The Shaw House History

The Shaw House sat vacant for more that 20 years. Originally a large lakeshore home, it was taken over by Metropolitan Toronto in the late 1960s and saved from demolition only because it was given over to house the Island park superintendent. Abandoned by Metro in the 1970s, it remained vacant and vandalized, its beautiful lakeshore garden overgrown, and was finally turned over by the Toronto Island Residential Community Stewardship Act 1993 to the Island Trust, which is responsible for the management of the lands and public buildings in the Island community. The Island Pioneers took an avid interest in the dilapidated, but still valuable, home and determined to renovate it for seriously needed seniors’ housing.


Named after a family that once occupied the original dwelling, the Shaw House is now home to five people over the age of 60, who live in the building’s four apartments. In 2002 the first occupant moved in. Priority for vacant units is first given to Island residents, then to parents of Islanders and finally to non-Island residents. 


The facility includes a 750-square-foot space that is available for use by community members and city residents. This lovely ground-floor area features a well-equipped kitchen and two washrooms, one of them fully accessible. It opens on the spacious Shaw House garden, which overlooks Lake Ontario, providing views once offered by the residences that dotted the south shore of the Island. 


To inquire about renting the community space, contact 

Yvonna Nauman

Events Coordinator
416 716-1347
[email protected]