEN : The dining facilities within the conservatory.|
|THEN : Another view of the Drawing Room.|
|THEN : The viceregal bedroom, located upstairs.|
|THEN : Above, two photographs of the lieutenant governor's office.|
Only a few decades after this Government House opened in 1870, the development of railways and industry in the surrounding area prompted the provincial government to search for a more gentile location for Government House. The house was sold to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1912 and demolished in 1915. It's an unspeakable tragedy that this mansion, which was purpose built to house Ontario's representative of the King or Queen, and to entertain diplomats from across the world as well as the leaders of business, industry, culture and education here at home, didn't even last to see fifty years. Instead, it fell victim to the industrial urban sprawl that had spread around it.
|THEN : This photography from 1911 shows one of the last garden parties held on the front lawn of Government House. The estate would close the next year.|
|THEN : This dinner party was held on April 29, 1912. It was the last state dinner to be held at this Government House, before it was demolished.|
|NOW : Today, Roy Thomson Hall stands on the site formerly occupied by both Elmsley House, and then, the Government House that stood here from 1870 to 1915.|
This St. George Street estate was dubbed "Pendarves" by its original owner, Frederick William Cumberland, although today it is more commonly known as "Cumberland House". Cumberland was a senior partner in the renowned Toronto architectural firm of Cumberland & Storm. He designed the home himself, and it was completed in 1860. The Italianate style villa faced east, towards the University of Toronto campus. When he moved into this house, Cumberland had just completed his work as principal architect for University College, which is now one of the oldest surviving buildings on the campus.
|THEN : "Pemdarves", or Cumberland House, 33 St. George Street.|
Although it was only meant to be used as a temporary home for Government House, Cumberland House did serve for a few years as another link in the chain of viceregal residences, dating back to those basic barracks that housed Simcoe in the last decade of the 18th century.
|THEN : Ontario's Lieutenant Governor, Sir John Morison Gibson, with American President William Howard Taft, on the steps of the St. George Street Government House in 1912.|
Cumberland died in 1881, and his home was substantially redesigned in 1883 by his old partner, William Storm. After the home's tenure as Government House, from 1912 until 1915, the house was eventually bought up by the University of Toronto, in 1923. It now serves as the University's International Students Centre.
|NOW : Cumberland House today, as the University of Toronto's International Student Centre.|