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schools senatoroconnor senatoroconnor 2A2CF550-853A-4731-95BA-49A1EC2114C2 8515
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O'Connor House
 
History: Senator Frank O’Connor & the O’Connor Estate
 
Senator Frank Connor, born in 1885 in Deseronto, Ontario, was a successful businessman, astute politician, generous philanthropist and one of the best-known laymen of Canada’s Roman Catholic Church.
He founded and operated Laura Secord Candy and Fanny Farmer Candy Shops in the United States, starting with a small candy store on Yonge Street.
 
The senator built the Maryvale Farm estate in 1933, on what eventually grew to over 600 acres of land. He aimed to make the farm a paying concern.
 
On his death in 1939, Maryvale Farm was bequeathed to the De la Salle Christian Brothers who, with the Daughters of Wisdom, created Senator O’Connor College School in 1963. It was the first co-educational Catholic school in Toronto, and the Brothers and Sisters remained active in the school until the mid 1980s. The school from its inception became part of the Metropolitan Separate School Board which in turn in 1999 became the Toronto Catholic District School Board. The Brothers of the Christian schools continued to live in the O’Connor Estate Buildings until 2000.
 
A new school building is now being constructed in the grounds of Senator O’Connor College School. Once it is completed and the old school demolished, the O’Connor Estate will serve as an important link with the past, reminding students and staff of Senator O’Connor and the beginnings of their school.
 
The estate consists of the main house, coach house and storehouse, over 10,000 square feet in total.
The house is built in the colonial revival style, which is typified by the following features:
  • Symmetrical façade
  • Rectangular, 2 to 3 stories
  • Gable roof
  • Overhanging upper story
  • Pillars and columns
  • Multi-pane, double-hung windows with shutters
  • Temple-like entrance: porticos topped by pediment
  • Paneled doors with sidelights and topped with rectangular transoms or fanlights
  • Center entry-hall floor plan
  • Entertaining rooms on first floor and bedrooms on upper floors
  • Fireplaces
  • Made of brick or wood
  • Simple, classical detailing