A historic building that has stood in Toronto for nearly a century is now home to a new venue, whose owner hopes to breathe new life into the stunning Edwardian classic space and surrounding gardens.
Originally built in 1926 for operators of the Bell Telephone Company, the building at 80 Birmingham Street in Etobicoke once facilitated approximately 13,000 calls per day throughout the region.
Bell eventually vacated the space in the ’80s and in recent years it has been restored to serve as private office space.
Aside from the building itself, the property features a 9,000 square meter outdoor area that has been redesigned as a rentable space for events of all kinds, offering both a large paved courtyard and expansive lawns.
The owner, who bought the property in 2001, secured historic designation to preserve its history, while many buildings from that era are reduced to, at best, facades above shiny new condo towers.
“I have poured all of my income from my landscaping business over the past 23 years into restoring this building, restoring elements from the architect’s original blueprints, such as the solid oak front door, which was handcrafted in the Madawaska Valley using vintage tools and methods,” said the owner, Christina Murie tells blogTO via email.
“The event room in the garden courtyard is my last project and was completed this year.”
In addition to stunning architecture, rare finishings and a rich history, the property is also said to be haunted by Danny, a little boy who supposedly died in 1952 while playing between telephone wires.
“Danny’s spirit always came through and his presence was felt when I felt discouraged. He didn’t want me to give up and said, ‘We need you,'” she adds.
While the building as the Birmingham Business Center has 32 small office spaces for rent on three floors, the three-season courtyard has already been equipped for a Barbie-themed party as part of the release of the feature film and will also be decorated in a Harvest-themed, Halloween and holiday decorations in the coming months.