The Bishop’s House

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Its history goes back to the very beginnings of Catholic schools in English Canada. Ontario’s Catholic school system began in the Bishop’s House in the village of St Raphaels.DSCN5545 Iona Bishops House SL 8x6

Built as a presbytery in 1808 by Rev. Alexander Macdonell who was the first bishop of Upper Canada (now Ontario).  It is three-storeys, about 2, 155 square metres when including the basement and verandahs.  Rev. Macdonell also oversaw the construction of St. Raphael’s Church which sits across the King’s Road from the house.  My previous post on the church is hereDSCN5575 Iona sl 8x6

In 1818, it became the first publicly supported Catholic school in Upper Canada.  In the late 1960s a new school was built next door and the Bishop’s House became a residential facility for the boarding of students.  During the 1980’s and 1990’s it was known as Mount Carmel House, an alcohol treatment centre,   It is now, unfortunately closed and boarded and came perilously close to demolotion until saved by concerned local citizens.  DSCN5552 Iona SL bu 8x6

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The King’s Road itself has its own history built as it was by John Graves Simcoe (1752-1806) who was a British army officer and the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada.

DSCN0713 County Rd 19 crop sl 8x6Paula’s Thursday Special: Traces of the Past

 

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