Built between 1874 and 1876, the George Brown House is one of the best-preserved and documented urban examples of the Second Empire residential style in Ontario.
The house was built for George Brown, founder of The Globe newspaper (now the Globe and Mail), and was originally named Lambton Lodge. From 1889 to 1916, Duncan Coulson, president of the Bank of Toronto, occupied the house and remodeled the dining room in an Art Nouveau style. After Coulson’s death, a three-story school for the blind was built at the back of the house. A school for developmentally challenged children later took its place until it was demolished in 1984; the replacement school now wraps around the restored George Brown House property.
The house was declared a National Historic Site in 1976, but was threatened with demolition only a decade later. Ontario Heritage Trust researched and restored the 9,000 square-foot house between 1987 and 1989, and features walls four bricks thick, sandstone trim, a slate roof, and 15 fireplaces. A Victorian library has been recreated by the federal government and now houses 2,000 of George Brown’s personal books.
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