The Scadding townhouse & Scadding cabin connect us to Toronto’s past

TRINITY SQUARE, cradled by the Eaton Centre and a stone’s throw from City Hall, was home to the Reverend Henry Scadding from 1862 to 1901.  His modest brick townhouse <ABOVE>, with its little balcony, sits between downtown’s largest indoor shopping centre and Church of the Holy Trinity.

This Gothic Revival church <PHOTO BELOW> was built in 1847 by architect Henry Bower Lane, with funds provided by Mary Lambert Swale of Sette, England.  Holy Trinity was the fourth Anglican church in Toronto, after St. James Cathedral, Little Trinity and St. George the Martyr.  HENRY SCADDING, a native of Devonshire, came to Upper Canada in 1821.  He was educated at Cambridge University and Upper Canada College, and was ordained to the Anglican priesthood in 1838.  In that same year, he was appointed Master of Classics at Upper Canada College, and nine years later rector of  the Church of the Holy Trinity –  next door.  He served until 1875.  The townhouse, which complements the church, was designed by Scottish architect William Hay.  In this house, Scadding wrote numerous religious, literary and historical works, including his best-known books, ‘Toronto of Old’(1873) and, in collaboration with J.C. Dent, ‘Toronto: Past and Present’ (1884).TORONTO’s oldest house, the John Scadding Cabin, was constructed by the Queen’s Rangers in 1794.  JOHN SCADDING (1754-1824), clerk to Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe, and eventually the father of three sons, lived here in a single room.  The cabin, constructed of squared, white pine logs with dovetailed corners, was a typical settler’s first house.  <PHOTO BELOW>  It was originally on the east bank of the Don River.  In 1879, the York Pioneer Society moved the cabin to its present location at Exhibition Place – Toronto’s earliest example of architectural preservation.These buildings still exist – the Church of the Holy Trinity and Henry Scadding’s townhouse in Trinity Square; and John Scadding’s log cabin at Exhibition Place.  They’ve played an important role in building our city – and the church continues to do so today.