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Sisters of St. Joseph: Taylor House

Sisters of St. Joseph: Taylor House

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This building, sited on the east bank of Toronto’s Don River, was constructed in 1885 for John F. Taylor, founder of the Don Valley Brick Works. The building was designed in the Queen Anne style by architect D.B. Dick, and is constructed from local brick on a stone base.

Over many years of use, the building had undergone many additions that disguised its original design. As part of a new residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto, designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, ERA provided full architectural and heritage conservation services for the house’s renovation and integration with the new building, including:

  • extensive repair and refurbishment of masonry, windows, and doors,
  • replacement of finials,
  • restoration of fine ceiling and cornice plasterwork, and
  • design of new elevator addition.

Of significance in the renovation, ERA was enlisted to design replacements for stained glass windows that were missing from a principal elevation of the house. The simple design drew on colours and patterns from the remaining and original transom panes and merged with clear panes to open up an axial view and brighten the original formal staircase. These new forms were expertly realized by artisan John Wilcox, of Vitreous Glassworks, using his personal stock of salvaged antique glass.

Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto
Shim-Sutcliffe Architects
Andrew Pruss/Scott Weir


  • Architectural Conservancy of Ontario: Peter Stokes Restoration Award, 2014
  • Heritage Toronto: William Greer Architectural Conservation Award of Excellence, 2014
  • CAHP: Conservation of Buildings, 2014
  • World Architecture News: Best Hospital Upgrade, 2014
  • Governor General's Awards: Medal in Architecture, 2014
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority: City Living Award, 2014

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