Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Playter Farmhouse

Take the house of an old family of Toronto settlers (the Playters - famously known for being successful dairy farmers and what's not), put it into one of the best 'hood in town (Playter Estate, right there in the Greek/Danforth area), what do you get????

Well, first you get a very impressive historical house. Nice enough to get "the plaque treatment and all. This red-brick, rectangular house, sitting at 28 Playter Cres is decorated with a white brick pattern. A "grande dame" who was built in the mid 1870's by John Lea Playter.

You can't really miss it right now... It's under a masive reno.

Actually, at this point I will call this an overhaul. I don't know who is the owner(s), but they have a vision, that's for sure. But is it the right one? Restaurating an historical structure is very noble, but changing it into a massive multi-something? Is that keeping the spirit of the place?

When you look at it from the front, not much has changed. They bricked the gables on the roof, but the house still has the same proportions. It's when you look on the sides that you discover this:

It's like if 2 houses were growing back there! Call me a purist if you want, but what is the point exactly? My first guest is to split it into many households. I see $$$ here. Very mad to see this "protected house" going down this route (thanks again Toronto to have such an eye for heritage). And I am not the only one to think so: while taking the above pictures a cyclist stopped to tell me how sad he is that they are doing that to the house.

Sadness... And nostalgia when you compare the now with the then, before the early 1900's alterations.


  1. I'm intrigued to go see this house now in person. In Lawrence Park, an area that I do love for the old(er) homes, and unique architecture - the homes are actually being torn down to build the most uninspiring homes that look exactly like eachother. As one builder I spoke to said..."It's cheaper to build new, than it is to fix the old"...which I find quite sad...that people will (a) tear down the old and (b) rebuild with such blah buildings.

  2. maybe a family bought the house?
    I heard the new owners have monopolies on Llama and Exotic Animal Farms throughout North America.

  3. SKRIBLIADO (scribble-lee-yah-doh) was the original family name before they adopted Playter. U kno.

  4. the wall is now destroyed - she put hoarding up around the property last week and that beautiful stone wall is now wrecked

  5. I wish I knew the plan ... if there is one!

  6. I wouldn't give up on the stone wall just yet. Yes, it is pulled down now, but the stones are still there. So it may be that they will reconstruct it. The bizarre oval cairn has been recently mostly dismantled. I heard on a ROM walk this weekend that it originated from a movie shoot years ago. It never did look historically accurate.

  7. My sister lived in this house about 20 years ago as a tenant. It was spectacular inside - but needed some love. One of the other tenants mentioned that to the owners (original Playter family members) and was immediately given his walking papers. They didn't want to make any changes.
    Interestng that they have now sold it to someone who clearly is gutting it and stripping it of all its history. Sad.