A House, A School, and the Law Society

As I was poking around in my photo library, I realized I have been hoarding doors – for no particular reason, it’s just that I’ve been downtown a lot lately and that usually means seeing a lot of great old buildings.

The doors have started to pile up and I guess it’s time to share some of them.  So this is just another random offering of great doors I’ve encountered in the last few weeks.

First up is a gate at Osgoode Hall, a building which dates back to 1829.  Osgoode Hall currently houses, among other things, the Ontario Court of Appeal and the offices of the Law Society of Upper Canada (ie Ontario).


The gates are actually very narrow to pass through.  According to Wikipedia, there is a long-standing myth that the gates were designed to keep wandering livestock off the property.  Apparently in the 1950s, some students challenged the myth by trying to pass a cow through one of the gates … but they failed.   I’m not surprised.

Next on the tour, is the St Michael’s Choir School.  I discovered this building quite by accident and simply loved everything about it … from the gorgeous entryway, to the clock on the mini-tower, and the *crown* of crosses.


St Michael’s Choir School is a Catholic all-boy’s school which offers both a music and academic program.  Getting your child accepted to St Mike’s is not easy.  Admission is by audition only.

Lastly on today’s tour is a pair of doors from a row of old homes built in the late 1800s. The slightly curving stone stairs were the first thing to catch my attention, but these wooden doors are wonderful, even if they are very weathered.  It looks like the bottom panels need attention before they become unsalvageable.


Sadly, in this neighbourhood there were several old heritage homes that have become quite derelict.  They are sitting on prime real estate and I fear that in a year from now, they will be gone.

Ok – I lied, one more door … this is from one of the derelict buildings which was all boarded up with a barrier installed at the bottom of the stairs to prevent access to the door.


This door is lovely and I hope it will be saved.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.



  1. Fabulous photos, Joanne – I am totally jealous that you live in a place where gorgeous, interesting and diverse non-Home-Hardware-Doors are in abundance. Thanks for sharing!


    • This is a newly found discovery and I’m enjoying it so much. There is so much to enjoy here that I’ve never appreciated before now … even some of the more interesting Home Hardware kind of doors 😉


  2. I cant help but giggle at the thought of the cow jammed in those beautiful gates. Oh the mooing must have been incredible.
    So envious of that beautiful vine growth. Not happening here in Calgary that’s for sure. Too cold and too dry I think.


    • Really? You don’t any kind of creeping ivy in Calgary? Even in summer?

      I can’t help think that the cow story is urban legend … I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to see the gates are impossibly narrow. However, I don’t underestimate the power of alcohol 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too like the ivy on the St. Michael’s building, very pretty. But the old doors caught my eye, especially the mail slots. My grandparents had doors like that, so cool. Today’s doors and buildings just don’t have the same type of character as these old buildings – thanks for sharing.


  4. I like this random but beautiful doors collection, Joanne! They are so interesting and I think about the stories these doors could tell. The boys choir church building was so decorative and seasonal with fall foliage of ivy!

    Of course, the gates to the legal buildings are ones who must stay “mum” unless the stories went in the newspaper coverage! 😉


  5. Boy, I know this is a post about doors and SHAME ON YOU FOR HOARDING THESE MAGNIFICENT SPECIMENS!!! But………that ivy on St. Mike’s in multiple colours and that half-round staircase……I can see why you just liked everything about it!


  6. The gates are are really attractive. I’m trying to imagine them with with a cow stuck in them. The doors are beautiful, but the bottom ones do make me a little sad. The appear to be at a point where they can still be saved, but I fear that you are right. I think I like the Choir School doors the best..

    Liked by 1 person

    • The houses being left to slowly deteriorate are really sad. I appreciate that the land is very valuable and I can’t help but think it will be just a matter of time before the developers move in 😦
      I hope that lovely door gets a new lease on life.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great images Joanne 🙂 The first thing I notice about any sort of building are its doors. Don’t ask me why but I do (maybe its because they are at eye level). Doors have so much character, sometimes more than the building.


    • I like to think battered old doors can be saved. Our climate is so harsh though, I’m aware that these old doors are likely not very energy efficient. My romantic side tends to be at conflict with my practical side 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great compilation and… what were you waiting for? Always another door, right? I like the ones that were made narrow so no livestock could fit through although I’m surprised some aren’t complaining that they are not PC.


      • Lol! Students are terrible once they have a bit of alcohol. In our local secondary/high school one year, some students having drunk way too much on their graduation night thought it would be fun to rob a sheep out of a nearby field and tie it up on a metal sculpture at the school entrance. I’m sure the sheep didn’t find it a bit amusing. Someone heard it bleating and alerted the police. It was dangling about six feet up but seemed okay after it was released, poor thing. (And that’s not a yarn I’m spinning you, Joanne).


    • Thanks Ally 🙂
      In our climate, a good well-sealed door is a must. I can’t imagine that these old doors are very airtight against the cold … but they look so inviting.
      I agree about the stories within the doors … so many people have crossed those thresholds!


    • Thanks Tess. Since I started to participate in Norm’s Thursday Doors, I’m noticing doors and entrance ways much more. There really is a lot of very interesting and beautiful craftsmanship in the old architecture.


  9. Oh wow! I went to St Mick’s, although missing ‘choir’ from it’s title it was a catholic all boys school once run by Jesuits. No need for auditions by the time I got there but one of our old boys was the late Jake Thackray. Not sure how well known he is further afield but I think you’ll grin at this Joanne…

    (Apologies if your contingent of sister readers are offended)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Your St-Michael’s shot is waay better than mine, which is probably why I haven’t posts those shots yet – I don’t like them 😀
    That last one is wonderful too – I do hope they can save it.


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