100 John West Way, Aurora, Ontario, Canada, L4G 6J1


39 Catherine Ave.

Aurora Heritage Buildings

Methodist Parsonage     -     39 Catherine Avenue


Photo: 2003

Date Built: 1879
Style: Gothic Revival.
Design: L-shape 1 1/2 storey

Designation: AHC Plaque
Legal desc.: Plan 5 Pt Lots 22, 23.
Municipal Zoning: R5 (SMD)

In 1879, the trustees of the Primitive Methodist Church purchased lots 21, 22 and 23 (Plan 5) on the south-west corner of Catherine Avenue and Spruce Streets from George Russell for $450. The following month, tenders were called for the construction of a parsonage for the church. Plans and specifications for a brick dwelling were drawn up by W.J. and G.H. Phillips (Aurora architects). Contracts were awarded to the Phillips Brothers for carpentry work, William A. Allen for painting and glazing .. and Webb & Weavings for the brickwork. The total cost was $1080.

The house was constructed of solid brick. The original design called for the application of white brick and interior brick partitions to make the building virtually fireproof. At a later date it was covered with buff-coloured stucco.

After construction, a series of Methodist ministers resided there with their families. They included The Reverends W.H. Thornley (c.1882), J.A. Rankin (c.1888), Peter Addison (c.1892), R. Dunlop (c.1895), G.W. Dewey (c.1898), E.A. Pearson (1900-1903), A. Bedford (c.1905), G.J. Dobson (c.1909), J.W. Stewart (c.1913), George Daniel (c.1915), H. Wellwood (c.1920), and Thomas Laidlaw (c.1924-25).

The house was the boyhood home of the Hon. Lester Bowles Pearson (born April 23, 1897 in Toronto), Prime Minister of Canada from 1963 to 1968. His father, the Reverend Edwin Arthur Pearson, served as minister at the Canada Methodist Church in Aurora from 1900 to 1903. During this time, Rev. Pearson, his wife Annie Sarah Bowles Pearson and their sons Marmaduke, Lester and Vaughan resided as tenants at the parsonage.


Photo: 1981


Updated 17/11/04 - BBD

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