Inclusion on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage
Properties - 30 Edwin Avenue (Davenport)
The Toronto Community Council recommends the adoption of the following report (May 25, 1998) from the
Managing Director, Toronto Historical Board:
This report recommends that the property at 30 Edwin Avenue be included on the City of Toronto Inventory of
Funding Sources, Financial Implications and Impact Statement:
1.That City Council include the property at 30 Edwin Avenue on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage
2.That the appropriate officials be authorized to take whatever action is necessary to give effect hereto.
In March, 1998, Heritage Toronto was requested to consider the property at 30 Edwin Avenue for inclusion on the
City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties.
As outlined in the attached report to the Board of Heritage Toronto (May 11, 998), Heritage Toronto staff
researched and evaluated the property according to the Board's criteria; it is worthy of inclusion on the Inventory of
Heritage Properties as a Neighbourhood Heritage Property (Category C).
A representative of Toronto Hydro, owners of the property, appeared at the May 20, 1998 meeting of Heritage
Toronto. Hydro does not object. Following the deputation, the Board recommended that the property be added to the
Inventory of Heritage Properties. The property at 30 Edwin Avenue (Toronto Hydro-Electric System Substation) is
identified for architectural reasons for its well-integrated design and its importance as a prominent feature in the
West Toronto neighbourhood.
Heritage Toronto recommends that City Council include the property at 30 Edwin Avenue on the City of Toronto
Inventory of Heritage Properties as a Neighbourhood Heritage Property.
Ms. Kathryn Anderson
Preservation Officer, Historical Preservation Division, Toronto Historical Board
Tel: 392-6827, ext. 239
(Report dated May 11, 1998, from the Managing Director, Heritage Toronto,addressed to the Chair and Members,
Toronto Historical Board)
That the property at 30 Edwin Avenue (Toronto Hydro-Electric System Substation) be recommended for inclusion
on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties.
In a letter dated March 27, 1998, the president of the West Toronto Junction Historical Society requested that the
property at 30 Edwin Avenue be included on the City of Toronto Inventory of Heritage Properties. The president of
the Toronto Region Architectural Conservancy, the Bloor-Junction Neighbourhood Coalition of Toronto, and Shim
and Jelly Company have sent letters supporting the request.
The property at 30 Edwin Avenue was evaluated according to the Board's criteria which indicates that it is worthy
of inclusion on the Inventory of Heritage Properties as a Neighbourhood Heritage Property.
A Property Research Summary is attached.
PROPERTY RESEARCH SUMMARY
Basic Building Data:
Address:30 Edwin Avenue (northwest corner of Edwin Avenue and Ruskin Avenue)
Current Name:Toronto Hydro-Electric System Substation
Historical Name:Toronto Hydro Junction Substation
Architect:Robert McCallum, City Architect
Contractor/Builder:Tengle and Son, contractors
Additions/Alterations:1916, 1920 and 1931, additions, A. E. Salisbury, City Architect, with J. M. Waterman ;
Date unknown, parts of copper cladding removed from cornice
Original Owner:Toronto Hydro-Electric System
Original Use:industrial (substation)
Current Use*:industrial (substation)
Heritage Category:Neighbourhood Heritage Property (Category C)
Recording Date:May 1998
*this does not refer to permitted use(s) as defined in the Zoning By-law
Property Research Summary
The property at 30 Edwin Avenue is identified for architectural reasons. The Toronto Hydro Junction Substation
was constructed in 1911 according to the designs of City Architect Robert McCallum. His successor, A. E.
Salisbury, worked in conjunction with J. M. Waterman to design complementary additions in 1916, 1920 and 1931.
The substation features the Classical detailing favoured for public buildings in the early 20th century. Constructed of
brick with stone detailing, the complex rises the equivalent of three stories (a one-storey addition on the north end is
not included as a significant element). Two shed-roofed skylights, three ventilators, and a flat-roofed clerestorey
survive on the roofs cover the different sections of the complex.
The different phases of the building are linked by the repetition of stone detailing: base, three belt courses, and
diamond patterns beneath a cornice. The principal (south) façade is organized in three stepped sections. At the east
end, the public entrance is placed at grade level in a coursed stone surround. Its Classical entablature is decorated
with courses of acanthus leaves and bead moulding, fleurs-de-lis, a rondelle with a Tudor rose, and a keystone with
a water motif. The round-arched entrance contains an elaborate metal door with glass panels, columns, sidelights,
and a round-arched transom with grillwork. At the west end of the wall, a freight door is placed in a stone surround
with mouldings, cornice and keystone. Above this entrance, a round-arched panel has brick and stone trim. The
panel contains a round-arched window opening with a metal sash window and a stone sill, and a date stone (1920).
In the remainder of the south wall, rectangular-headed window openings have stone detailing and metal sash
The east wall along Edwin Avenue continues the stone detailing introduced on the south end. This wall is organized
into a series of bays by round-arched panels with stone keystones and corner blocks. At the base of each panel, a
rectangular-headed window opening with a metal sash window is decorated with a stone label and sill. Between the
window openings, the walls display diamond-patterned brickwork. The pattern of round-arched panels with
rectangular-headed openings below is repeated on the west wall flanking the railway tracks and on the north wall.
However, on the latter walls, the round-arched panels contain both round-arched and rectangular-headed window
openings separated by decorative brick panels. On the interior, the entrance hall has a terrazzo floor with brass
strips, marble wainscotting, a staircase with a brass handrail, and a ceiling light fixture with a water motif.
The Toronto Hydro-Electric Substation is located at the southwest corner of Edwin Avenue and Ruskin Avenue.
With its well-integrated design, the building is an important feature of the West Toronto neighbourhood.
(Copies of map and photographs attached hereto, are on file in the office of the City Clerk.)