Toronto Through My Lens

The Cottages of St. Nicholas Street

On the charming little downtown street known as St. Nicholas Street, house numbers 45 to 63 are known as “The Cottages”.

In 1883, The Scottish Ontario and Manitoba Land Company built ten row houses on the east side of St. Nicholas Street and named each cottage after a tree: Beach, Birch, Spruce, Hazel, Rose, Maple, Ash, Ivy, Elm and Oak.  The properties were occupied by tenants, with occupations ranging from Saloon Keeper to Minister. The style of construction was Bay-N-Gable on a 18′ 10″ wide lot. These buildings have been designated under Part V of the Ontario Heritage Act.  A little alley called Cottage Lane provides access to the rear of the houses.

45 St. Nicholas Street
Beech Cottage and Birch Cottage
49-51 St. Nicholas Street
Spruce Cottage and Hazel Cottage
53-55 St. Nicholas Street
Rose Cottage and Maple Cottage
57-59 St. Nicholas Street
Ash Cottage and Ivy Cottage
61-63 St. Nicholas Street
Elm Cottage and Oak Cottage

A rare example of a surviving Victorian terraced row, 45-63 St. Nicholas Street is unique to say the least. The street sits just several hundred metres from Yonge and Bloor Streets, yet feels like a quaint neighbourhood block. St. Nicholas Street was, in fact, originally an alley lane before the row was constructed in 1884.

3 Comments

  1. David

    I walked by these cottages every day when I worked at Bloor/Bay. I loved this street and these wonderful little cottages. Right in the middle of the city, it was quiet and relaxing.

  2. Bob K

    These are very charming survivors. I remember, however, when a condo was to be built just aside them, the neighbourhood was blanketed in posters with a drawing that showed the cottages in a row, and a towering building beside. It was a ridiculous , cherry picked version of a neighbourhood already rife with tall buildings. And there’s nowhere that is more appropriate for density that just off Yonge. I felt the diagram, if coming from someone in one of the cottages, revealed a grotesque amount of privilege on the part of the homeowner.

  3. Despina Kyraleos

    I love these cottages, so charming. Too bad they are surrounded by condos. They remind me of the Victorian houses in Melbourne Australia

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