Former Kodak building isn't the only historic structure that's been moved

Moving the former Kodak building may have been a first for Metrolinx, but Toronto has a long history of uprooting structures to spare them from the wrecking ball.

Metrolinx's effort to move the former Kodak building is the latest in a time-honoured tradition

Campbell House was moved from its original location at Adelaide Street and Frederick Street to Queen Street West and University Avenue in 1972. (CBC News)

Moving the former Kodak building may have been a first for Metrolinx, but Toronto has a long history of uprooting structures to spare them from the wrecking ball.

"It's something we've been doing for a really long time when groups have said, 'Hey, we want to preserve this building," Heritage Toronto's director of programming, Kaitlin Wainwright, told CBC News. 

Here are a couple of notable examples.

Scadding Cabin 

(CBC News)

The city's oldest surviving home, Scadding Cabin, has been a fixture at the CNE grounds for decades, but that wasn't its original location.

The log home was built in the late 1700s for John Scadding, a government clerk and friend of Lieutenant-Governor John Graves Simcoe. 

The cabin changed hands several times over the years. In 1879, a group of pioneers decided to take it apart piece by piece and rebuild it at the first-ever Toronto Industrial Exhibition (now known as the Canadian National Exhibition). 

According to the York Pioneer and Historical Society, exactly how Scadding Cabin made it to the CNE Grounds is a mystery. But some believe it might have been floated down the Don River and along the shores of Lake Ontario.

Campbell House

(University of Toronto)

William Campbell, a judge, built his home in 1822 and today it remains one the oldest surviving structures from the Town of York, which was the city's name before it was christened Toronto in 1834.

By the 1970s, the mansion had fallen into a state of disrepair. The business that owned it at the time wanted to knock it down to put up a parking lot. But a group known as the Advocates Society stepped into save Campbell House.

It was moved about a kilometre from its original location at Adelaide and Frederick streets to its current location at Queen Street West and University, to great fanfare. It is now a museum.

According to a CBC News report at the time, there were some hiccups along the way. Streetcar wires and street lamps had to be moved to make way for the home.

Watch the full news story from 1972 here.

CBC News report on the Campbell House move in 1972. 1:06


About the Author

Shannon Martin

Reporter, CBC Toronto

Shannon is an award-winning reporter with CBC Toronto. She was part of the core team that launched "No Fixed Address", a hugely popular series on millenials renting and buying in Toronto. In 2016, Shannon hosted a special live broadcast on-air and on Facebook simultaneously from Toronto Pride, which won top honours in the Digital category at the RTDNA awards. Contact Shannon: or find her on Instagram at @ShannonMartinTV.