On Augusta Ave., a bit
north of Queen Street, there is stunning Victorian House that has been
perfectly maintained. It is in such pristine condition that it’s hard to
believe the building will turn 140 next year. This mysterious building is home
to the St. Felix Centre which was started by the Felician Sisters, a
congregation of catholic religious women who call the building their convent.
The St. Felix Centre is known for helping the homeless, those who are mentally
ill, who suffer from addiction and who have experienced violence.
However, the Sisters took
over the property in 1937. 60 years before that, the massive home was residence
to textile merchant Edward Leadlay, who was famous for his leather and
sheepskin products that were sold at his stores located on Queen Street,
Crawford and 87 Front Street East. Leadlay died in 1899 and was buried at Mount
Pleasant Cemetery (Plot V Lot 47). It wasn’t until 1906 that the mansion was taken
over by the Salvation Army, who maintained the property until 1936. The
following year the Felician Sisters purchased the home where they still remain
today, not only holding ownership of the mansion, but the community centre
which was designated a heritage property in 1973, is truly a stunning spectacle
that sticks out from the rest of the area. What stands out for me are the
bricks on the exterior whose colours are beautiful. Remember in my The Silver
Dollar Room post I had mentioned that elderly buildings around the city have
dirty bricks that some find disgusting? The bricks of the former Leadlay Home
are the cleanest things I have ever seen. There is not a blemish on them. Other
highlights include the detailed stonework around the doorway and the pillars
outside as well as the decorative trim, which I assume to be made from wood,
which can be found on the veranda and above the windows.
So next time
you’re walking along Queen Street West and you hit Augusta Ave, go north and
have a peek at this lovely convent.
NBA stood for NEIL BLENDER ALLIANCE, a name Aaron Aspinwall devised in honor of his favorite skater (who also adorned the 2nd press of the CHARLES BRONSON/SPAZZ split 7"). NBA existed briefly in spring of ‘95 and practiced a few times in Mike Sutfin’s basement on Augusta Ave. in Dekalb. The line up consisted of Mike and Aaron on guitar, Ebro Virumbrales on bass, Craig S. (later of THE REPOS) on drums, and both Joel Fennel (not featured here) and me on vocals. This was our first rehearsal, recorded on a boom box. The first song, “Fuckin’ Drunken Uncle,” was later recorded by CHARLES BRONSON for the SPAZZ split. The second song was later reworked into “Certified Cult Band” by THE REPOS on their first LP. The only line of original lyrics I can remember went something like “fuck your shitty style, you just masturbated/I’ll hollow out your skull so I can fuckin’ skate it!”