The “Quebec Street Apartments,” are examples of early 20th century apartment houses. They are 304 Simcoe Street South, (known as “The George”), 9 Quebec Street, (known as “The Amylene”), and 17 Quebec Street, (known as “The Edward”). Apartments like these were often designed with the middle class in mind, offering convenience and sophistication.
A building permit for these dwellings was issued in 1928 and first appeared in the tax assessment rolls in the following year. They were designed by Toronto architect, Mathers C. Haldenby and commissioned by Llewellyn Victor Disney, whose company, L.V. Disney Investments, owned the buildings until 1984.
In 1928, it was noted that they were to be constructed “with a view of giving a maximum amount of light and air.” The units, typically, consisted of “a large living room with dining alcove, kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom,” and many had murphy beds in the living room cupboard. Floors were oak, tiled in the bathrooms with “most modern plumbing features.” The kitchens boasted electric refrigerators and stoves, and there was laundry facilities available to tenants, “free of charge.”
These buildings fell into a state of great disrepair through the years.
In 2017, a new owner purchased the buildings which subsequently underwent significant repairs and renovations, striving to restore these buildings to their former glory. In 2022, the three buildings were designed under the Ontario Heritage Act as being of cultural heritage value or interest pursuant to the provisions of Section 29, Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.
It is believed that portions of the Amylene may be older than the 1920s. When the buildings were undergoing renovations in the late 2010s, it was noted that “the Amylene may have been part of an 1800s home as workers found handmade nails during the renovation.” There was a house constructed on the property in the late 1800s by the Gould family, with the address of 302 Simcoe Street South, and it is believed that elements of this house were incorporated into the construction of The Amylene.
Disney’s business also commissioned two other buildings in the late 1920s – 82-84 Simcoe Street South and the “Disney Building,” located at 27-33 King Street East.
Research Report, prepared for the City of Oshawa by Melissa Cole, accessed from: http://app.oshawa.ca/agendas/heritage_oshawa/2021/2021-01-28/report_htg-20-53.pdf
Reka Szekely, “Oshawa’s Quebec Street buildings rejuvenated as city sees apartment building boom,” Oshawa This Week, December 12, 2018, accessed from: https://www.durhamregion.com/news-story/9077664-oshawa-s-quebec-street-buildings-rejuvenated-as-city-sees-apartment-building-boom/December 12, 2018
City of Oshawa, Notice of the Passing of a By-law Under the Ontario Heritage Act – 304 Simcoe Street South and 9 and 17 Quebec Street, accessed from: https://www.oshawa.ca/Modules/News/index.aspx?newsId=0f663d42-bf93-43ad-96da-851995b691ea&fbclid=IwAR2h5pt7xMu-t85kRpfGFeloCN83ngXroox9irx7-ThZIG1xQY_Ionlww_Y
*The address for the Amylene (9 Quebec Street) was used for map plotting purposes