Great Canadian Heritage Treasure

The home of CW Jefferys, one of the Fab Five of Canada's celebrated historical artists of the 20th century, is a classic Ontario brick central gable house that alone - of its neighbours - escaped the bulldozer, the patron saint of the Toronto Urban Planning Council.

The classic Ontario central gable house evolved from the basic log cabin of old. CW's house is really only a traditional log house in brick.

Log cabins were rectangular, had gable ends, under the slope of the roof, and chimneys ran up the end walls. Doorways were on the long side.

Somewhere, someone decided he was tired of shoveling snow off the porch and opted to cover the door with a central gable, to act as a roof over the entrance, to minimize the fall of rain and snow and keep the door from rotting out. And the Ontario central gable house was born.

The style caught on like wildfire, and soon centre gable houses were built in frame, stone, and brick versions.

The centre gable provided another benefit; you could put in a window and provide light for the attic.

This home was the fountainhead of many of Canada's best known paintings and historical artworks.


Home of CW Jefferys, Toronto, Ontario - c 1875
Orig. house - Built c 1875
Found - Toronto, ON
Once quietly nestled on the northern slopes of Hogg's Hollow, it is today, dwarfed by concrete walls of apartments and just meters below the incessant roar of the 401 super highway.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Right,
in the yard in 1924, CW's children bask in a rural setting that has been replaced by concrete and the nonstop roar of traffic.


 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






 

 



Clockwise from top left: Acadians assembled for transportation 1755; habitants paying seigneurial dues; Champlain on the Ottawa, 1613, holding an astrolabe he lost, and which was found in the 20th century; rebels marching on Toronto; Red River carts, and uniforms with CW's historical notations in his famous illustrative books on people, places, and events of Canadian history and heritage.

 

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure


A fabulous summary of the best of CW Jefferys: rugged Canadian landscape, rugged Canadians, wonderfully accoutered figures with real personalities in a superior artistic presentation that has wormed its way into the psyche of countless generations of Canadians.

That is what it looked like; that is exactly the way it happened. CW Jefferys said it, and we believe him...

The Fab Five of Canadian Art

CW Jefferys was one of five artists (AH Hider, JD Kelly, Arthur Heming, Owen Staples ) who excelled at painting wonderfully evocative artistic masterpieces of Canadian historical events. And far from only being gobbers of paint on paper, like most artists - as the mood takes them - they were highly educated and informed on the intellectual history and heritage of Canada. They painted from heavily researched knowledge not, like modern artists who paint something or other - its for you to figure out what - whenever the mood takes them, this way or that, or whatever...


Mackenzie Reaches the Pacific, 1793 (detail) - CW Jefferys
Orig. print - Image Size - 45 x 75 cm
Found - Burlington, ON



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Great Canadian Houses

CW Jefferys Home, Toronto, Ontario - c 1875