Cabbagetown’s Wellesley Cottages

In the many times I’ve walked through Cabbagetown, I’d never stepped into the secret corner that’s home to the Wellesley Cottages – until last month’s garden tour. What a revelation! But stick around to the end of the post. You’ll see that one cottage kept the biggest secret of all in its back yard.

Hover over any image to read the caption, or click any image to launch the slideshow.

A short laneway off Wellesley Street East leads to the tiny close with its row of worker’s cottages built in 1887. Behind the white picket fences are tiny front gardens, some in keeping with their Victorian heritage. Charming!

A brick path leads through a garden made in the shade.

Some of the front gardens have modern touches, as a closer look below at our cover girl displays.

Plants spill over raised beds of Cor-Ten Steel.
Note the bench integrated into the raised bed by the front door.

A good showing of old-fashioned June flowers such as Siberian iris (Iris siberica), lilac (Syringa), rhodos (Rhododendron) and flowering onion (Allium), filled the mostly sunny front yard spaces.

Only one back garden was open for the tour. Walking into it was part time machine, zipping forward to the present day, and part Tardis. Overlooked by a contemporary addition to the cottage, the sunken garden terraced against the slope (with St. James Cemetery on the other side) was huge – and a huge surprise.

The garden was designed by Hepburn Landscaping.

The next Cabbagetown garden tour won’t be held until 2020, but who knows? Perhaps this one will appear on the Cabbagetown tour of homes scheduled for 2019. The two tours, once held annually, will leapfrog over each other every second year from now on. Will you be going?


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