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If These Walls Could Talk: The Lloyd House (1885)

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

While there are many lovely historic homes in Holland Landing, many heritage houses are also a fixture in the town of Mount Albert as well. This week, we will focus on a building that is now renowned as a community fixture, as a place to eat, drink, and gather together with friends and family. Can you guess which house it is? If you guessed the Lloyd house, you were right!

This lovely yellow brick house, located on 69 Main Street, was built in 1885 using local bricks sourced from a local brickyard in Mount Albert. It was originally intended to be the church manse that went with the Presbyterian church across the street, but that particular use was short-lived. It ended up becoming the house of W.T. Lloyd. But who was he?

William Thomas Lloyd was born on April 26, 1863 in Kettleby, and he was the oldest son of Charles and Elizabeth Lloyd. He was married to Sarah Jane Cleland on December 17th, 1890, and moved to Mount Albert shortly thereafter, taking up residence in the aforementioned house. He became the owner and operator of Lloyd’s Pharmacy on Centre Street after buying the licence for the drugstore in 1889, and it stayed in the same location until 1947 which was the year he retired from the business. He only had one daughter, Myrtle Olive Maud Lloyd (b. December 3rd, 1899). Since he was a pharmacist, Lloyd was allowed to install a gas line into his pharmacy for Bunsen burners; because of this, he managed to have the gas line connected from the business to his house, allowing for adequate lighting at all hours of the day or night.

W.T. Lloyd died May 3rd, 1949, after having been in the pharmacy business for 56 years; his wife Sarah had died some years previously in 1924. After his death the house passed to his only daughter Olive, and she lived in the bottom part of the house, gardening and working at the Mount Albert Telephone exchange in her daily life, until she died in 1989. After that, the house was willed to a cousin whose names were Harold and Mary Echlin who lived there for a few years. After the death of her husband, Mary soon put it on the market to be sold. However, after that occurrence, things got complicated.

It was purchased by a family from Mississauga, and a few months later it was discovered that there were multiple generations of bats living in the attic. It was at this time that the Lloyd House became known as the “Bat House”, and the new owners sued the previous ones for negligence as they were unaware of the condition of the home before purchasing it; ownership of the house first went to the Royal Bank of Canada, then to the Canadian Housing and Mortgage Corporation.

The house was condemned for some time due to the bats, and a specialised professional had to clear out the bats and sanitize it before it could be fit for humans. Afterwards, it was purchased by Barbara and Gordon Bowie in 1998, who then passed it on to Ian Bowie in 2003. This owner applied for a business permit, made several renovations, and transformed it into a pub called “The Prince Albert Public House”. It remained under his ownership for over a decade; it is now under new management and has been renamed the Lloyd House Restaurant & Pub.

Figure 1: A current photo of the Lloyd House Restaurant and Pub. Photo: Author.

If you want to learn more about this storied house, check out the article written a couple of years ago in the East Gwillimbury Bulletin in 2016. You can find it online here.

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