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In the matter of the Ontario Heritage Act
R.S.O. 1990 Chapter 0.18
City of Toronto, Province of Ontario

Notice of intention to designate

4700 Keele Street (Jacob Stong House and Barn)

Take notice that Toronto City Council intends to designate the lands and buildings known municipally as 4700 Keele Street (Jacob Stong House and Barn) under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.

Reasons for Designation

The Jacob Stong House and Barn on the Keele Campus of York University are worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, and meet the criteria for municipal designation prescribed by the Province of Ontario under the three categories of design, associative and contextual value. The Jacob Stong House (circa 1860) is a 2½-storey house form building that is located on the south side of Steeles Avenue West, west of Keele Street, and directly north of the Jacob Stong Barn (circa 1854). The Jacob Stong House and Barn are included on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value
The Jacob Stong House and Barn are located on the Keele Campus of York University, a significant institution in the City of Toronto that contributed to the growth in the 1960s of Canadian post-secondary education and the establishment of new university campuses outside traditional urban centres. After receiving its charter in 1959, York University offered its first classes at the University of Toronto (with which it was affiliated until 1965) before opening a campus at North York's Glendon Hall. As part of its development plans, in 1962 York University received over 400 acres of provincially-owned farmland near the southwest corner of Steeles Avenue West and Keele Street in North York as the site of the Keele Campus. The master plan guiding development on the campus preserved four historic buildings on the site, including the Jacob Stong House and Barn. With the official opening of the Keele Campus in October 1965, the Jacob Stong House and Barn were retained in their original setting and used for university housing, programming and services.

The Jacob Stong House and Barn are associated with members of one of North York's most prominent pioneer families. The buildings are located in Lot 25, Concession 4 West, of York Township, which extended from Keele to Jane streets along the south side of Steeles Avenue West. The property was associated with the Stong family since 1816, when Jacob's father, Daniel Stong, began farming the land (four surviving buildings at the west end of the lot associated with Daniel Stong now form the nucleus of Black Creek Pioneer Village). Jacob Stong acquired the east half of the lot in 1854, and it is hypothesized that the barn was constructed soon afterward. The house was in place by 1860 according to Tremaine's Map of Toronto and York County, and the Decennial Census of 1861 recorded Stong and his family as the occupants of the brick house. In addition to his farming activities, Jacob Stong was a reputed livestock judge and roofing expert who was purportedly active in barn raising. As a member of the York Pioneer Historical Society, Stong was instrumental in saving Scadding Cabin (1794), the oldest document log building in Toronto that was relocated to the grounds of Exhibition Place in 1879. The Jacob Stong House and Barn were retained by family members until 1951. The Jacob Stong House is an excellent example of a 19th century house form building that is distinguished by its pattern brickwork and Classical features. Its gracious period design is demonstrated by the decorative brick detailing applied to the walls and windows with quoins and lintels, the Classical returned eaves and brackets on the gabled roof, the quarter-round window openings on the end walls, and the centrally placed principal (north) entrance that incorporates glass sidelights and transom. Comparing the dwelling to Daniel Stong's original and second houses at Black Creek Pioneer Village, the Jacob Stong House is described as "the third and most architecturally refined domestic structure to be built by a member of the Stong family on the lands historically known as Lot 25, Concession 4" (Heritage Structure Report, Culture Branch, City of North York, September 10, 1996, 26).

Placed south of the house, the Jacob Stong Barn is a rare surviving example of an intact 19th century barn in the North York community, and one of few in the City of Toronto. The structure is distinguished by its sheer scale, heavy timber construction, and distinctive gambrel (double-sided) roof.

Standing in their original locations, the Jacob Stong House and Barn recall the historical character of Kaiserville, the farming community that developed around the intersection of Steeles Avenue West and Jane Street. For nearly half a century, the Jacob Stong House and Barn have contributed to the Keele Campus of York University.

Heritage Attributes
The heritage attributes of the Jacob Stong House are:

  • The scale, form and massing
  • Above a stone foundation, the 2½-storey rectangular plan with the two-storey rear (south) wing
  • The materials, with red and buff brick, wood, stone and glass
  • The steeply-pitched gable roof with returned eaves, mouldings and brackets (the east chimney is a replacement while the west chimney was removed)
  • The main entrance, which is centered on the principal (north) façade and features a flat-headed doorcase with a paneled wood door, original hardware, three-quarter-length sidelights, flat transom, and geometric glazing bars
  • The fenestration, with symmetrically placed flat-headed window openings with stone lintels and sills and six-over-six wood sash windows, and the quarter-round windows flanking the chimneys on the east and west walls
  • The details, with contrasting buff brick applied for the corner quoins and window detailing, the Flemish bond brickwork on the north facade, the wood supports for the verandah (now removed) on the north elevation, and the surviving shutter hardware
  • The 1½-storey rear (south) wing with its complementary cladding, detailing and, on the west wall, wood verandah
  • On the interior, the centre hall plan, the paneled staircase with balustrades and newel post, the plaster mouldings with the ceiling modillion (dating to the late 19th century) in the entrance hall, the first-floor fireplaces in the southwest and northeast rooms, the wainscoting in the first-floor rooms, and the paneled doors, baseboards, and door and window surrounds
  • The setting of the building in landscaped open space with the neighbouring Jacob Stong Barn directly south, and the remnants of a farm lane and orchard

The heritage attributes of the Jacob Stong Barn are:

  • The scale, form and massing
  • Above a stone foundation with openings, the rectangular plan
  • The log and heavy timber structure with vertical board cladding
  • The gambrel roof
  • The large entrance on the north façade with double wood doors
  • The setting of the building in landscaped open space, with the Jacob Stong House directly north, and the remnants of a laneway and orchard

Notice of an objection to the proposed designation may be served on the City Clerk, Attention: Francine Adamo, Administrator, North York Community Council, North York Civic Centre, 5100 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario M2N 5V7, within thirty days of the 18th day of December, 2009, which is January 18, 2010. The notice must set out the reason(s) for the objection, and all relevant facts.

Dated at Toronto this 18th day of December, 2009.

Ulli S. Watkiss
City Clerk


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