In 1837, Don Valley brewer William Helliwell built Helliwell House for wife, Elizabeth Bright, and their young children. The windows of this room overlooked apple orchards planted on the slope leading down to the Don River and the hops fields on the flood plain. To the north of the house, the Helliwell Brothers operated the Don Brewery. William worked long hours in the brewery, which sometimes ran day and night at peak production, but the family certainly spent many hours relaxing in this comfortable parlour. In winter, in the brewing season, the air would have been filled with the fragrance of roasting malt and brewing beer, but also smoke from the brewery's charcoal-fired kilns. Over the years, Helliwell House was used as a residence by many different families, and was occupied from 1837 until 1960.