Former Real House Wives of Toronto actor, husband want heritage designation removed from home—claim original owner was racist

"Stapleton Caldecott would've been appalled by us living in the house he commissioned."


A Toronto couple asked the city to remove a heritage designation on the 9,000-square-foot home they purchased in 2022 because they claim it was built for a racist in 1906. 

According to the CBC, former Real Housewives of Toronto actress Roxanne Earle, who is of Pakistani descent, and her husband Dr. Arnold Mahesan, who is of Sri Lankan descent, found out the home they purchased for $5 million was a heritage property last year when they wanted to make updates to the stairs of the home. 

The city requires approval from the preservation board before making changes to historic homes. The couple claimed in their appeal to the board that the home should have been excluded from the preservation requirement because the original owner, former Toronto Board of Trade president Stapleton Pitt Caldecott, held anti-immigrant views. 

"Stapleton Caldecott would've been appalled by us living in the house he commissioned," Mahesan said at a recent Toronto Preservation Board meeting. 

Ultimately the board denied the request, but the final determination is up to the City Council. The couple's lawyer, Michael Campbell told the outlet, "We intend to realize every opportunity we can to try to convince the council to repeal the designation." 

However, a city report noted that the home was designated for preservation because it was designed by architect Eden Smith, and not because of who it was purchased by. The report said, "Staff maintain that the property is valued as a fine representative example of an early 20th-century house form building designed in the Period Revival style influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement." 

"It is distinguished by its asymmetrical plan with the projecting bays, the complicated roofline with the gables and the distinctive canted chimneys, and the decorative wood strapwork," it added. 

The city determined that removing mentions of Caldecott from the heritage documents to be fair but left the designation in place. Mahesan told the outlet that it was just "putting our thumbs over that part of history." 

The City's decision is expected to come in May. 

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