History of the building that houses the Cameron House on Queen St. W.



The building that today houses the Cameron House was constructed in 1880. In that year, it was # 396 Queen Street, and the other half of the building, #398, was under construction. The land to the immediate west of the buildings was a vacant field. In 1881, Angus Cameron moved into #398 and opened a dry goods store on the premises. The other half of the building remained unoccupied. Cameron lived above the shop, his mother living nearby in one of the houses on the street that now bears her family name. By the year 1888, the shop became the “Ryan and Sullivan Tailor Shop.” In 1890, the store was vacant, but the following year, E. Hodd moved in and opened a furnishings shop. In 1895, the structure became the “John Burns Hotel.” In 1896, it became the “Cameron House.”  My information is based on the Toronto Directories. It does not match with the Wikipedia information, but I trust the Directories more.

The above photos is of the east facade of the Cameron House. I was unable to discover when the extension was added to the building, but it was likely when it was being operated as a hotel.

DSCN8077   DSCN8073

DSCN8072   DSCN8071


I have spent much of my adult life researching Toronto. Despite the traffic jams and daily congestion, I find Toronto an exciting and vibrant city in which to live. I enjoy exploring its past through my writing. One of the books, “The Villages Within”, was nominated for the Toronto Heritage Awards. If interested in novels with a Toronto setting, descriptions of the books are available by following the link: https://tayloronhistory.com/2012/03/22/toronto-author-publishes-seventh-novel/

They can be purchased in soft cover or electronic editions. All books are available at Chapters/Indigo and on Amazon.com. The electronic editions are less that $4 on Kobo and Kindle. Follow the links:

There Never Was a Better Time: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000056586/THERE-NEVER-WAS-A-BETTER-TIME.aspx

Arse Over Teakettle: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000132634/Arse-Over-Teakettle.aspx

The Reluctant Virgin; http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000188306/The-Reluctant-Virgin.aspx

The Villages Within: http://bookstore.iuniverse.com/Products/SKU-000175211/The-Villages-Within.aspx

Author’s Home Page: https://tayloronhistory.com/

Authors can be contacted at: [email protected]

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One thought on “History of the building that houses the Cameron House on Queen St. W.

  1. Do you talk about artists Napoleon Brousseau’s famous ten ant sculptures which he created and installed in 1984 originally while he lived at the Cameron? Napoleon needs to be credited with their creation.He has put up a plaque at the Cameron in 2014 to sign his sculptures.
    My great Uncles owned a number of movie theatres in Toronto in the teens and 20’s. The PIckford at Spadina and Queen and others, The entire family worked at the cinema’s. My father was a projectionist there when he was young.

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