The breakthrough to this mystery building came when I found it on Google Street View. On my iPad, I navigated around the building to the Bethune Street side where I saw an entrance door with a house number (hidden here by a tree). Eureka. It was in fact a house on Bethune Street, not a mystery building on Edinburgh!
This house is another case of an unusual placement, with the property not facing the street. Placing the house in this direction gave it the best vantage point for a magnificent view of Peterborough from this hill. The house was built in the 1880s by James R. Donnell Jr., partner in the construction firm Donnell and Stabler. The house backs on to Edinburgh. Originally there was a good sized front garden that overlooked a Donnell Family compound, comprised of a modest 1870s brick house also built by James Junior, and his father James Donnell Senior's 1840s family homestead cottage to the south. Both these houses are still standing, but the family homes have been separated by newer houses that were built after the land was subdivided.
This little mystery was solved by literally looking at it from another direction!
This lovely gothic style home was built c. 1887, about twenty years older than I thought. It was originally a caretakers lodge for the George A. Cox estate, and was sold to William Morrow after Cox's death. The gorgeous barge board trim is original.
Four Victorian era public schools are still
standing in Peterborough.
Central School started as a log cabin that doubled as a
church on Sundays.The first brick
building, Peterborough Union School (1860), included both elementary and high
school, and was an Italianate building with a four-storey central tower.The tower was unfortunately deemed unsafe and
cut in half in the late 1960s.
In 1871, a second building for elementary students was added
to the west, and the first building was used for the high school.The new building was expanded in 1891.By 1895, it was necessary to also rent a
manor house on George Street (Menzies House, demolished in the mid 20th
century) to accommodate the student overflow.Plans were made to erect a new high school.Peterborough was a relatively wealthy town,
but the project still took over a decade to complete.The new high school (Peterborough Collegiate)
was finally opened on McDonnel Street in 1908.