The former Garibaldi House is located at 302 King St E (at Berkeley St on the northeast corner) in the Old Town neighbourhood of Toronto.
The Garibaldi House – Built in 1859
Built in 1859 with a roughcast exterior, the tavern was operated by J Matthews. It’s situated on the bend of King St E. For travellers heading east, that jog in the road meant it was the last street leading out of Toronto. Before their journey, a traveller could stop there and rest. Several inns and taverns were in the area to ease the difficult horse ride across the province to Ottawa and beyond. For those travelling west, that bend in the road also meant they’d reached the gateway into Toronto. The tavern was named after Giuseppe Garibaldi, an Italian General. At some point, the building became home to the druggist, R. Oliver.
302 King St received heritage status in 1973. Today Neglia Design, a graphic design agency, occupies the historic property.
55-77 Berkeley Street Workmen’s Cottages
From 55 to 79 Berkeley St on the east side, between King and Adelaide Sts E, there is a row of 13 grey-stucco houses. These simple workmen’s cottages were constructed for John Irwin in 1871/72. They reflect the working-class character of the neighbourhood in the late 19th century. Their early occupants would have included labourers, distillers and machinists.
In 1969, architect Joan Burt renovated and restored the row houses. Ms Burt was the 21st woman to graduate from the University of Toronto’s architecture program (1956). She fought to save the city’s historic structures and other heritage properties. The row of houses received heritage status in 2011.
Across from them at the southwest corner of Berkeley St and Adelaide St E is the Alumnae Theatre Company, originally the Berkeley Street Fire Hall No. 4.
Did You Know?
Berkeley St was originally called Parliament St. In the late 1700s, it was home to the town of York’s first Parliament buildings (just south of where Front and Berkeley Sts cross today). Major John Small had a home at the southwest corner of King and Berkeley Sts. He named it the Berkeley House after the town he came from in England. It was demolished in 1925.