Toronto’s architectural gems—Hughes’ Terrace on King St. W.


Some of the buildings in “restaurants row” on the south side of King Street West, opposite the TIFF Building, are under threat from developers. The restaurants, many with sidewalk patios, add charm and animation to the streetscape. It would be a shame if these historic structures are destroyed to build more condominiums. Retaining their facades is not the same as having these 19th century structures in tact. 

One of the most historic and interesting structures in the row of four attached buildings at 319-335 King Street is “Hughes’ Terrace.” The sign atop the cornice identifies it, but it is presently in poor condition and difficult to read. The family that built these buildings had their home on King Street in the 1860s, and referred to their home as “Hughes Terrace.” It was a few doors to the east of the Hughes’ Terrace of today. Anne Hughes lived in the house with her brother-in-law Bernard, and she worked at a grocery store at 204 Queen Street West, owned by David Hughes, who lived above the store.  Anne’s brother-in-law, Bernard B. Hughes, was a wholesale importer of dry goods. He was in partnership with his brother Patrick, who resided at 28 Gerrard St. East. They ran their business from 62 Yonge Street, which was likely a warehouse, and maintained shops at 128-132 King Street East.

In 1873, to build Hughes’ Terrace, Anne Hughes and the Hughes brothers purchased the land to the west of their home, where there were several vacant lots as well as a couple of small houses. With the assembled parcel of land, they constructed four attached three-storey buildings and named it Hughes’ Terrace, after their former home.  The buildings had shops on the street level and apartments above. Anne Hughes, now a widow, moved into an apartment above one of the shops.


The facades of the buildings are unadorned and rather austere, as there was an economic depression in Toronto in the 1870s.

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The cornices of the buildings are plain, with a simple pattern of bricks the only decorative detail on the facades. The left-hand picture shows an eye-window inserted into the roof of the attic level.


Despite the plain facades, Hughes’ Terrace remains an attractive row of buildings on King Street. The eye windows are visible in the attic roofs.

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Both these signs are rather ominous for the future of “restaurant row” on King Street West. 


Restaurant row during the summer of 2013, with Hughes’ Terrace at the far end of the row.


                         Restaurant row after the sun sets in summer.

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To view other posts about the history of Toronto and its buildings:

The Ellis Building on Adelaide Street near Spadina Ave.

The Heintzman Building on Yonge Street, next to the Elgin Theatre

The tall narrow building at 242 Yonge Street, south of Dundas

Toronto’s first Reference Library at College and St. George Streets.

The Commodore Building at 315-317 Adelaide St. West

The Graphic Arts Building (condo) on Richmond Street

The Art Deco Victory Building on Richmond Street

The Concourse Building on Adelaide Street

The old Bank of Commerce at 197 Yonge Street

The Traders Bank on Yonge Street—the city’s second skyscraper

Toronto’s old Union Station on Front Street, built in 1884

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at King and Simcoe Streets.

The row houses on Glasgow Street, near Spadina and College Streets

The bank at Queen and Simcoe that resembles a Greek temple

The cenotaph at Toronto’s Old City Hall

The magnificent Metropolitan Cathedral at King East and Church Streets

St. Stanislaus Koska RC Church on Denison Avenue, north of Queen West

The historical St. Mary’s Church at Adelaide and Bathurst Streets

The Bishop’s (St, Michael’s) Palace on Church Street, Toronto

The Union Building at Simcoe and King Street West

The Ed Mirvish (Pantages, Imperial, Canon) Theatre, a true architectural gem on Toronto’s Yonge Street

The Waverly Hotel on Spadina near College Street.

The Art Deco Bank of Commerce building on King Street West.

The Postal Delivery Building, now the Air Canada Centre (ACC)

The Bellevue Fire Station on College Street

The Bank of Nova Scotia at King and Bay Streets

Toronto’s old Sunnyside Beach

Toronto’s architectural gems—the Runnymede Library

Spadina Avenue – sinful, spicy and diverse

The Reading Building, a warehouse loft on Spadina Avenue

The Darling Building on Spadina Avenue

The amazing Fashion Building on Spadina Avenue

Toronto’s architectural gems – the Tower Building at Spadina and Adelaide Street

The Balfour Building at 119 Spadina Avenue

The Robertson Building at 215 Spadina that houses the Dark Horse Espresso Bar

An architectural gem – Grossman’s Tavern at Spadina and Cecil Streets

History of the house that contains the Paul Magder Fur Shop at 202 Spadina

An important historic building that disappeared from the northeast corner of Spadina and College

Historic bank building on northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

History of the Backpackers’ Hotel at King and Spadina

Hamburger corner – Spadina and Queen Streets

Lord Lansdowne Public School on Spadina Crescent

The Victory Burlesque Theatre at Dundas and Spadina

The Dragon City Mall on the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina

Buildings on the west side of Spadina a short distance north of Queen Street.

History of the site of the Mcdonalds on northwest corner of Queen and Spadina

A former mansion at 235 Spadina that is now almost hidden from view.


Military hero of the War of 1812 lived near corner of Spadina and Queen West.

The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The old Dominion Bank Building at King and Yonge Street

The Canada Life Building on University and Queen Street West.

Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

Toronto’s Draper Street, a time-tunnel into the 19th century

The Black Bull Tavern at Queen and Soho Streets, established in 1822

History of the 1867 fence around Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West at York Street

Gathering around the radio as a child in the 1940s

The opening of the University Theatre on Bloor Street, west of Bay St.

122 persons perish in the Noronic Disaster on Toronto’s waterfront in 1949

Historic Victoria Memorial Square where Toronto’s first cemetery was located, now hidden amid the Entertainment District

Visiting one of Toronto’s best preserved 19th-century streets-Willcocks Avenue

The 1930s Water Maintenance Building on Brant Street, north of St. Andrew’s Park

Toronto’s architectural gems-photos of the Old City from a book published by the city in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

Toronto’s architectural gems – the bank on the northeast corner of Queen West and Spadina

Photos of the surroundings of the CN Tower and and the St. Lawrence Market in 1977

The St. Lawrence Hall on King Street

Toronto’s streetcars through the past decades

History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

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