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A Brief History of 121 St. George Street at the


University of Toronto
121 St. George Street
The house was built in 1896 as a wedding gift for Lillian May
Gooderham, daughter of George Gooderham, the President of
the Gooderham and Worts, which was the
largest distillery in the British Empire. Lillian
married Charles William Beatty and they lived
at 121 St. George until their deaths, Charles
in 1958, and Lillian in 1967 at age 93. Lillian
had lived in the house for over 71 years. The University of
Toronto purchased the house on 23 September 1968 for
$310,000 ($2,105,000 in todays money). It housed the Media
Centre until 1992, when it became the home of the CIRHR
(previously at 123 St. George Street).

George Gooderham
1830-1905

The house was built in the Annex style and combines


Richardsonian Romanesque and Queen Anne Revival
architectural details. The rusticated masonry, the
Romanesque entrance arch and recessed door are typical of
Richardsonian Romanesque. The Queen Anne Revival
features include fishscale shingles, asymmetrical facades,
steeply pitched roof, a front-facing gable, and overhanging
eaves. In the late 1800s, St. George Street was considered
one of the wealthiest boulevards in the city and this house
was meant to impress.
121 St. George Street

Lillian (Mrs. Charles William Beatty) was the last surviving


daughter of George and Harriet Gooderham, and one of
eleven children. One of her main philanthropic interests was
the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and she was the
first president of the CNIB Womens Auxiliary. She and her
husband were avid hockey and football fans and were one of
the original subscribers to hockey at Maple Leaf Gardens,
occupying the same box since it was built in 1931. She was a
past president of the St. Pauls Anglican Womens Auxiliary
and a life member of the Toronto Hunt, the Toronto Golf Club,
the Toronto Ladies Club and Caledon Mountain Trout Club.
Harriet Dean Gooderham
1834-1907

Charles William Beatty was a Toronto barrister, educated at


Trinity College School, Upper Canada College, and the
University of Toronto, and was a graduate of Osgoode Hall.
He was a founder-member of the York Club, a life member
of the Toronto Gold Club, a member of the Toronto Hunt,
and of the Tadenac Club on Georgian Bay, where he had a
summer residence, and a member of the National Club.
Grave monument of Lillian and
Charles at St. James Cemetery,
Toronto

Toronto Hunt Club, 1877. This is a composite or collage pasted together out of many individual
photographs against a painted background. They include James G. Worts and George Gooderham, who
were Masters of Foxhounds for several years.

George Gooderham was 69 years old when he built his


house at 135 St. George Street in 1889, which was sold to
the York Club in 1909, four years after his death. The
house is a showcase of the Richardsonian Romanesque
style and reflects the wealth and status of the Gooderham
and Worts dynasty.
George Gooderham House
at the northeast corner of
St. George and Bloor Streets

Gooderham Flat-Iron Building


on Front Street, Toronto

The Gooderham and Worts corporate headquarters was the


famous Flat-Iron Building on Front Street, built in 1892. It is one of
Torontos historic landmarks and is an early example of a flat-iron
building, which has a triangular ground-plan. The Distillery Historic
District in Toronto is a retail and
entertainment complex within the
restored buildings of the former
Gooderham and Worts Distillery,
the largest collection of Victorianera industrial architecture in North
America.
The Distillery Historic District, Toronto