A large portion of the properties on Amelia Street are either influenced by or are strict forms of the worker’s cottage (some times referred to as the working man’s cottage). We’ve reviewed many of these homes before — so it is now time to turn our attention on the comely blue-trimmed, white-walled rowhouses of Wellesley Cottages laneway, located north-east of the Sackville St. and Wellesley St. East crossing.
Dating back to 1887, the homes on Wellsey Cottages emit vibes of a small Victorian village, hidden off the main path, both beautiful and undisturbed. Each property is an idealistic example of the worker’s cottage: one-storey, narrow lot characterized by a steeply pitched gable facing the street. In addition, the properties are all divided by suburban white picket fences, a touch of modern life. The one property on Amelia street not entirely conformed to this style sits right at the front, detached and detailed with an amber roof. Besides aesthetics, however, most of these homes are made from the same materials (wood or stone) and are thus true forms of the worker’s cottage style.
The Worker’s Cottage in Canada
In Ontario, the Worker’s Cottage is the most common architectural style among small homes. Following the 1851 model, built at the Crystal Palace industrial exhibition in London, numerous Canadian and American architects quickly adopted the style’s proposed innovations — running water, internal sanitation, drafty corridors, and segregated living space all became desired amenities during this time.
Upon the publication of a Canada Farmer issue in 1965, which featured the construction patterns of the worker’s cottage, many Ontarians wished to construct their homes in a similar fashion, often influenced by other popular styles of the time. This is why, especially in Cabbagetown, there is a breed of worker’s cottage combined with the likes of Second Empire, Gregorian, and other popular Victorian styles. In saying this, the properties of Wellesley Cottage are largely traditional and can be admired for their natural worker’s cottage appearance.