Townhouse Survivor on Mercer Street
Named after the original owner, the Alexander Johnston House was built in 1858 as a two-storey townhome. Eventually, the entire building was converted into a hat block producing factory. Then sometime after 1920, a third story was added.
It is also one of the last remaining buildings designed by John Tully, the same Toronto architect behind Walnut Hall, a row of four Georgian townhomes on Shuter St. built in 1856 that was demolished by a city work crew in 2007 after years of neglect. Heritage Canada Foundation included Walnut Hall in its annual “Worst Losses” list in 2008, calling the neglect and demolition a case of “architectural euthanasia.”