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Second Empire

Surviving History: The Winchester Hotel of Parliament Street

The Winchester Hotel is a three-and-a-half storey red brick structure, adjoined to the equally renowned Winchester Hall, located at the south-east corner of Parliament and Winchester. Sometimes referred to as the Lake View Hotel, architects Kennedy and Holland completed the building’s construction in 1888, contributing a much needed low-rise lodge to the neighbourhood. In 1941, architect Benjamin Swartz altered the hotel’s interior, changing the design to fit the tropes of the Art Moderne style. Today, the Winchester Hotel is still opened for business and stands as a fundamental Second Empire example in Cabbagetown, despite alterations to the interior. Key Characteristics ... Read More »

A Second Empire in Cabbagetown

Second Empire architecture is among the most popular styles that can be found throughout Cabbagetown and in many other districts of Toronto. Originally introduced at the end of the 19th century, many luxury homes were built in accordance to this style. Of course, this was not always the case, and there are many modest homes in the city that resemble the characteristics of Second Empire architecture. 130 Amelia Street One example of a Second Empire heritage home in Cabbagetown is 130 Amelia Street, another property a part of the Metacalfe Heritage Conservation District. As can be seen with the predominant black ... Read More »

Cabbagetown’s Second Empire

Developed during the age of Napoleon III’s Second Empire in France, and appropriately named after its origins, the Second Empire architectural style was introduced to Canada in the late 19th century.    Although best suited for large public buildings, Second Empire structures were used residentially as well.  Many wealthy, famous individuals during this time requested that their homes be built in accordance to this lavish style. Due to the boxy, symmetrical nature of the Second Empire it is easily mistaken for an Italianate – but with one major difference, the mansard roof.  Because the roof is a dominant feature, the Second ... Read More »