Public Notices & Bylaws

Notice of Intention to Designate - 698 Spadina Avenue

Notice of Intention to Designate - 698 Spadina Avenue

R.S.O. 1990 CHAPTER 0.18



Take notice that Toronto City Council intends to designate the lands and buildings  known municipally as 698 Spadina Avenue under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act,

The property at 698 Spadina Avenue (John James Funston grocery store/Ten Editions Bookstore) is worthy of designation under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value, and meets Ontario Regulation 9/06, the provincial criteria prescribed for municipal designation under all three categories of design, associative and contextual value.


The property at 698 Spadina Avenue contains the original John James Funston grocery store, constructed in 1885, as a three-storey, brick-clad building with a commercial unit on the ground floor and residential units on the upper two floors. Since 1984, the property has been known as the Ten Editions bookstore. The property is east and north of the Harbord Village Heritage Conservation Districts and on the western edge of the University of Toronto campus.

Statement of Cultural Heritage Value

The building has design value as an example of a late 19th century corner-store building type designed with a high degree of craftsmanship in the late Victorian style. The design value is evident in such elements as the characteristic recessed diagonal corner entry, the decorative wood elements of the shop front, window and door frames and in the variety of the brick cladding details on the east and south elevations.

The building has associative value with the late 19th-century development of the lands of the former Baldwin estate on either side of Spadina Avenue, between Bloor Street and College Street, which became known as the Harbord Village and Huron-Sussex neighbourhoods. As a corner store related to the adjacent residential community, it has the potential to yield information contributing to an understanding of the social and commercial aspects of urban life from the late 19th century to the present. Since opening it operated as a neighbourhood grocery store for 75 years, then as a laundromat and finally, since 1978, as a bookstore. The building has contributed to the cultural life of the Harbord Village neighbourhood as well as the adjacent University of Toronto community.

Contextually, the building is valued as a local landmark in the Harbord Village/University of Toronto neighbourhood, and sits in proximity to the Harbord Village Heritage Conservation Districts. It has provided a variety of commercial services which contributed to the vitality of the local community for over 130 years. Situated on the historic main thoroughfare of Spadina Avenue at the north-west corner with Sussex Avenue, the building has contextual value as it is visually, functionally and historically linked to its surroundings, maintaining the late 19th century character of the two streets and the adjacent neighbourhood.

Heritage Attributes

The heritage attributes of the property at 698 Spadina Avenue are:


  • The setback, placement and orientation of the building on the north-west corner of Spadina and Sussex avenues
  • The scale, form and massing of the three-storey building with a lower rear wing and a recessed diagonal corner entrance
  • The principal (east) elevation and side (south) elevation which are clad with brick, wood and metal
  • The arrangement of openings on the principal (east) elevation which includes the three equally spaced and identically sized windows at the second and third levels
  • The arrangement of window openings on the side (south) elevation including the blind opening at the second floor level which are aligned between the second and third floors
  • The large window opening on the side elevation, at the ground floor, with its wood frame comprising fluted pilasters and an entablature and projecting cornice
  • The buff brick and decorative brick details including the buff brick window heads and string courses, the decorative string courses of bricks set in relief patterns, and the pilasters with their upper molded corner details and the drop pendants at the third storey
  • The details of the roofline with its projecting cornice, paired and single brackets and parapet
  • The details of the shop opening on both the east and south elevations with the fluted pilasters, brackets, projecting cornice and on the north end of the east elevation small pediment detail above paired brackets
  • The metal column supporting the south-east corner


(The wood-clad sunroom addition, the garages and out buildings are not identified as heritage attributes)

Notice of an objection to the proposed designation may be served on the City Clerk, Attention:  Ellen Devlin, Administrator, Toronto and East York Community Council, Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West, 2nd floor, Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2N2, within thirty days of April 24, 2017, which is May 25, 2017. The notice of objection must set out the reason(s) for the objection, and all relevant facts.

Dated at Toronto this 24th day of April, 2017

Ulli S. Watkiss
City Clerk