Oxford Street – 21

Bell House

By-law: (1987)-12376

Legal Description: Pt Lot 691, Pt Lot 692, Plan 8

Designated Portions

Portions of the exterior designated by this by-law as being significant are as follows:

  • The front façade of the house including the type and location of windows and doors, the bay window, the three-storey Italianate tower, carved roof brackets, and the small entrance verandah.
  • The north-easterly wall of the house, including all of the one-storey solarium except for its north-westerly wall, as well as the type and location of window openings.
  • The form of the various roofs on the original structure (excluding roofs of the lower additions to the rear).
  • The cast-iron carriage steps, located on the front lawn.

Interior items designated are:

  • The main staircase.
  • Elaborate wood trim and detailed plaster work in the main entrance vestibule, the entrance hall, the living room, the dining room and the library.

Property History

Built circa 1875 for William Bell of the Bell Organ Company. Architect: Victor Stewart, designer of the Wellington Hotel; Mason; David Kennedy; Plasterer: Wm. Day. Sold by the Bell Estate in 1927 to Senator Robert Gladstone, whose family lived there until 1983.

The handsome yellow brick, two-storey structure was built in the Tuscan Villa style with a picturesque tower containing Italianate windows and carved roof brackets. The main part of the house features an attractive entrance and verandah, two bay windows and a solarium. The interior of the original part of the house contains a handsome open wooden staircase and outstanding wood trim and plaster ceiling mouldings.

The designation covers only the original part of the present structure and not the later rear additions. On the exterior, it includes the front entrance, verandah, windows and tower in the two-storey brick walls at the front and east side, the one-storey solarium and the various roof forms. Also included are the 19th-century cast-iron carriage steps located on the front lawn. The interior designation covers the staircase, as well as the elaborate wooden trim and plaster work in the vestibule, entrance hall, living room, dining room and library.

On the exterior, the designation does not include the main two-storey wall on the west side of the original structure, or the north wall of the solarium. The interior designation does not include the fireplaces in the living room and library or the french doors in the dining room.

It is understood that some designated elements may be returned to an earlier authentic state.