Often admired for its gracious, old-world beauty, Glendon Hall is about to undergo a transformation. But don’t worry: the historic building will retain its beloved charm and familiar looks.
York University and the Junior League of Toronto have announced on July 4, 2003 that some of Toronto’s finest designers will renovate the historic hall as the seventh Junior League of Toronto Showhouse. When the project is completed, the exterior of Glendon Hall will look much as it does today. The front and rear gardens will be planted by landscape architects. The interior will be wholly repainted, refinished, rewaxed, repolished, rebuffed, probably with new lighting and new moldings, but details have not yet been fully defined. This will constitute the largest Showhouse the Junior League has undertaken to date, featuring over 50 indoor and outdoor design spaces.
The Junior League receives the key to Glendon Hall
Left to right: Gilles Fortin, Glendon's General Manager, Marie-Thérèse Chaput, the College's Director of Advancement, Kenneth McRoberts, Glendon's Principal, Lorie Sikura, President of the Junior League of Toronto, E. Jane Clark et Ela S. Landegger, Co-Chairs of the "JLT Showhouse 2004" and Marika Kemeny, Glendon's Public Relations and Communications Advisor
As the signature fundraiser for the Junior League, a Showhouse showcases designers, suppliers and sponsors by restoring a landmark home for public viewing. Glendon Hall will be open to the public in all its new Showhouse glory from May 8 to June 6, 2004. After that, it becomes a College building again. But rooms will be designed with the end use in mind, so that only a minimum of conversion will be necessary. Glendon can even buy the designer-displayed furniture if it wishes.
Since 1983, the Junior League of Toronto and its partners have transformed six homes: Graydon Hall, Bob Rumball Manor, Ronald McDonald House II, George Brown House, Valley Halla and the McLean Estate. The funds raised support community action toward improving the lives of women and children. "The Junior League volunteers will spend thousands of hours over the next year coordinating the efforts of designers, suppliers and sponsors," said Junior League of Toronto President Lorie Sikura. "We are thrilled to be working with York."
Built in 1924, Glendon Hall is an Italianate-style mansion overlooking the Don River. It was home to E.R. Wood, a founder of Dominion Securities and one of Canada's most influential business persons. The Junior League of Toronto is a women's organization committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
Glendon welcomes the opportunity to work with the Junior League of Toronto and their design partners. "We are very pleased to be a part of this project to refurbish an important historical site and raise funds for community services that are vital to women and children," said York President and Vice-Chancellor Lorna Marsden. The JLT will be collaborating with a number of sponsors, including Canadian House and Home, which will be publishing over 50,000 copies of the Showhouse Guide with their May issue to publicize this event.
The principal beneficiary of this year's JLT Showhouse is the Pathways to Education ProgramTM of the Regent Park Community Center, funneling the money which will be raised into health and educational needs in this low-income area of Toronto. It will pay for students’ tutors and mentors, providing them with initiatives and financial support for post-secondary education. An additional York connection – some of the mentors working with the participants of Pathways are York University teacher candidates from the York Faculty of Education. In fact, York has established the first inner-city teacher training facility in Regent Park!
Right: Designer's plan of the main floor living room, Glendon Hall. Designer: Katherine Newman
In only its third year, the Pathways to Education ProgramTM can boast of its groundbreaking results in academic attendance and credit accumulation. The parents of the district are encouraged to play an active role in this project, which endeavours to remove the obstacles that women and youth of Regent Park face in continuing their education and in finding employment. The goal of Pathways to Education is to provide the district’s residents with the help and tools they need in order to fulfill their potential.
Nothing could be more appropriate than giving a facelift to a much-loved historic building on a university campus, while helping those in need to have the opportunity to access higher education.
* Marika Kemeny is Glendon’s Public Relations and Communications Advisor