Description of Historic Place
The Carling House, located at 36 Grosvenor Street, is situated on the north side of Grosvenor Street, west of Richmond Street and east of St. George Street, in the City of London. The two-and-a-half-storey wood frame residence was constructed in 1886.
The property was designated, by the City of London in 1984, for its historic or architectural value or interest, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law L.S.P. – 2788-352).
The Carling House is part of an impressive streetscape within an older neighbourhood of primarily large and architecturally prominent houses. The style and age of the homes in this neighbourhood vary greatly, however, Grosvenor Street provides an interesting perspective into the housing choices of wealthy Londoners, over different periods of development, throughout the City's history.
The former Carling House is associated with the Carling family, prominent entrepreneurs, politicians and citizens, in the City of London. It was originally constructed in 1886 for William Percival, a London merchant who lived in the home, until his death in 1913. The home came into the possession of Thomas Henry Carling, for whom it is named, in 1927. Thomas Henry Carling was the grandson of the Carling Brewery and Malting Company founder, Thomas Carling, and the eldest son of Sir John Carling, a long-serving Conservative Member of Parliament, Cabinet Minister and Senator. Thomas Henry Carling, a onetime president of the family brewery, lived in the house at 36 Grosvenor Street until his death, in 1938, at which time his son, J. Innes Carling, the founder of the Carling Insurance Agency, became the sole owner. The house stayed in the Carling family until J. Innes's death in 1972.
The former Carling House was the first residence of the block, to be built on the north side of Grosvenor Street, between St. George and Richmond Streets. The development of this portion of Grosvenor Street, which took over 20 years, eventually linked two wealthy residential areas, one preceding north along Richmond Street from Oxford, the other along St. George Street via Talbot and Ridout Streets.
The Carling House is a unique example of Eastern Stick Style architecture with Victorian influences and is thought to be the only residence of this style in the City of London. The house features wood 'stick work' exterior sheathing and a combination of vertical, horizontal and diagonal boards stretched over horizontal wood siding. The Victorian influence is evident in the asymmetrical composition, the steeply-pitched slate roof, the verandah and the eaves brackets.
Source: City of London, By-law L.S.P. – 2788-352.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Carling House include its:
- wood board and siding construction
- asymmetrical composition
- 'stick work' exterior sheathing
- vertical, horizontal and diagonal boards
- steeply-pitched slate roof
- verandah with gable and turned corner posts on façade
- eaves brackets
- oversized structural corner posts
- location within a neighbourhood of large, old and architecturally prominent houses
- siting within the streetscape