ERA Architects
The Selby front facade

The Selby

The Gooderham Mansion is a landmark building on the corner of Sherbourne and Selby Streets in Toronto’s St. Jamestown neighbourhood. Now a mixed-use space, the top two floors of the building are used as amenity space for The Selby, a purpose-built rental tower developed by Tricon Capital. The ground and basement floors house a restaurant and retail space.

Built in 1883, the Gooderham Mansion had many uses over the years. Built for Charles Gooderham, a member of one of Toronto’s most famous families, it was briefly the second home of prestigious all-girls school Branksome Hall before becoming the Selby Hotel in 1912. As the Selby Hotel, the Mansion was regarded as a centre of cultural life in the city, hosting the likes of Ernest Hemingway, who called the Hotel home during his brief career at the Toronto Star in the 1920s.

An interior of the Selby

Nathan Cyprys

Designed by famed architect David Roberts Jr., also credited with Toronto’s iconic Flatiron Building, the Mansion is particularly noteworthy for its application of decorative brick, stone and woodwork, and surviving original interior features, making it an excellent representation of Queen Anne Revival styling.

The Selby hotel

Nathan Cyprys

ERA ‘s work on The Selby project focused on the rehabilitation and restoration of the Mansion in order to uphold the key architectural features of the building and ensure it maintained street level uses accessible to the public. This included moving the retained structure – twice – before settling in its new final location, east and north of its original placement.

Once in place, the relocated Gooderham Mansion was repaired and its designated heritage attributes – both interior and exterior – carefully restored, with the west wall being rebuilt with salvaged materials, and a link created to connect the new residential tower to the Mansion.

The Selby Hotel and link to the apartment tower

A hallmark heritage attribute of the building is the significant tuckpointing on the Mansion. A popular technique used prominently in the 19th century, tuckpointing was executed on the entirety of the Mansion’s exterior, making it the largest fully tuckpointed project of its kind in Canada.

The new Selby breathes life into Sherbourne Street, serving as a landmark of the historic area and marking the neighbourhood’s return to its roots as a gateway to some of Toronto’s most important character neighbourhoods including Rosedale, Yorkville and Cabbagetown.

Visit the Selby website for more.