The John Charlton House

Monday, June 6, 2019

Situated at 220 Charlton Avenue is a very unique house in a subdivision of cookie cutter homes built in the late 1980’s.  The John Charlton House faces the wrong way on the street as the lane way was formerly known as 7281 Dufferin Street or Lot 2, Concession 2 in the Town of Vaughan.  It was placed on the historic register as having been built in 1861.  As this house is situated between my workplace and Swiss Chalet, I decided to stop and get some pictures to record this small part of the local history.  The 1877 county atlas shows the estate as just above the Presbyterian Church from the ghost town of Fisherville.

Charlton Estate

A large front porch was added in the 1940’s which radically changed the story and a half house.  It looks a little overwhelming on the front of the house.


The rear of the house has three doors, two of which share a common lintel.  There is also a tiny window just below the roof which likely marks the top of the hallway.  In a modern house this would often be a washroom window but this house likely didn’t have indoor plumbing when it was built.  An outhouse would have served the family needs.


A large fireplace is located on the west face of the house.  The quoins are made of a lighter colour brick as is the stretcher course along the top of the first story.


The front of the house shows the three bay construction.  A single window faces Dufferin Street from the second floor.


The porch was added with a curved ceiling so as to allow light to still get into the upper window.  Below the window a line in the brickwork reveals an earlier, smaller, front porch.  The four panel door detailing is repeated in the panels on either side of the door.  The transom window above the door also has fine detail in the glass.  These are some of the details that have led to the preservation of this house.


The historic designation suggests that there may be a date in the white circle under the east gable that is covered over with paint.  Upon closer examination I suggest there is no date and no paint either.  There is a a series of three short horizontal lines bisected by a vertical line up the middle.  This is most likely a signature of the builder.  In the same document there is belief that the builder was Isaac Hafenbrach who built the Octagonal Barn on Lot 1 Concession 3.  That barn was disassembled in 1978 and moved to the Country Heritage Park in Milton.


Throughout the GTA there are too few of these old houses that survived from our pioneer era.  Some are moved into strip mall parking lots and repurposed while others get to remain on their original sites.

Google Maps link: Charlton House

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