311 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario
This house is best associated with...
Charles Coxwell Small
Lt.-Col. Charles C. Small, of Toronto; Chief Clerk of the Executive Council
After Small died in 1831, the house was inherited by their younger son, Charles Coxwell Small, who also succeeded his father as chief clerk to the Executive Council. He enlarged the house into a "rambling villa" of 13-rooms (the largest of which was 18-by-45-feet) by adding a wing and giving it a fashionable makeover with Gothic-style windows. He lived here with his wife and seven children. The farm still consisted of just under 500-acres and Charles raised prize-winning cattle and held ploughing matches in his fields.
By 1870, what was once quiet countryside - where Charles had grown up shooting quail among the beds of wild asparagus - had now become home to factories and mills and his heirs subdivided the home into three which they leased to various tenants. However, the land around "Small's Pond" (created by Charles when he dammed Woodbine Creek) was opened up to the public by his son, Charles Jr., in 1896 and became known as "Small's Park," popular for boating, fishing, skating, and cycling for nearly 30-years.
In 1925, the old villa (which had by then fallen into a poor state of repair) and what remained of the land around it was purchased by The Copland Brewing Co. and it was demolished that year. It wasn't until 2012 when the new Globe and Mail Centre was built in it place that the foundation was unearthed and excavated.
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