Friday, November 25, 2011

Lake Shore Road/Sussex Drive Homes - 1926

Harold R. Watson, Architect - Lake Shore Road/Sussex Drive Project
base map courtesy of Toronto Maps

In 1926 the large lakefront estate lot on the south east corner of Church Street (present day Royal York Road) and the Lake Shore Road (present day Lake Shore Blvd West) was subdivided by Plan M 494.

Harold R. Watson, Architect was engaged to design the new houses for the majority of the lots.  Watson had already designed the homes on Eighth Street for the New Toronto Housing Commission in 1918, an unbuilt project on Murrie Street for the Mimico Housing Commission in 1919, as well as the Mimico Public School in 1922.  The construction of these smaller homes on this former Mimico Beach Estate lot was controversial, and Mr. Fetherstonhaugh on the adjacent Lynne Lodge Estate objected to the project.  However it went ahead anyway.

Watson was born in Toronto in 1895, the son of Albert Watson and Emma Wigley.  In 1916 he married Myrtle Irene Jack, daughter of John Jack and Sarah Dawson.   They went on to have five children together before her untimely death in 1928 of peritonitis following the birth of their last child.

The homes along present day Lake Shore Blvd W. and Sussex Drive show his skill as an architect.   The homes constitute a little country village, all executed in similar design and materials.  Their high pitched roofs and towering chimneys are distinctive, as is his use of brick on the first floor and stucco above.  The design employs many of the features he used in his Eighth Street project including exterior walls made of brick on the lower and stucco on the upper floor and small front porches that are covered by an extension of the roof line.  

The present day addresses include 2641, 2643, 2645, 2647 and 2649 Lake Shore Blvd. West as well as 2, 4 and 6 Sussex Drive.  The homes at 8 and 10 Sussex Drive were also part of this project but they were demolished in 2010 as part of the construction of a new house.

2 Sussex Drive
© Michael Harrison 2011

4 and 6 Sussex Drive
© Michael Harrison 2011

2641 Lake Shore Blvd. W.
© Michael Harrison 2011

2649 Lake Shore Blvd. West
© Michael Harrison 2011


  1. Great post! You should take a walk past this group of houses in a couple of weeks......2647 is having a facelift and should soon look a little closer to it's original appearance, with mock tudor half timbering and stucco.

  2. Donald:

    Congratulations to the owner on restoring the house to the original design by Harold R. Watson!