BET U DIDNT KNOW: SOMEBODY CUT A HOUSE IN HALF
The address: 54 1/2 St. Patrick Street
The claim-to-fame: It’s half a house!
St. Patrick Street near Queen and University (OCAD area) is a pretty boring street. Between apartment buildings and parking lots, there is a strip of semi-detached Victorian houses. And at the end of this strip is…half a house. It was built around 200 years ago, and during a construction boom in the 1970s, when Village by the Grange was being built, someone literally cut this house in half. Developers tried to buy the entire row of houses to demolish them. The owners of this house, the Valkos family, refused to sell the house. After a heated battle and plenty of paperwork, the developers tore down the house on the north side and proceeded with their construction plans. Years later, the house on the south side was also torn down, and then rebuilt to what you see today.
As you can see in this photo from the City of Toronto Archives, this house was in the “slums”. Today, it stands next to a parking lot, and an office building.