Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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O'Donohoe Row (Walnut Hall)
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted March 2017
This 2016 Heritage Toronto plaque attached to the brick wall at 110 Shuter Street on the northwest corner of Shuter and George streets has this to say:
In 1857, Alderman John O'Donohoe commissioned a row of four Georgian-style townhomes on this site and marketed them to wealthy buyers as O'Donohoe Row. Architect John Tully designed the homes with yellow buff brick, gable roofs, and dormer windows to distinguish them from the surrounding buildings.
In 1903, the row was converted to apartments and renamed Walnut Hall Apartment House. In 1973, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) purchased Walnut Hall. The City of Toronto leased the building from them and ran it as a low-income rooming house from 1974 to 1976. When the City did not renew its lease, the RCMP boarded up Walnut Hall. Both actions were criticized as a failure to address homelessness in the area.
Despite being on the City of Toronto's Inventory of Heritage Properties since 1973 and protected under the Ontario Heritage Act since 1997, the building was neglected for decades. The RCMP sold Walnut Hall in 1996. In May 2007, the building partially collapsed and was demolished.
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