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Victorian and early 20th century housing styles in Toronto


Firstly my apologies for jumping into this thread, and if there is a more appropriate forum or thread for my needs then I'd be delighted to learn of it. This is a rather unusual query but there is an outside chance that someone here may be able to help. Here goes:

Over thirty years ago I acquired a postcard (scanned below) from an aged relative containing a picture of an unknown property. The message side of the postcard contains the text "Here is our new address" in pencil, together with the printed text "Made in Canada"; the problem is that no address is actually written. The house is numbered 61 (but might be 67) and the plaque to the right of the front door bears the text "Albert FISH, Teacher of Music". This name is enough to indicate that this is a distant ancestor of mine and by a circuitous route I have lately discovered that he was living in Chester Avenue, York South, Toronto in the 1921 Census. I have no date for the postcard in question but it was given to me with other postcards that are suggestive of the 1920s.

I have recently looked at 61 Chester Avenue using Google Street View to find that this property is similar to that on the card (the roof line and side overhang being different) but I then find that numbers 67 and 69 Chester Avenue are even more (!!) similar, although still not quite right as the roof windows are not quite in the same position (being separate [Google] rather than between the front doors [postcard]). This leads me to the belief that the property in the postcard is likely to be somewhere in the vicinity and probably constructed by the same builder. You can guess what's coming...

Does anybody recognise where this property might actually be?

Thank you for reading this far and my further thanks if you are able to give it some thought and some possibilities for me to point Google Street View at.

Bristol, UK



  • UnknownProperty.jpg
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Hard to say. You could try to continue looking in that area, but that housing type is pretty common in many neighbourhoods of Toronto. It's what was referred to by "Edwardian style" earlier in this thread. Having a pair of semi-detached homes where the roof windows are attached like that is somewhat unusual, so that's a distinguishing characteristic you can use to try to find the building.

But there are other neighbourhoods to look in. Chester Ave is in the Playter Estates neighbourhood, but you should have similar looking homes to the south in Riverdale and Leslieville, and to the southeast in the Beaches, as well as in the west end of Toronto, ex:,-79.4759105,151m/data=!3m1!1e3!1syA0SrK4k7E-Ag7HUycec2g!2e0!7i13312!8i6656
Hi Memph,

Many thanks for your constructive gives me a few places to while away the hours in a search! At least the haystack appears to be getting smaller. I've found the family at 773 Millwood Rd in voters' listsfrom 1935 - 1949, but this is a very different type of property.

Thanks again for taking the trouble to reply,

(Bristol UK)
I know there's a map out there that maps buildings according to when they were built (a different colour for each 1-2 decades roughly) that would help give you an idea of which neighbourhoods have the most homes that look like that. I would say mostly 1900-1920 is when they were built, with maybe a few a decade before or after. I forgot the link though, maybe someone else knows which map I'm talking about.

I am now feeling somewhat smug because I have managed to identify the house as being number 61 Cavell Avenue. I had been able to find a few on-line digitised Toronto directories for that period which listed Albert Fish as a music teacher at this address in 1919...and Google Street View confirmed that this was the house in question. It's only taken me thirty-odd years - how efficient is that? - so I'd better go for a cold shower before the excitement gets too much for me.

Many thanks once again for your interest, together with my best wishes.

Bristol UK
Glenn Taylor,

I hope that you will see this thread although it is over a year old! I couldn't believe that I have finally found someone that can hopefully solve a mystery that I have been trying many years to solve. You see, I actually have this postcard too and I have searched in vain to find what happened to these people - Albert and Rose Fish. Please reply if you read this - I have quite a story to tell!

Eleanor Wilson
York UK.
Thank you but sadly, I haven't had a reply yet. Is there a way to private message on this forum?
There is but "Glenn Taylor" does not seem like a forum regular (only 2 posts). You might have better luck searching for someone with this name in Bristol UK?
UserNameToronto can now sleep soundly :) in the knowledge that Eleanor and Glenn are now in email contact.

(Bristol UK)

PS. Thanks, guys, for paying your local taxes which I presume contributed towards the cost of digitising and placing on-line of those Toronto directories that enabled me to solve this mystery.