I much enjoyed Dave Allston’s article in the August Kitchissippi Times about 327 Richmond Road, the former Westboro Sports Centre at the corner of Churchill. Dave explained that George Watson purchased the property in 1927 and tore down an 1875 brick building and replaced it with the building that is there today.
However, if you walk north along Churchill and look at the upper storey at the rear corner of the building, you will see that the corner of the 1875 building, with white brick quoins, survives, with the 1920s wall extending it a few feet and then angling outward along Churchill to create the angled entranceway at the front corner with Richmond, and giving the building its current oblong shape.
The rear and east walls are both from the earlier building and have bricks laid in an American bond (in which every sixth course consists of bricks laid with the ends facing out), while the Churchill and Richmond walls date from Watson’s expansion of the building and have bricks laid in a stretcher or running bond in which all the bricks have the long or stretcher sides facing outwards.
So, as it stands, the building still retains two of its original 1875 walls, an unexpected survival from the days of “Birchton.”
– Bruce Elliott
This letter was published in the September 2020 edition of Kitchissippi Times.