Showing posts from March, 2017
The Water Street, south wing of The Commerce Building, one of two additions built by George A. Cox, circa 1890.

Peterborough has the most Victorian carriageways I’ve ever seen in one place.They are seen downtown in commercial buildings and former hotels.Originally built to give private access to courtyards and/or horse stables, they led to a place to keep the horse and carriage off the street.Today, all of them are still in use, giving access to private parking.The vehicles have changed, but the function remains the same.

215 Hunter Street West, carriageway of a former hotel built by Cornelius Halpin, circa 1880

Simcoe Street west of George, The CPR Hotel, circa 1888, built by Thomas Bradburn.The name and ownership has changed many times.

Simcoe Street east of George.  The string course has interesting decorations at both ends, shaped like birdhouses.

Charlotte Street west of George Street

The Suburb Surrounds the Mansion
Walking home on a warm February morning, I caught sight of the back of Moira Hall.I realized I never had a good look at it before, so I decided to go check it out.Originally it was a small Victorian mansion built on several acres, and I heard it served as one of Peterborough’s early hospitals. Following the death of the original owner, the house was purchased by George A. Cox, who planned to use it for the Dr. Barnardo children’s home.When these plans fell through, Cox divided up the land.The house and some of the grounds were bought by Mrs. Charlotte Jane Nicholls, who in turn donated it to the town as a hospital.Once again, the house proved too small for institutional use, and within four years, Mrs. Nicholls instead built the Nicholls Hospital in the north end.Moira Hall then became the Thomas E. Bradburn family home for more than forty-five years. Very few Victorian mansions escaped The Great Depression without being remodelled into apartments, or tur…
About Time Walker
I was maybe ten years old when I was first allowed to venture out on my own in downtown Peterborough.I remember taking a book of historic pictures on a walk one Saturday; The 1967 Centennial Committee Peterborough Land of Shining Waters.I tried to find as many places as I could that were still standing, and I saw how they had changed in the past hundred odd years.I was totally jazzed that I found as many as I did.I never stopped this hobby, and I continued with it on through the neighbourhoods of Toronto.
I’ve always been fascinated with the history of people and their architecture.I was raised in a succession of late Victorian and Edwardian houses, and my primary and high schools were Victorian and Edwardian respectively. I feel extraordinarily blessed to live in a town where so much history has survived.Unfortunately, Peterborough’s architecture is still gradually disappearing.Many buildings from my childhood have vanished through new construction, fires, neglect, an…