283 Simcoe Street North

c. 1930-1958

In 1930, Charles & Mabel Robson had a house constructed at 283 Simcoe Street North. It was reported in the Oshawa Daily Times (3 Jan 1931, p. 5) that they received their building permit in July 1930 for $35,000.

Charles Robson was the president of Robson Leather. The tannery was descended from one of Oshawa’s earliest tanneries, the Bartlett Tannery.  James Robson and William Lauchland purchased the tannery in 1865 after the death of the both of the Bartlett brothers in 1862, thus beginning what is said to be the first big industry in Oshawa. Laughland retired around 1893, and James’s sons joined the firm around 1899. They inherited control of the business upon James’s death in 1905.

Charles was at the helm through the First World War when 70% of all upper leathers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) were produced at Robson.

The Robsons acquired the property from the estate of the Williams family (the family associated with the Williams Piano Company), Mabel’s parents. They had a home at this same address which was torn down to make way for their new house.

Charles passed away in 1935. Mabel was still living in the house up until 1956. In 1957, the City Directory shows Steve Marion at this address.

The house was torn down in 1958 to make way for an apartment building, but the impressive stone pillars and the wrought iron fence remain.


Oshawa City Directories, assorted years, 1921-1932; 1956-1958.

Information from the Oshawa Public Libraries, via https://images.ourontario.ca/oshawa/3204563/data

Oshawa Daily Times, 3 Jan 1931, p. 5

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Simcoe Street North 283
Oshawa L1G 4T5 ON CA
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