Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario
Built from 1855, for Sir David Lewis Macpherson (1818-1896) and his wife Elizabeth Molson (1820-1894). Having made a fortune through the Montreal & Kingston Railway and the expansion of the Grand Trunk Railway, Macpherson commissioned the firm of Cumberland & Storm to build this sprawling brick Gothic-Revival mansion for his family. Facing Yonge Street, the house was shielded from the thoroughfare by a row of Horse Chestnut trees. The estate on which it stood was bounded by Yonge Street East between Roxborough Street and Rowanwood Avenue....
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Cumberland & Storm were then Toronto's pre-eminent architectural duo and at the same time as building Chestnut Park they were engaged by the University of Toronto and Upper Canada College. Having made his fortune, Macpherson entered politics and rose to become Speaker of the Senate but retired from the office of Minister of the Interior in 1885, officially due to ill health, but more over his poor management of the Métis that culminated in the Northwest Rebellion. His wife was a grand-daughter of John Molson, founder of Molson's Brewery. They summered on the Italian Riviera at San Remo where they both died, she first in 1894 and he two years later. Their children sold the estate to developers and the main house became the new home of St. Andrews College between 1899 and 1904. When the college moved to their campus north of the city, the mansion was demolished and today only Macpherson Avenue reminds us of its presence.
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Contributed by Mark Meredith on 12/11/2021 and last updated on 05/02/2022.
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