The house gutted by fire this morning at 314 Jarvis St. is a heritage home built in 1865 and was once owned by a prominent Toronto family. 

At about 5:20 a.m., firefighters were called to the three-alarm blaze at the house, which is located near the corner of Jarvis and Carlton streets, near Allan Gardens.

Crews arrived to find flames through the second and third floor of the house. Firefighters battled the flames in -15 C temperatures and were forced to move back to a "defensive posture."

The building has an interesting history. It was once owned by Dr. Charles Sheard, the city's first chief medical officer. 

A 2012 city staff report described the house as "a good example of Beaux Arts classicism" and a rare vestige from a time when Jarvis Street was home to many mansions owned by the city's elite families. 

The property is the subject of a re-zoning application that calls for a 43-storey condo building on the property. City staff recommended rejecting the proposal, saying it would "have a negative impact on a significant heritage resource."

An Ontario Municipal Board hearing for the project is scheduled for next year. 

Jarvis Street has remained closed between Gerrard and Carlton for most of the day.