TORONTO: Toronto House is one of three historic homes that will be open to the public this Saturday.
TORONTO: Toronto House is one of three historic homes that will be open to the public this Saturday. David Nielsen

Your invite to a look inside one of city's greatest houses

IT'S impossible not to be impressed by one of Ipswich's greatest houses, Toronto.

The 154-year-old home was first called Devonshire Cottage but was renamed Toronto by James Jackes who took over ownership of the property in 1882, naming it after his birthplace.

Toronto has changed hands multiple times throughout the past 100 years, with various works carried out on the original building.

(Left) Toronto House owners Vanessa Bell and Chris Elliott. Vanessa fell in love when she first saw Toronto in 2010.
(Left) Toronto House owners Vanessa Bell and Chris Elliott. Vanessa fell in love when she first saw Toronto in 2010. David Nielsen

Toronto was resold in 1940 to Peter and Alice McKelvie who made various alterations to the house.

That work included restoring the front verandah, some restumping, a new opening between the living and dining rooms and substantial internal works to the former kitchen wing, at the rear of the home.

The property later changed ownership to Colin Medlin and Margaret Grant from 1965 and was then sold to Donald and Ivy Follett who carried out further work to the house.

Those works involved restumping, rewiring, glazing of the rear verandah and reinstatement of the house's earlier colour scheme based on scrapings.

A new timber fern-house was built at the rear of the property in 1977 and a new bathroom added in 1985.

Current owners Vanessa Bell and Chris Elliott consider themselves lucky the owners that came before them had cared for, and restored, the historic home.

Toronto, at 30 Quarry St, is just one of the historic homes that will be opened to the public this Saturday as part of the special event Great Houses of Ipswich.

Planning, Development and Heritage Committee chairman Councillor Andrew Antoniolli said the three houses that would open to the public, displayed the rich and varied architectural heritage of the city.

"The two-storey, early Carpenter Gothic-style timber residence was built during a period of great prosperity in Ipswich," Cr Antoniolli said.

"It was part of Great Houses of Ipswich 2014, and there were many requests to include it once more in this iconic program."

Mona Lodge on Nicholas St and Parkside on Thorn St will also open to the public.

  • Great Houses of Ipswich will be 10am to 4pm on Saturday. National Trust members, students and children enter free, or, $5 a person, each property.


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