The Cabbagetown Southwest HCD Study recommended that an HCD plan be developed for Cabbagetown Southwest, based on the identified cultural heritage value and heritage attributes of the neighbourhood and in accordance with the Ontario Heritage Act and the City of Toronto’s terms of reference for HCDs. It also identified a draft list of properties that contribute to the heritage value of Cabbagetown Southwest. You can learn more about the boundary, heritage attributes and contributing properties below.

The boundary includes 603 properties, including the Ontario Street Parkette, and has been extended to include Anniversary Park at the intersection of Gerrard and Parliament Streets, as well as the property at the northwest corner of Gerrard Street East and Parliament Street.

The proposed boundary excludes properties fronting Poulett, Shuter, and Milan Streets (except for 270); as well as the properties fronting Berkeley Street south of address numbers  230/249C, and properties fronting Ontario Street south of address numbers 218/219. This area was excluded as it was primarily developed outside the district’s period of significance (1856-1945), however individual properties within the area have been identified for further research and potential individual inclusion on the Heritage Register.

This map shows the proposed boundary of the Cabbagetown Southwest HCD

The district’s Cultural Heritage Values are based on:

  • Its design and physical value relating to a high degree of craftsmanship evident in the detailing of the brickwork, wood work, bay window treatments, roofs, porches, windows, and doors; and its concentration of Victorian Bay and Gable residences and late 19th and early 20th century architectural styles that represent Toronto’s early residential development
  • Its historical and associative value relating to its history as a diverse socio-economic neighbourhood; and its street and laneway configurations reflecting the original Park Lot subdivision
  • Its contextual value relating to the cohesive architectural character from a narrow period of development; and its consistent building heights, articulation, massing, and use of material
  • Its social and community value associated with existing and historic institutions that have served the neighbourhood

Heritage attributes are the physical, spatial and material elements within the district that convey its heritage character and that should be conserved. They include buildings, streets and open spaces that are a collective asset to the community. Heritage attributes can range from physical features, such as building materials or architectural features, to overall spatial patterns, such as street layout and topography.

Heritage attributes that embody the historical and associative values of the district include:

  • The extant long narrow blocks that reflect the original park lots’ subdivision
  • The narrow lots that reflect the subdivision and development of the era
  • The mixture of housing typologies that reflect the historic socio-economic diversity
  • The historic and existing institutions and industries within the neighbourhood

Heritage attributes that embody the design and physical values of the neighbourhood include:

  • The low rise predominant scale (1-3 storey residential and commercial buildings)
  • The proportion of the streetwall to the street
  • The fine grain buildings with their 2 storey main wall and distinct roof expression
  • The balance between cohesive architectural expression of the built form and the distinct and unique architectural details of individual buildings
  • The relationship of the building entrances to grade
  • The buildings built to their side lot line or with narrow sideyard setbacks that help define a continuous streetwall
  • The datum lines and rhythm created by the soffits punctuated with front gables
  • The articulation of the elevations with bay windows and porches
  • The vertical expression of the elevations accentuated by narrow lots, vertical rectangular windows, steeply pitched gables, and bay windows
  • The relatively similar (2-3 metre) setbacks of all houses
  • The historic architectural styles: Victorian, Second Empire, Italianate, Georgian
  • The concentration of Second Empire and Italianate buildings on the commercial streets
  • The predominance of gable roofs, with the exception a few localized mansard roofs
  • The predominant use of brick, and the overall quality of the ornamentation of masonry, including the use of polychromatic brickwork and stone detailing; as well as intricate and decorative woodwork

Heritage attributes that embody the contextual value of the district include:

  • The cohesiveness of its built form
  • The long residential and commercial streets with consistent heritage character
  • Its relationship to the rest of Cabbagetown
  • Its contrasting scale in relation to the adjacent areas of urban renewal

Heritage attributes that embody the social and community values of the district include:

  • The historic and existing institutions that have served the neighbourhood including the Lee School, Central Neighbourhood House, The Toronto Public Library, the Yonge Street Mission, St. Michael’s Homes, Street House Community Nursing, and Children’s Book Bank, to list a few
  • The mixture of housing typologies that reflect the historic socio-economic diversity

Properties within the Cabbagetown HCD were individually evaluated to determine whether they contribute to the neighbourhood’s heritage value. Contributing properties are those that have design, historic and/or associative value and that contribute to the neighbourhood’s heritage character.

Properties were identified as contributing if they satisfied the following criteria:

  • Constructed during the Development and Intensification (1856-1919) or the Residential Decline and Industrialization (1920-1945) periods
  • Is a prevailing typology such as Bay and Gable or Ontario Cottage; and/or
  • Maintains its integrity and/or has contextual value as part of a row of historic buildings