UrbanToronto has partnered with Heritage Toronto to capture a moment in Toronto's past. On a weekly basis, we will both be highlighting a historic photo of the city's people, places and events, and will be telling the stories behind them.

This week's photo: 

Jacob Strong House


Located on the grounds of York University’s Keele Campus stands an old home built for pioneers Jacob and Sarah Stong. Jacob Stong was a noted livestock judge, Justice of the Peace, and member of the York Pioneer Historical Society. He was born in 1821, the son of Daniel Stong who had large property holdings in York County. In 1816 Daniel began farming in Lot 25 that extended from what is today Keele to Jane streets along the south side of Steeles Avenue West. In 1854, Jacob took over the east portion of Lot 25, and constructed a 2 1/2 storey house on the south side of Steeles, west of Keele around 1860. His picturesque home is now recognized as an important heritage structure in North York. It features patterned brickwork, a steeply pitched gable roof, and a principal entrance that includes glass sidelights and transom. Also noted for its historical significance is a barn that Stong built near the house. Seen in this photo are unidentified people sitting stoically on the front verandah sporting the fashions of the day. The Jacob Stong House and barn remained in the hands of the Stong family until 1951. Then, in the early 1960’s, York University acquired more than 400 acres of farmland at Steeles and Keele Streets as the proposed new site of the Keele Campus of York University. Among the historic buildings incorporated into the campus was the Jacob Stong House and barn. They were restored and left in their original location, and have been used for a variety of purposes over the years including serving as a studio facility for the Faculty of Fine Arts. Stong College at York University was named in honour of the illustrious Stong family who were among the most noted settlers of the Keele and Steeles area.

Sources: http://www.yorku.ca/ycom/gazette/past/archive/081998/current.htm