Bishop John Strachan's Palace

While the brick Georgian Palladian villa, home of the Reverend Doctor John Strachan, Toronto’s first Anglican bishop, has been described as a palace, it was his private property, not the church’s. and no other Anglican bishops lived there. Located on the north side of Front Street West, west of York Street, the property was bounded on its other sides by Simcoe and Wellington Streets.

When Strachan’s rented home burned to the ground in February of 1817, Lieutenant-Governor Gore ordered that its furniture be saved. Strachan then decided he would build an elegant brick house. It was a Georgian Palladian villa with three sets of windows on each side of the double front door. The door had a semicircular fanlight and the windows were shuttered. Above the front door, in the gable, was another semicircular window. A porch streached across the front of the house with a coverd part at the door.

The large entrance hall was flanked by a drawing room and a dining room. The house was rumoured to have cost £4,500. He used the furniture from the old house until he was able to purchase Gore’s furniture when the latter left York. Strachan was appointed Bishop of Toronto in 1839. He was instrumental in the founding of both The University of Toronto and Trinity University.

In 1832. Strachan gave the east half of his property to his son-in-law and in the 1840s, the northern part of the property was divided into lots. Strachan died on November 1, 1867. Later, the house was purchased by Sir John Carling. It was demolished in 1890. Information from “A Glimpse of Toronto’s History,” MPLS#218.