The study team presented their draft recommendations to the Casa Loma Community Advisory Group on May 10, 2018, for feedback and discussion. A summary of the meeting can be found on the meetings and events page. The proposed HCD boundaries, heritage attributes and contributing properties are noted below. This information, along with the history, character and planning analysis and evaluation, will be available for review and comment at the Casa Loma HCD Study open house on June 20.

The consultant team has identified two separate HCDs within the larger study area: Hilton Avenue, and Wells Hill Avenue. These two streets retain a high degree of integrity as representative examples of early 20th century residential development in the city of Toronto.

This is a photograph of Hilton Avenue
Streetscape of Hilton Avenue, looking south

Hilton Avenue is a largely homogeneous street of 2.5 storey Edwardian houses that were built between 1911-1919 as a residential subdivision. Its heritage character is defined by a strong streetwall with minimal setbacks, articulated by front porches with gabled entrances, bay windows and front gable or dormer windows, contributing to a strong sense of place.

This is a photograph of Wells Hill Avenue
Streetscape of Wells Hill Avenue, looking south

Wells Hill Avenue, in contrast, is a bucolic street of 2.5 – 3 storey houses designed in a variety of period revival styles and built between 1910-1929. It has a well-defined streetscape that incorporates garden suburb principles, with varying setbacks, landscaped front yards, a mature tree canopy and sidewalks on one side of the street. The street is enclosed at both ends, creating a sense of enclosure separate and apart from its surroundings.

This is a map showing the two proposed HCDs, and contributing properties

Properties within the proposed Hilton Avenue and Wells Hill Avenue HCDs were individually evaluated to determine whether they contribute to the neighbourhood’s heritage value. Contributing properties (shown in blue) 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 proposed HCDs’ period of significance (1910-1929); and
  • maintain their integrity and have not been significantly altered as seen from the street

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 motifs, to overall spatial patterns, such as street layout and topography.

Hilton Avenue

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

  • The consistency of the distinct Edwardian two-bay houses with some semi-detached houses of a similar style
  • The consistency of the character on both sides of the street
  • The consistency of lot sizes and property frontages
  • The consistency of the street wall created by the 2-3 m setbacks of the 1910-1919 houses
  • The consistency of the low-rise scale of houses, generally 2-2.5 storeys tall
  • The predominant use of brick cladding with stone, stucco and wood shingles detailing
  • The predominant front and side-gable roof rhythm
  • Central dormer windows or central windows in front gables
  • Bay windows, often 2-storeys tall
  • The predominance of front porches with gabled entrances and brick-based pillars

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

  • Hillcrest community school at 44 Hilton Avenue, an important neighbourhood institution and community landmark
  • The consistent streetscape of distinct Edwardian two-bay houses constructed between 1910 – 1919, representative of Toronto middle class housing from the early 20th century

Wells Hill Avenue

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

  • The streetscape reflective of garden suburb principles with large front yard setbacks of varying depths and extensive soft landscaping
  • The side yard setbacks that give each home a strong individual identity and reinforce the bucolic landscapes and streetscape of houses set within a natural environment
  • The absence of sidewalks from one side of the street
  • The defined streetscape enclosed at both ends by T-intersections
  • The mature tree canopy with several rows of trees in front of houses
  • The consistency of historic homes from the 1910s and 1920s and that have a high degree of integrity
  • The consistency of early 20th century architectural styles, namely English Cottage (with Tudor influence) and Colonial Revival (with Georgian and Edwardian influence)
  • The predominantly low-rise scale of houses, generally 2.5 storeys tall
  • The general use of brick, stone and stucco
  • The gabled and hip roofs
  • The strongly expressed front entrances, often with porches

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

  • Toronto architect Herbert Robert’s design and plan for 16 – 30 Wells Hill Avenue, where 16 and 30 Wells Hill Avenue book end the deep setbacks of 18 – 28 Wells Hill Avenue creating a perceived communal front garden with a double row of oak trees

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

  • The defined and enclosed streetscape of early 20th century homes with a high degree of authenticity and integrity
  • The contributing houses set back from the street with large front gardens creating a bucolic setting

Through the course of the built form and landscape survey, community consultation and historic research, the consultant team has identified a number of individual properties within the study area that warrant further research to determine whether they merit inclusion on the City’s Heritage Register. These properties will be reviewed by Heritage Preservation Services against the Criteria for Determining Cultural Heritage Value or Interest (Ontario Regulation 9/06) in 2019.

This is a map of properties within the Casa Loma HCD Study Area that are being recommended for further research