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Winchester Hotel and Winchester Hall

531, Parliament St, Toronto, Ontario, M4X, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1985/08/14

North facade of Winchester Hall; Vince Pietropaulo, 2005
Winchester Hotel, 2005
Winchester Hotel, showing south wing (right) and Winchester Hall (left); Vince Pietropaulo, 2005
Winchester Hotel, 2005
Winchester Hotel, then known as Lakeview Hotel; Toronto Old and New, 1891
Winchester Hotel, 1891

Other Name(s)

Winchester Hotel and Winchester Hall
Lakeview Hotel

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1880/01/01 to 1888/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/09/14

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The imposing 3½-storey red brick Winchester Hotel with a 2½-storey red brick south wing, and the adjoining two-storey red brick Winchester Hall are located on the southeast corner of Parliament Street and Winchester Street in the Toronto neighbourhood of Cabbagetown.

The property is recognized for its heritage value by City of Toronto By-law 539-95.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of this establishment lies in its recognition as a well-known local hotel noted for its distinctive Second Empire style and well-appointed interiors previously renovated to reflect the Art Moderne style.

The property contains two buildings: Winchester Hall, built in 1880 and originally known as the Lake View Hotel, and the adjoining Winchester Hotel, constructed in 1888 in two sections and designed by the noted architectural firm of Kennedy and Holland. In 1941, architect Benjamin Swartz oversaw alterations to the site, including the addition of the current hotel sign and the Art Moderne interior.

The Winchester Hotel and Winchester Hall are local landmarks that form part of the important collection of intact Victorian buildings in Cabbagetown.

Source: Designation By-law #1995-0539

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that relate to the distinctive Second Empire style of the Winchester Hotel include:
-pilasters, stringcourses and cornices
-slate-clad mansard roofs with gabled dormers and round-headed window openings
-corner tower with dome that provided the base for a lantern (the lantern has been removed)
-regular pattern of fenestration with stone lintels and sills
-two-storey bay window on the Winchester Street elevation
-ground-floor storefronts with entrances on Winchester Street and Parliament Street

Key elements that relate to the complementary design of the Winchester Hall include:
-the gable roof with bracketed eaves
-the entrances in the first floor
-the segmental-arched window openings with brick voussoirs and stone sills
-the interior elements including the second-floor Laurentian Room

Key elements that reflect the Art Moderne style of the 1941 Benjamin Swartz alterations include:
-the distinctive two-storey hotel sign and clock of the Winchester Hotel
-interior elements of the Winchester Hotel, including the lobby floor and staircase
-interior elements of the Winchester Hall, including the second-floor Laurentian Room

Key elements that reflect the contribution of the buildings to the Cabbagetown neighbourhood include:
-the 3½- and 2½-storey red-brick facades of the Winchester Hotel and the 2½-storey red-brick facades of Winchester Hall
- the orientation of the buildings on a corner lot, providing multiple entrances and storefronts on the primary elevations of Winchester Street and Parliament Street -brick clad facades of the Winchester Hotel




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services
Hotel, Motel or Inn

Architect / Designer

Kennedy and Holland; Benjamin Swartz



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Preservation Services, City Planning Division, City of Toronto

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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