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THE SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF ARCHITECTURE IN
LA SOCIETE POUR L'ETUDE DE L'ARCHITECTURE AU
CANADA
CANADA
The Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada is a learned society devoted to the examination of the role of the built environment in Canadian society.
Its membership includes structural and landscape architects, architectural historians, urban historians and planners, sociologists, folklorists, and specialists
in such fields as heritage conservation and landscape history. Founded in 1974, the Society is currently the sole national society whose focus of interest
is Canada's built environment in all of its manifestations.
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La Societe pour !'etude de !'architecture au Canada est une societe savante qui se consacre a l'examen du role que joue l'environnement bati dans
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puis des urbanistes, des sociologues, des folkloristes et des specialistes dans des domaines tels Ia preservation du patrirnoine et l'histoire du paysage. Fondee en 1974,
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President I president
Rhodri Windsor-Liscambe
Department of Fine Arts, University of British Columbia
6333 Memorial Road
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T IW5
(604) 822-2757/f: (604) 822-9003/e: iisgp@mercury.ubc.ca
Past President I ancienne presidente
Dorothy Field
Alberta Community Development
8820 112 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2P8
(403) 431-2339/f: (403) 427-3956/e: DField@mcd.gov.ab.ca
Vice-President I vice-presidente
Michele Picard
Historienne de }'architecture
43i2, rue Gamier
Montreal, Quebec H2J 3R5
t/f: (514) 524-5013 I e: mpicard@securenet.net
Treasurer I tresorier
Alexander Cross
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lanDouU
Parks Canada
Hull, Quebec KIA OMS
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Halifax Regional Municipality
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Montreal, Quebec H2J 3R5
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Anthony Zedda
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Produced with the assistance of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada I Pub lie avec I' aide du Conseil de recherches en sciences humaines du Canada
COVER I COUVERTURE :Delegates to the first convention of the British Columbia Society of Architects on the steps of the Empress Hotel, Victoria, June 1912 [detail].
(B.C. Archives, J.C.M. Keith File, photo F-09372) See page 109.
J 0 U R N A L 0 F T H E 5 0 C I E T Y F 0 R T . H E 5 T U D Y 0 F
JOURNAL DE LA SOCIETE POUR L'ETUDE DE L'
ARCHITECTURE
I N I A U
CANADA
VOLUME I TOME 23, NUMBER I NUMERO 4 ( 1 998)
Contents I Table des matieres
108 Taming the West: The Thirty-Year Struggle
to Regulate the Architectural Profession
in British Columbia
Donald Luxton
124 New Building Technology in Canada's
Late Nineteenth-Century Department Stores:
Handmaiden of Monopoly Capitalism
Angela K. Carr
Taming the West:
The Thirty--Year Struggle to
Regulate the Architectural
Profession in British Columbia
DONALD LUXTON
B
ritish Columbia was very late in regulating the profes-
sion of architecture.
1
Following thirty years of debate
and political manoeuvring, the Architectural Institute of British
Columbia was incorporated by an Act of Legislature in 1920.
The reasons that B.C. lagged behind the rest of the country in
professionalization were linked to an enduring frontier men-
tality, violent swings in economic cycles, political and popular
sentiment that distrusted monopolies, and personal differences
between strong-willed individuals. The maturation of the
architectural profession strongly parallelled the taming of the
frontier spirit in many segments of the province's societal
structure. Aspects of this struggle still resonate today.
There were few architect-designed buildings in the
province before the Fraser River gold rush of 1858. But with
the rush came a major wave of immigration, including eight
architectural practitioners - five of whom had been living
in California - who settled on the coast.
2
The progressive
western march of the transcontinental railway created a
momentum of settlement, promoting the establishment of a
more stable resource-based economy. The province's seem-
ingly unlimited potential was widely publicised throughout
Eastern Canada, the United States, and Great Britain. Many
restless settlers followed the railway in the 1880s, seeking
fortunes offered by vast, unexploited western lands. As the
infrastructure for permanent settlements was established, a
crop of immigrant architects, almost exclusively English and
Scottish, found a bustling frontier economy eager for their
talents. Their professional collegiality and a common back-
ground in the British system led to their almost unanimous
support for regulation.
3
This mirrored contemporary move-
ments in Eastern Canada, where architects achieved legal
recognition in Ontario in 1890, and in Quebec the following
year. Bills to establish similar status in B.C. were stonewalled
by a hostile legislature that viewed professional organizations
1 OB .JSSAC I ..JsE:Ac 23:4 (1998)
VANCOUVER
as elitist monopolies, reflecting popular sentiment that embraced
the concept of the "self-made" man. Professional affiliation
received little public support, and a collapsing economy in the
mid 1890s further fragmented the architectural fraternity.
Attempts to establish registration were abandoned for almost
fifteen years.
A renewed drive for registration started about 1908, coincid-
ing with the province's greatest boom period. Conflict was
certain, as there was no longer consensus among those who
considered themselves architects. The established practitioners
of this era (ranging from those competently trained and with
professional credentials from the old country, to those with
more dubious credentials) clashed personally and profession-
ally. The situation was exacerbated by an ongoing rivalry
between the two main cities in the province, and by regional
squabbling. Those who promoted registration were also moti-
vated by fear of outside competition, mainly from American
architects. The booming economy brought a flood of members
of the building trades into the province. They were free to bill
themselves as architects, and therefore resisted registration
(and confirmation of their credentials) for as long as possible.
Registration was desirable for those who were established and
qualified, but anathema to the unqualified. Added to this
volatile mix was a get-rich-quick frontier mentality and a
vigorous distrust of regulation -if these men (for at this time
those that called themselves architects in British Columbia
were almost exclusively male, white, and British
4
) had craved
stability and regulation they would not have travelled so far to
such a wild and untamed area to make their fortune . These
intrepid immigrants had followed the boom trail as far west as
they could, and were determined, or forced, to make a go of it
there.
Two competing architectural societies emerged, one inclusive
of virtually anyone who wanted to join, the other a splinter
Figure 5. Delegates to the first convention of the British Columbia Society of Architects on the steps of the Empress Hotel, Victoria, June 1912: 1. Charles Herbert Bebb,
Seattle; 2. Hoult Horton (president); 3. Norman Leech, Vancouver; 4. J.L. Putnam, Vancouver; 5. Harold Joseph Rous Cullin, Victoria; 6. J.C.M. Keith, Victoria.
(B.C. Archives, J.C.M. Keith File, photo F-09372)
group of elitists who worked to reserve the profession for those
properly trained and qualified, based on British and American
models. The depression of 1913 and the subsequent devasta-
tion of the local economy during the Great War resolved the
situation in favour of the elitist group.
Very little has been recorded about the history of this
struggle. Robert Percival Sterling Twizell, one of the key
players, wrote a very brief history of the development of the
Architectural Institute of British Columbia, published in 1950
in the Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
5
This article related the bare facts of the A.I.B.C.'s development,
and demonstrates not only a selective memory on the writer's
part but also a few obvious grudges, decades after the events
described. The development of the architectural profession
in B.C. was much more complicated than Twizell described.
FIRST STEPS: THE BRITISH COLUMBIA ASSOCIATION
OF ARCHITECTS, 1891
The arrival of the transcontinental railway on the West Coast
in 1885
6
and the establishment of local resource-based indus-
tries created an economic climate of explosive growth:
Nor is Vancouver the only city in British Columbia. Its older sisters,
Victoria, Nanaimo and New Westminster are coming on apace and
also showing wonderful development, each of which contains features
of special interest in the lines on which the CANADIAN ARCHITECT
AND BUILDER is conducted. Not only are these progressive, but all
British Columbia, for many years in the Slough of Despond [sic]. Its
architects and builders are the sons of England, Ireland and Scotland
and of the Eastern Provinces, and no nation on earth can boast of
better workmen.
7
-.ISSAC I t..ISE::Ac 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 09
Until this time there had been few resident architects in
B.C., but the seemingly unlimited opportunities based on the
expanding exploitation of natural resources and facilitated
by the confluence of rail and water transportation proved
irresistible to a number of British-trained architects eager to
seek their fortunes in the colonies. Victoria was still the largest
and most important city in the province, but Vancouver was
fast growing in size and importance.
8
Architects in this period
were often transitory, staying mobile to follow potential work.
Some were following the railway to its terminus on the coast;
some were intending to pass through but stayed; and some
kept right on travelling.
9
The 1891 Henderson's B.C. Directory
listed 25 architects in its classified business directory.
10
Among
those who settled on the coast there was a clearly defined
architectural fraternity based on a common background of
apprenticeship and academic training. Even at this early
stage in the province's and the profession's development
there was a general agreement on the value of registration,
as well as a developing sense of a local architecture based on
the Arts and Crafts movement and rooted in the indigenous
landscape.
11
Here, on the edge of the wilderness, these men
were working together to establish collegial bonds.
The first major step to self-organization of the profession
was a meeting held in the rooms of the Young Men's Christian
Association building in Victoria on 29 June 1891.
12
This session
lasted from 10:30 in the morning until 10:00 at night. Eleven
men were present: Cornelius]. Soule, William Ridgway Wilson,
Edward Mallandaine, L. Buttress Trimen, A Maxwell Muir,
Edward McCoskie, and Thomas Hooper, all from Victoria;
C. Osborn Wickenden, Noble Stonestreet Hoffar and Alan E.
McCartney from Vancouver; and Richard P. Sharp from New
Westminster. Seventeen others had sent a proxy or a letter of
support, or had indicated their willingness to join a provincial
organization.
13
Thus, twenty-eight men who considered them-
selves qualified as architects were represented. These names
intertwine, harmoniously and acrimoniously, throughout the
ongoing debates that occurred over the next thirty years
before official incorporation finally passed.
The minutes of this meeting offer a number of clues as to
the background initiatives that led to this marathon meeting:
Mr. Muir, having acted as secretary pro tern for the Victoria Architects
at a previous meeting, again took his seat in a similar capacity.
At the suggestion of the Chairman, Mr. McCartney read the minutes
of the several meetings that had been held in Vancouver.
14
There is no known record of these earlier meetings, but it is
clear that a movement had been underway since at least early
1891, and probably the previous year, to self-organize as a
prelude to asking the province to pass regulatory legislation.
15
A number of resolutions were passed at the 29 June meeting.
The group agreed to call itself the British Columbia Association
1 1 D ..JSSAC I ..JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998)
of Architects, with the ultimate goal of incorporating on a
similar basis as the Ontario Association of Architects.
16
A
constitution was adopted, based very closely on that of the
O.A.A. Officers were elected, with John Teague as president,
C.O. Wickenden as first vice-president, R.P. Sharp as second
vice-president, W. Ridgway Wilson as secretary, Edward
Mallandaine as treasurer, and L.B. Trimen, C.] . Soule, Thomas
Hooper, R. Mackay Fripp, and A.E. McCartney as directors.
Following the election, the association was considered formed,
with the names of 2 7 men attached.
17
After lunch the group
passed a set of bylaws, also based on those of the O.A.A. The
meeting then drafted a proposed bill for professional regulation,
based on a recently passed bill that enabled the registration of
Ontario architects. The preamble of the bill is of special interest
to the debate that ensued over the next several decades:
An Act Respecting the Profession of Architects
WHEREAS, it is deemed expedient for the better protection of public
interests in the erection of public and private buildings in the Province
of British Columbia, and in order to enable persons requiring profes-
sional aid in Architecture to distinguish between qualified and
unqualified Architects, and to ensure a standard of efficiency in the
persons practicing the profession of Architecture in the Province,
and for the furtherance and advancement of the art of Architecture.
THEREFORE, Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the
Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as
follows : ...
The preamble was followed by thirty-three articles that out-
lined the powers and responsibilities of the British Columbia
Association of Architects. The meeting adjourned with instruc-
tions to the president and directors to interview the government
as quickly as possible to determine the feasibility of passing
this bill and accepting the attached list of 2 7 as those legally
qualified to call themselves architects.
The B.C.A.A.'s first Annual General Meeting was held at
Victoria on 5 December 1891.
18
Fourteen of the 24 paid-up
members were present. Wickenden reported that, with the
assistance of their legal advisor, the proposed registration bill
had been considerably altered "but which now appeared to
be about as near perfection as could be wished for." Officers
were then elected, with Teague re-elected as president.
19
The
association was now poised to submit their bill to the Provincial
Legislature.
THE BRITISH COLUMBIA INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS,
1892-1894
Soon after the A.G.M. the name of the association was
changed to the British Columbia Institute of Architects. The
explosive growth of the architectural field, and of the economy
in general, is demonstrated by the total of 46 architects listed
in the 1892 B.C. Directory, almost double the previous year.
20
On 8 May 1892, the B. C.I.A. adopted a code of professional
practice and a set of standardized charges, which included for
the first time a fee of 5 percent on works above $2,500. This
was based primarily on the practice and charges of the Royal
Institute of British Architects, but also referenced the archi-
tectural societies of Liverpool, Glasgow, Melbourne, Ontario,
Kansas State and the American Institute of Architects.
21
The government's reaction to the proposed registration bill
was less than heartening. It was submitted in the spring of
1892 but was defeated on third reading. Although it had been
introduced as a private member's bill, the Speaker ruled that
it was in essence a public bill and would have to be reintro-
duced. In response, the group made application to register the
B.C.I.A. under the Literary Societies Act, which was granted
on 24 June 1892. The Declaration of Establishment was signed
by ten men who would be the first trustees.
22
Subsequently,
the B.C.I.A. published its bylaws, professional practices, and
charges, reiterating the 5 percent fee structure.
23
In the fall of
1892 Ridgway Wilson seems to have been active in contacting
prospective members and honorary fellows.
24
This could only
be a voluntary organization until legislation was passed, but
the stage was now set for a strong push for official recognition.
The B.C.I.A.'s second A.G.M. was held on 4 November 1892,
in Vancouver.
25
There were now nearly 40 members. One of
the council's main activities had been monitoring and comment-
ing on two competitions in Victoria, for Christ Church Cathedral
and the new legislative buildings, their interest apparently moti-
vated by fear of American architects. It was also reported that
Probably the most important action taken during the past year has
been the attempted passage in the Local Legislature of our "Bill
respecting the Profession of Architects," which, as you all know, was
thrown out by the small majority of one, the time of its being voted
on being late on a Saturday at the fag end of the session, with a very
few members present. It is a question for your consideration whether
the Act should be brought up again at the next session of Parliament
or not . After some further discussion on the subject of the proposed
Bill respecting the profession of architects, a committee consisting of
Messrs. Soule, Bayne, and Ridgway Wilson, with power to add to the
number, was appointed to consider what further steps should be
taken in the matter and to report to the Council.
26
In February 1893 the B.C.I.A. introduced another private
bill that would have required architects to register with the
Institute; it was "more badly beaten than its predecessor."
27
At
the B.C.I.A.'s third A.G.M., held in Victoria on 2 December
1893, there was not much good news to report. Vice-president
R.R. Bayne reported that "a period of unexampled dullness
has prevailed in our profession - we have not a single new
member to welcome .... Before we meet again, gentlemen, let
us hope that things may improve with us all, and that we will
be all busy men as now too many of us are idle men."
28
C. ()si<OIUI \VICKX:<CDI!.t(, V... •
, ., ..... li.,. ...... ,vaona,•t.m.<>fC.....d!.
OFFICERS OF THE BRITISH COLUMBIA INSTITUTE OF ARCHI TECTS.
Figure 1. Officers of the British Columbia Institute Of Architects. (Canadian
Architect & Builder 7, no. 10 [October 1894]; Thomas Fisher Rare Book Collection,
University of Toronto}
Concerns were expressed about the conduct of competi-
tions, which were becoming an important source of work. The
established architects had clearly been startled when a virtually
unknown 25-year-old English immigrant, Francis Rattenbury,
won the prestigious competition to design the new legislative
buildings, though they did acknowledge the apparent fairness
of the process, and appear to have been relieved that an
American was not chosen.
29
The discouraged members aban-
doned their attempts for provincial registration and decided to
approach the associations in Ontario and Quebec to work
toward national registration. Their inquiries, however, revealed
that there was little interest in pursuing this ambitious goal,
and worsening economic conditions caused them to turn their
attention to their own struggling practices.
.JSSAC I .JsEAc 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 1 1
INTERREGNUM, 1894-1909
The Canadian Architect & Builder reported in early 1894 on
the worsening economy in B.C. : "There is very little in the
way of building news to report at present as architects and
builders in this province in common with those in other
countries are feeling the effects of the world-wide commercial
depression. "
30
In October 1894 photographic portraits of the officers of
the B.C.I.A. were published in the Canadian Architect &
Builder (Figure 1), but there was no further mention of their
activities and no record that their fourth A.G.M. , scheduled to
be held in New Westminster in November, was ever held. As
the economy worsened the B.C.I.A. faded away. But the idea
of registration never quite died: in 1899 Ridgway Wilson was
still contacting other provincial associations, gathering infor-
mation for yet another try at regulation.
31
As consensus on the need for professional registration
faded, conflicting currents developed in the architectural
community. Many in the profession were devoted to serving
the needs of the entrepreneurial class made rich as a result of the
Klondike gold rush. They provided overwrought and fanciful
designs that boasted of newly-acquired wealth, framed in a
frontier context of new urban centres being carved out of
forest wilderness. This was opposed by an emerging school of
design that pursued the evolution of a local architecture rooted
in the native landscape and natural materials, reflecting the
growing influence of the Arts and Crafts movement. This
conflict can also be ascribed to competing American and
British stylistic influences, a battle that waxed and waned for
decades.
32
The more British-aligned mentality is illustrated by
the comments of an anonymous B.C. correspondent (likely
R. Mackay Fripp; Figure 2) describing Victoria's buildings in
1899 (Figures 3, 4) in the Canadian Architect & Builder:
The Five Sisters Block though not exactly a new building is one of
the more recent improvements, a plain red brick building with man-
sard roof, with refined detail throughout, marred by its execution in
painted metal, a hopelessly lifeless material to design in. The Bank of
British Columbia though not lacking a certain degree of dignity is
rendered trivial by its overload of cement and metal ornament, some
of which is flimsy; the style is a conventional style of Italian .... the
Board of Trade Building and the new home of the Colonist news-
paper are attempts in that species of American Architecture which is
described by the ubiquitous reporter as "That Splendid Block" or
"That Handsome Structure," both having much of the swaggering,
braggadocio, painted and galvanized iron, rock faced stone and tuck
pointed brick genus of features which may be more but generally are
less original and cannot be deemed architectural.
33
In a subsequent edition, the writer complained about the
state of affairs in Vancouver:
1 1 2 JssAc 1 .JsE:Ac 23:4 < 1 998)
Figure 2. Robert Mackay Fripp, c. 1888. (City of Vancouver Archives, CVP Port 552)
It must be borne in mind that this is the west, and that there has not
been sufficient time to evolve a standard in matters of taste. There
are no old established interests, no cultivated leisure class. The town
does not possess a museum, much less a gallery of arts, not even a
fine arts society. Every man is fully occupied in making a way for
himself, and until he decided to buy a lot and build a house, never
gave two thoughts to building. His idea of what constitutes the call-
ing of an architect is a beautifully mixed one, and consequently, in
his utter ignorance, turns to what he is pleased to call a practical
man, with the hapless results that defy criticism. That bogey, the
practical man, is ever the most hopeless; unpractical; knows nothing
of planning; his designing is not less ridiculous than his planning or
more feeble than his drawing; his va unted practical knowledge is
invariably confined to the one trade he followed before he started
speculative jerry building operations on his own accounr.
34
Despite signs of emerging cultural organization in these
frontier cities, the architectural profession maintained a low
profile. The first annual event of the Arts and Crafts Association,
which had been founded by Fripp, was held in Vancouver at
the Alhambra Hall from 24-26 September 1900.
Figure 3. The Five Sisters Block, Victoria; T.C. Sorby and William Ridgway
Wilson, architects, 1891. (Victoria City Archives, #98207 -15-540)
Figure 4. The Bank of British Columbia (Craft & Norris Block), Victoria; Elmer
Fisher & William Ridgway Wilson, architects, 1888. (B.C. Archives, HP #71442)
When it is considered that the number of architects practicing in
British Columbia is probably nearly half a hundred it is surprising to
find but three of that number exhibiting on the walls of the association.
The disregard, not to say ignorant neglect, of the art of architecture
by the public is not all that surprising. If the practice of the first and
highest of the arts lie with men who are themselves so little appreciative
of the real position of architecture in the world of art, or so little desirous
of impressing upon the public the high nature of their vocation, what
can be expected from the same public but a continued attitude of
indifference? .. . This is, no doubt, a digression, but, really, an Arts and
Crafts Association with scarcely a sign of the architectonic foundation
upon which such associations must of necessity rest is a noteworthy
. . 35
cunostty.
The situation at the Association's second annual show in
1901 was even worse, where the only architectural drawings
exhibited were several by Fripp; perhaps other architects shied
away to avoid his withering criticisms.
THE BRITISH COLUMBIA SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTS
AND THE ARCHITECTS' ASSOCIATION OF VICTORIA,
1909-1914
The dream of a national architectural organization persisted.
36
In April 1907 a letter was sent to 500 architects inviting them
to join a proposed Institute of Architects of Canada. An encour-
aging response led to a convention being held in Montreal
from 19-23 August 1907. The sole representative from B.C.,
William H. Archer, sat on the Institute's provisional council.
37
In an address to the convention, Edmund Burke, president of
the O.A.A., stated:
I regret to say that we in Ontario are behind the Province of Quebec
in our laws in connection with the status of the architect. We have
tried two or three times to obtain restrictive legislation, but have
failed so far, partly through the opposition of the labour organizations,
whose members seem to think that it will prevent their sons from
becoming architects on the ground that architecture as a profession
will become too exclusive and expensive, and partly by others who are
opposed to restrictive legislation on the ground that it is class legisla-
tion. We hope, however, some day soon, to see a change in public
opinion, and that these people, will learn that it is to their own interest,
even more than to ours that such legislation should be passed.
I have heard to day that the architects of Manitoba expect to obtain
restrictive legislation, either at the end of this or early next year.
The Province of Alberta obtained it last year, and the Province of
Quebec has had it for many years. So we are all moving forward in
the direction desired.
38
Many topics of interest were discussed in the sessions,
including uniform building laws, public competitions, the con-
servation of historical monuments, and copyright considera-
tions. The convention appears to have been an unqualified
success, and was followed by the first general annual assembly
of the Architectural Institute of Canada
39
in Ottawa from 28
September to 1 October 1908. The federal act assenting to
the Architectural Institute of Canada was passed on 16 June
1908, and an alliance with the R.I.B.A. was completed on 15
May of the following year, allowing the prefix "Royal" to be
added on 2 June. The second general annual assembly was
held in Toronto from 5-6 October 1909.
The establishment of the national organization revived the
idea of a local organization in British Columbia. On 29 January
1909 a group calling itself the British Columbia Association
of Architects met "to look into the formation of a provincial
association of architects." Among those who were elected as offi-
cers were Francis Rattenbury (president), William Tinniswood
Dalton, R.M. Fripp, Samuel Maclure, and William Goodfellow
(likely Sr.) . W.H. Archer, T. Ennor Julian, Norman A. Leech,
Sholto Smith, and a Mr. Jones were appointed an entertainment
committee for a smoker early in February to bring members
together.
40
.JSSAC I .JSE:AC 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 1 3
The stupendous economic boom that lasted from 1908 to
1913 attracted record numbers of new settlers to the coast,
including many involved in the building trades. The situation
within the architectural community was chaotic, as many of
the new arrivals billed themselves as architects whether or not
they had any training or qualifications. Concerned about
public confidence as well as their own livelihood, a small
group in Vancouver experienced with architectural societies
had its goal of establishing the "British Columbia Society of
Architects" well underway by the fall of 1909. It became
apparent that the qualifications of prospective members could
not be confirmed, and the original founders were soon out-
numbered, with estimates of up to 300 in the province claiming
to be architects. Trained, qualified architects were clearly in
the minority.
A parallel group was developing in the capital city. The
first meeting of the "Architect's Association of Victoria" was
held at the Driard Hotel on Tuesday, 25 October 1910. Francis
Rattenbury was elected honorary president, Samuel Maclure
president, W. Ridgway Wilson vice-president, and Percy
Leonard James secretary-treasurer. Twenty-two architects sub-
scribed as members at a meeting on 10 November, although
their minutes show only sporadic gatherings through 1911.
41
By October 1911 the British Columbia Society of Architects
had been firmly established in Vancouver. The Victoria and
Vancouver associations remained separate during this time,
though they appear to have been in communication with each
other: on 18 December 1911, for example, a special meeting
was held in Victoria for several of the members to meet
delegates of the B.C.S.A. who had come to Victoria to inter-
view Dr. Henry Esson Young, the Provincial Secretary. The
question of registration of architects was discussed at this
meeting. One of the greatest concerns facing the profession at
this time was how the government would conduct the compe-
tition for the proposed campus for the University of British
Columbia. A number of meetings and delegates addressed this
issue in the following months; it was apparently considered
advantageous to present a united professional front to the
government.
42
On 23 March 1912 the Architects Association of Victoria
voted to become the Victoria chapter of the British Columbia
Society of Architects. The Vancouver chapter was by far the
larger group, with 70 members listed in January 1912. The
biggest issue facing both groups continued to be the UBC
competition. After extensive study a location was chosen at
Point Grey, outside of Vancouver, and the competition was
announced for the master plan of the campus.
43
On 3 April
1912 a special meeting was held between delegates of the
Vancouver and Victoria chapters regarding this competi-
tion. At the time it was reported that the Society was running
smoothly, and that all its committees were working properly.
President Norman A. Leech
44
announced plans to hold
1 1 4 .JSSAC I ..JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998)
Vancouver's first architectural exhibition, although he favoured
"the postponement of the display until after the summer
holidays as all the members are in the thick of the spring
building rush at present and will not be able to give to the
exhibit the attention which such an event needs."
45
Perhaps
the members were busier than reported, or other events
intervened, as the exhibition was not held until the following
summer.
The first annual convention of the British Columbia Society
of Architects was held in Victoria in June 1912 (Figure 5,
page 109). Hou!t Horton was elected president, Norman
Leech vice-president, John Wilson honorary secretary, and
Percy Leonard James honorary treasurer.
46
This seemed to be a
real step toward cooperation among architects on a provincial
level, but trouble was soon to erupt.
The Society's meetings in the predominant Vancouver Chapter were
moderately harmonious during the first year of its life, but after that
time until it ceased to function the meetings became increasingly
turbulent and noisy mostly due to charges made by certain members
of the open and continued unprofessional conduct of many of the
others, and the indifference of the executive to obvious irregularities.
47
A joint meeting of the Vancouver and Victoria chapters of
the B.C.S.A. was held in Vancouver on 6-7 September 1912,
with about a dozen architects attending from Victoria.
48
The
B.C.S.A. finally held its "First Annual Architectural Exhibi-
tion" in the chambers of the Progress Club
49
in Vancouver
from 28 June to 5 July 1913 (Figure 6).
It is estimated that fully 20,000 people visited the Architect's Exhibi-
tion .... The exhibition was divided into two departments, one dealing
with the architects' plans, sketches and drawings exclusively, and the
Figure 6. The Architect's Exhibition at the Progress Club, 28 June to 5 July 1913.
(Industrial Progress, August 1913, 15; Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections)
other showing exhibits of building materials, builders, builders' hard-
ware, and other essentials of construction. Both departments were
tastefully and artistically set out, the floors being covered with Oriental
rugs and the corners being filled with palms. 5°
In conjunction with the exhibition the Society published a
year book lavishly illustrated with architectural renderings; a
foreword by W. Marbury Somervell
5
t summarized the history
of the profession and discussed the civic role of the architect. 5
2
A design for the Society's seal was also included (Figure 7).
This publication is the best evidence we have of how the
Society had matured in a very short time. For 1913 the
Vancouver chapter listed four executive, ten council members,
and 116 members; one additional member showed up on the
1913-14 executive, for a total of 131.
53
The Victoria chapter
listed three executive, five council members, and 50 additional
members for a total of 58. W.T. Whiteway was president in
Vancouver, J.C.M. Keith was president in Victoria, and Hoult
Horton was provincial president. This list of 189 presents a
snapshot of those who considered themselves to be architects
at the height of the boom era.
54
It is noteworthy that about
half of them either disappeared from the scene or were not
considered eligible for registration just seven years later.
The B.C.S. A. held its second A.G.M. at about the same
time as the exhibition. President Hoult Horton of Victoria
and vice-president W.T. Whiteway of Vancouver welcomed
the members, and the committee reports indicate that the
society was in excellent shape and fast growing in influence.
There was a continued push for the province to pass a regis-
tration act, with the hope that there would soon be official
recognition of the profession, placing it on the same footing as
other provinces. Hoult Horton was re-elected as president,
J.L. Putnam of Vancouver as vice-president, and P.L. James of
Victoria as treasurer, with George A. Horel, William Marshall
Dodd, Archibald Campbell Hope, Charles J. Thompson, and
G.A. Birkenhead of Vancouver and H.J. Rous Cullin, John
Wilson, Mr. Jameson, Ridgway Wilson, and J.C. M. Keith of
Victoria elected to the executive council. 5
5
The general public might have been given an impression
that all was well within the profession, but this seemingly
close-knit fraternity was about to split apart on clearly defined
lines of self-interest.
56
SPLINTER GROUP: THE ARCHITECTURAL INSTITUTE
OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, 1913-1914
A number of architects felt that the all-inclusive nature and
in-group clubbishness of the B.C.S.A. served neither their nor
the public's best interests . They decided to form a parallel
society that reflected the British and American models for
professional organizations, requiring relevant education and
office experience as criteria for accreditation.
Figure 7. First prize for a design for a seal for the British Columbia Society of
Architects; J. Drummond Beatson, 1913. (Year Book of the British Columbia
Society of Architects Vancower Chapter AD MCMXIII; Architectural Institute of
British Columbia collection)
In the fall of 1912 a special meeting was called at the demand of a
small group of dissatisfied members after a case became known of
flagrant collusion between an assessor and winner of a school
competition. The competitor was an officer of the Society and every
attempt made to have an enquiry was evaded and finally blocked.
This episode and the general prevailing conditions convinced the
small group which had requested the enquiry that there was no hope
of improvement in the society; they severed from it in March 1913
and formed a club of very limited membership for friendly inter-
course among architects. 5
7
The leader of this breakaway group was R. Mackay Fripp, who
continued to fire broadsides at everyone involved:
Why do not the efficient archi tects do something to raise the
standard of professional competence? Simply because provincial and
federal legislatures refuse the enabling legislation. A registration bill
which proposed to render examination compulsory has been turned
down three times by this provincial legislature. Even in those provinces
where such a bill has been enacted the educational facilities are
either non-existent or wholly inadequate. The young Canadian who
wishes to become an all-round efficient architect must seek in
Europe or the United States the higher training denied him by his
own country. Having spent his years and his money, he returns to
find himself in competition with the practical man, the self-made man,
the shyster, and all the tribe of incompetents that are encouraged by
the actions of the legislatures and the preference of the public to
style themselves "architects" .. .. It is considered most desirable that a
.JssAc I .JsE:Ac:: 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 1 5
school of architecture should be established in our new university,
but apparently it is too early to do more than agitate gently .... There
being no compulsory test of qualification, the undesirables and the
inefficients pour in at the open door. 5
8
Despite the continued existence and obvious dominance
of the B.C. Society of Architects, this elitist breakaway group
of ten established itself in Vancouver as the "Architectural
Institute of British Columbia." Membership was closed until
incorporation was obtained under the Benevolent Societies
Act. There were ten signatories to the application for incorp-
oration made in April1914; the society was duly incorporated
on 10 June of that year.
59
The signatories to the application to
incorporate the society were R.M. Fripp, James W. Keagey,
R.P.S. Twizell, Samuel Buttrey Birds, William Charles
Frederick Gillam, Gordon B. Kaufman, Arthur Julius Bird,
Kennerley Bryan,]. Charles Day, and John James Honeyman.
60
The search began for other suitable members. The first
A.G.M. was held on 25 June 1914. Fripp was elected president,
W.T. Dalton vice-president, Fred Laughton Townley secretary,
and S.B. Birds treasurer. A hearty vote of thanks was given to
Kennerley Bryan "for his unceasing efforts in connection with
the formation of the Institute.'o6
1
Twenty-one men indicated
their intention to become members of the Institute.
62
On 25
June an official application was made for affiliation with the
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
THE B.C.S.A. STRIKES BACK, 1914
The Victoria chapter of the B.C.S.A., learning of this action,
immediately sent a similar application to the R.A.I.C., stating
that they had the much larger membership. At the 25 August
1914 meeting of the Victoria chapter, members discussed the
questions regarding provincial registration and the new Archi-
tectural Institute in Vancouver. They also prepared a draft
bill, intended to be introduced in the provincial legislature.
Thirty men were listed as supporters of the bill, most notably
Hoult Horton, Ridgway Wilson, Maclure, Hooper, Rattenbury,
G.L. Thornton Sharp, and Charles J. Thompson.
63
It is notable
that the preamble was closely modelled on the proposed bill of
1891:
An Act Respecting the British Columbia Association of Architects
WHEREAS, it is deemed expedient for the better protection of the
public interests in the erection of public and private buildings in the
Province, and to enable persons requiring professional aid in archi-
tecture, to distinguish between qualified and unqualified architects,
and to ensure a standard of efficiency in the persons practicing the
profession of architecture in the Province, and for the furtherance
and advancement of the art of architecture;
And whereas it is desirable that the persons hereinafter named,
together with such other persons as may be hereafter admitted to
membership as hereinafter provided, be incorporated by the name of
1 1 6 .JssAc I .JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998)
the "British Columbia Association of Architects," having for its objects
the acquirement and interchange of professional knowledge by and
amongst its members, and more particularly the acquisition of that
species of knowledge which shall promote the artistic, scientific and
practical efficiency of the profession of architecture:
Therefore, His Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the
Legislative Assembly of the Province of British Columbia, enacts as
follows: ...
The Society's bill proposed the following broad qualifica-
tions for membership without examination:
• Any person twenty-five years of age or older practicing the pro-
fession of architecture in B.C. at the time of the bill's passage;
• Any person engaged for seven years as an assistant in an
architect's office; or
• Any member in good standing of the R.I. B.A. or any asso-
ciation of similar standing.
Others who did not qualify would be subject to qualifying exami-
nations. These rules opened the membership to many who had
never received any formal education in the profession, but would
close the doors soon afterward. The scale of fees was not set, but
would be established by the council. The act was to apply to any
works over $10,000. This bill does not appear to have ever been
introduced in the legislature, which would have been unlikely to
have considered it once war had broken out.
The two competing applications to the R.A.I.C. also caused a
deadlock, and after further correspondence a letter was sent to
each organization on 27 April 1915 stating that neither group
would be admitted until they had resolved their differences.
At this time the B.C.S.A. was still recognized as the voice
of the architectural profession. W.M. Dodd and C.J. Thompson
represented the Society on the general committee for the
Vancouver Civic Centre competition of 1914.
64
This seems to
have been the Society's last official function. To quote
Twizell, "In the meanwhile the Great War had become all
important and questions of architectural affiliation were laid
aside. The B.C.S.A. withered, never to recover.'o6
5
With the great building boom over many architects volun-
teered for overseas service, and some were killed or seriously
wounded in action.
66
Others left the province, held on in
reduced circumstances, or changed occupations entirely.
During the war the B.C.S.A. faded away, symptomatic of its
lack of central purpose beyond self-interest. The upstart,
highly-motivated Institute was kept alive by several active
members who filed the yearly returns required under the act.
At the A.I.B.C.'s second A.G.M., held 10 March 1915, a
committee was appointed
to collect Data and Statistics of existing and proposed legislation for
purposes of Registration. That this committee have power to further
affiliation with RAIC. To have power to prepare any proposed
legislation for B.C. To have power to fill vacancies in itself and add
to its numbers. This Committee to report to a Special General
Meeting of the Institute to be called for the purpose. The following
Committee were appointed: Kennerley Bryan - Chairman; J.J.
Honeyman; J.W. Keagey; R.P.S. Twizell.
67
At their 23 January 1917 meeting the A.I.B.C. drafted a
letter to Charles Thompson to enquire whether or not the
B.C.S.A. still existed. A reply is not recorded, but undoubt-
edly the answer would have been no. At the third A.G.M.,
held 7 March 1917, the A.I.B.C.'s registration committee
reported that "it would be unwise to do anything this year, but
valuable information has been gathered.' o6
8
Correspondence
with the R.A.I.C. regarding affiliation continued throughout
the war, but no further progress was made. R. Mackay Fripp,
president since the Institute's formation, passed away unex-
pectedly on 16 December 1917, his 60th birthday. He had not
lived long enough to see his profession officially recognized in
B.C.69
Of the competing architectural factions only the A.I.B.C.
survived the war. After armistice the Institute rounded up
most of its previous members and renewed its application to
the R.A.I.C., which was finally accepted on 5 October 1918.
Substantial correspondence was sent to American jurisdictions
in 1918 and 1919 researching the states in which architecture
was a "closed" profession. The A.I.B.C. also continued to
voice its opposition to the passage of a proposed bill to incor-
porate the Engineering and Technical Institute of British
Columbia.
70
The stage was now set for the passage oflegislation.
INCORPORATION OF THE A.I.B.C., 1920
In January 1920 it was announced that both architects and
civil engineers would shortly be seeking the passage of private
bills calling for professional registration. As reported in the
Vancouver Daily World on 10 January 1920,
While the architects have an association among themselves, this
association has no standing such as is possessed by the legal, medical
or dental professions, and it is with the object of placing the profession
as near as possible on the same footing as these other professions that
steps are now being taken. The granting of a certificate to an architect,
under the provisions of the act, will mean that he is properly qualified
to undertake work in which, it is pointed out, not only the lives of
the men engaged on the work are sometimes at stake, but the safety
of the public during the life of the building must also be safeguarded.
On 13 February 1920, two private members bills were intro-
duced, Bill 51 concerning the regulation of architects, and Bill
54 for the incorporation of the Association of Professional
Engineers. These two bills were to proceed along a parallel
and equally perilous course. They were subject to a great deal
of public comment and scrutiny, and their passage was not a
foregone conclusion. They were part of a series of broader
issues widely debated in newspapers and journals of the time.
Popular sentiment favoured hard-working, self-made men
rather than elitist academics, and many young men had spent
their prime years on the battlefield rather than in school.
Many who worked in the building trades saw their livelihood
threatened, and those hoping to rebuild a new post-war
prosperity hated the thought of further government regulation;
or the possibility of paying useless professional fees. Why pay
an architect when an experienced builder was more practical?
These were the same arguments that had been heard for the
last thirty years.
The General Contractors and Master Builders' Association
mounted a campaign against the passage of Bill 51, which
would regulate who could call himself an architect. In addition,
objections were received from Imperial Oil and the American
Can Company, which maintained in-house design staff and
resisted the idea of having to hire outside expertise. A letter
was also received from the B.C. Manufacturers' Association
opposing the bill's requirements, but it was exposed as fraudu-
lent, as it had been written by the contractors' and builders'
section of the association, who had affixed the secretary's
name to it without his knowledge. This admission did not
help their case in opposition of the bill, and indeed upon
· further investigation many individual contractors were found
to be in support of it.
There was also considerable opposition to the regulation of
engineers, based on the fear of loss of American investment
in mining. The British Columbia Prospectors' Protective
Association had publicly opposed the bill even before it was
tabled. On 25 February 1920 the lobbying of the Mining
Institute sent the engineering bill back to the private bills
committee. On 18 March, Bill 51 and Bill 54 came up for
second reading, with the Engineer's Act up first. By all accounts
it was an antagonistic debate. Liberal Premier "Honest John"
Oliver said he would not oppose second reading, but that he
would oppose the bill unless it was rewritten. The premier
stated that
in expressing his views he was not speaking for the government. Nor
did he wish to cast any reflection on the engineers, who as a class
were as beneficial to the world as any of which he had knowledge.
But when they sought to put laws upon the statute books that would
deny an unprofessional man the right to earn an honest living, they
had reached a stage at which the voice of the common people should
be raised against it. If I were engaged in mining I would take the advice
of a practical mining man with a lifetime's experience in preference
to the vast majority of men who will register under this act as pro-
fessional engineers.
Mr. Anderson, Liberal Member for Kamloops who was
sponsor for the bill, interrupted with "The Premier is abso-
lutely mis-stating the bill. He has not read it at all or he would
tJssAc 1 .JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 1 7
not make such wild statements." J.H. Shofield, Conservative
Member for Trail, considered this a bill to create a closed
shop, and did not know of any class of industry willing "to act
as wet nurses for it. It is another octopus with tentacles reaching
out from Vancouver and the classiest of class legislation, of
which we already have too much." He also called it "another
case of Coast against Hinterland. Kootenay had too long been
the milch cow of British Columbia, but there was a limit in all
cases. Any man coming into the country to ask advice about
the development of property would go to a practical man, not
necessarily a man with letters after his name, but a man who
worked in the mine and not in the office." J.W. Weart, gov-
ernment Member for South Vancouver, adjourned the debate.
71
After this fractious reception, it was the turn of David
Whiteside, government Member for New Westminster, to intro-
duce the architect's bill for second reading. The Royal City
representative observed with fitting solemnity that the bill in
his charge was designed in harmony with the dignity and
importance of architecture: "One only had to look around at
the public buildings in Victoria to recognize the importance of
architecture in securing harmony and beauty. While the bill
was brought in at the request of 70 architects in the province
there was no desire to create a high board fence around the
profession. The bill had been carefully considered by the private
bills committee, the objectionable features had been elimi-
nated, and the contractors had withdrawn their opposition."
72
Presumably there were no perceived gains from further grand-
standing. There were no real political or economic implications
to the registration of architects, and a number of perceived
public benefits. The architect's bill was given second reading
without further discussion.
On March 29, Bill 54 was given third reading, establishing
the Association of Professional Engineers of the Province of
British Columbia. As a compromise, regulations concerning
mining were removed and covered under the Mining Act, a
situation that continues to the present day.
73
1 1 a .JssAc 1 .JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 99Bl
Figure 8. Competition drawing for a seal for the Architectural Institute of British
Columbia; H.L. Swan, 1920. (City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS. 326, Vol. 5,
File 28)
Figure 9. Competition drawing for a seal for the Architectural Institute of British
Columbia; Maclure & lort, 1920. (City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS. 326,
Vol. 5, File 28)
Figure 10. Winning entry for a seal for the Architectural Institute of British Columbia;
Robert C. Kerr, 1920. (Courtesy Architectural Institute of British Columbia)
At the 30 March meeting of the Standing and Select
committees of the Provincial legislature, Schedule A was added
to Bill 51, setting out, among other changes and conditions, a
fee for architects of 6 percent on works over $4,500. Additional
changes and refinements were also agreed to. Bill 51 was sent
on to the Legislature and was passed after considerable debate,
and with some amendments, on 7 April 1920. The profession
of architecture had finally been regulated after thirty years of
debate and controversy.
On 20 May 1920 the first council of management for the
A.I.B.C. was chosen, which included Professor E.G.
Matheson, CE, of UBC (who was also chosen to be on the
provisional executive council of the Association of Professional
Engineers), Percy Fox, C.E. Watkins, R.P.S. Twizell, and
Andrew Lamb Mercer. At their first meeting on 10 June, Mercer,
a Scottish immigrant who commenced working in British
Columbia in 1911, was elected as president, S.M. Eveleigh
as treasurer, and Fred Laughton Townley as secretary. Townley
began the task of notifying those engaged in the practice of ar-
chitecture to apply for registration. At their second meeting on
14 July an official seal was chosen, designed by Robert C.
Kerr, from among a number of others submitted in competi-
tion (Figures 8, 9, 10).
74
The first A.G.M. following incorpo-
ration was held in the Board of Trade rooms, Saturday, 4
December 1920. Council began the task of approving applica-
tions to the Institute, and the 1921 register listed a total of99
registered architects.
On 25 February 1921 the A.I.B.C. held its first annual
banquet in the Rose du Barry room of the second Hotel
Vancouver. Previous divisions seem to have been forgotten,
and by all accounts this was a jolly event. President Andrew
Lamb Mercer acted as toastmaster and there was musical
entertainment, including a flute solo by Harold Culleme and
a banjo solo by S.A. Kayll. A specially designed menu card
was prepared for the occasion:
Specifications of labour to be performed and eatables to be supplied
... General Conditions: the Head Waiter is to give his personal super-
intendence to the meal and keep competent accomplices on the job
during demolition and is to furnish all service, cutlery, napery, etc.
needful for the consumption of each item hereinafter specified.
And if anything is mentioned in this Specification and not provided
on the table, it shall be vigorously demanded; but if anything should
appear on the table that is not mentioned in the Specification the same
shall be drunk as though it had been both mentioned and provided.
All knives, forks and spoons, as instruments of Service, are the prop-
erty of the hcitel and shall be returned to them upon repletion.
Celery: All celery is to be properly fluted and tapered.
Olives: Olives to have not more than one stone each of quarter inch
mesh.
Oysters: Oysters to be properly supported on fifty per cent of shell.
Clear Turtle: To be coloured green and carefully soup-ervised.
Filet of Sole: To be fin-ished, although scale not given.
Sweetbread en Villeray, French Peas: Provide 'P' trap for catching
French Peas.
Roast Capon Favorite, Pomme Noisette: Capons to be securely trussed
and the Noisette to be made soundproof.
Salade de Saison: To be the best that the local market affords and free
from roots, knots, sap, etc.
Peach Melba Friandises: To be guaranteed to maintain a zero tem-
perature in a 70° atmosphere.
Demi T asse: All coffee to be "Berry" brothers.
All toothpicks to be kiln-dried.
75
The province's architects had finally settled on common
cause. From three decades of drawn-out and rancourous
debates had evolved the Institute that still regulates the
profession of architecture in British Columbia.
POSTSCRIPT, 1921-1998
The subsequent development of the A.I.B.C. during the
remainder of the century is worthy of comment. Over time,
the white, male, British dominance of the organization was
progressively diluted, allowing a more egalitarian and Cana-
dian focus. In 1933 Sylvia Holland became the first female ar-
chitect to be accredited in B.C. The establishment of the
School of Architecture at UBC in 1946 increased opportuni-
ties for local training, and the post-Second World War build-
ing boom ensured steady employment. As conditions
stabilized after the end of the war, the architectural profession
in B.C. evolved into a more open and welcoming place for
women and non-British immigrants. Women, although still in
the minority, have clearly made steady progress, with Bonnie
Maples serving as the Institute's first female president from
1995 to 1997.
76
Despite these advances the A.I.B.C. faces many chal-
lenges. The continuing boom-and-bust nature of B.C.'s econ-
omy has given rise to alternating periods of openness and
self-protectionism in the profession, and a tradition of western
individualism has led to difficulties in establishing strong col-
legial bonds. The Institute has suffered assaults on its author-
ity,77 and undercutting of fees is a chronic issue. At times the
Institute has been portrayed as elitist and inflexible in an era
when practice and technology are experiencing rapid and
monumental change. Connections with the UBC's School of
Architecture have often been tenuous, partially due to the
lack of a cooperative program that would directly involve stu-
dents in the working aspects of the profession. Recently, and
devastatingly, there has been a public crisis of confidence in
the entire construction industry, engendered by the failure of
practice and technology that has resulted in the "Leaky
Condo" fiasco.
78
The A.I.B.C. continues to struggle with these
and larger societal issues. Even at the tum of the 21st century,
we may not be able to answer to what extent the West has
truly been tamed.
.JssAc 1 .JsE:Ac 23:4 < 1 999) 1 1 9
Endnotes
The development of provincial architectural associations has been
admirably covered by Kelly Crossman, Architecture in Transition: From
Art UJ Practice, 1885- 1906 (Kingston: MeGill-Queen's University Press,
1987) . Crossman briefly mentions attempts to organize the profession in
B.C. prior to 1906. In order to complete the story it has been necessary
to consult widely-scattered primary material. Discrepancies in factual
information and the spelling of names have been verified against
A. I. B.C. membership files, city directories, and other sources.
2 John Teague, Richard Lewis, Edward Mallandaine, Charles Vereydhen,
and Thomas Trounce had been in California; J.C. White was a surveyor
with the Royal Engineers who remained here after they disbanded;
Hermann Otto Tiedemann and Frederick Walter Green came directly to
Vancouver Island. Only Teague and Mallandaine played a role in the
later attempts to regulate the profession. See Madge Wolfenden, "The
Early Architects of British Columbia," Western Living, September 1958,
17-19. There were at least two others involved in the design of buildings
around this time, but architecture was not their primary occupation
(both turned to more lucrative industrial pursuits): James Syme worked
as an architect in Victoria in 1862, but later operated a salmon cannery,
and T.W. Graham (another retired Royal Engineer) designed Irving
House in New Westminster but later operated the Pioneer Mills at
Moodyville. Others arrived shortly afterwards: by 1863 William Oakley
was established in Victoria, advertising himself as an Associate of the
Royal Institute of British Architects. There were certainly others, but
most did not stay for long. It was not until the arrival of the railway that
the profession began to grow and stabilize. Research on the careers of
these early architects is ongoing.
3 The contemporary debate in Britain about whether architecture was a
profession or an art is covered in John Wilton-Ely, "The Rise of the
Professional Architect in England," in The Architect: Chapters in the History
of the Profession, ed. Spiro Kostof (New York: Oxford University Press,
1977), 180-204. Ruskin, among others, advocated for the alliance of
architecture with sculpture rather than engineering, a view that became
less p6pular as the century progressed. By 1884 the Society of Architects
had been formed, which promoted a series of registration bills. Those
who received training in Britain at this time would have been well aware
of the growing trend towards professionalization. The situation in the
United States was somewhat different: the American Institute of
Architects had been founded in 1857, but there were no state laws
regulating architecture until one was passed in Illinois in 1897. See Joan
Draper, "The Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Architectural Profession in
the United States: The Case of John Galen Howard," in The Architect,
209-237.
4 The extent to which the profession was male, white, and British until
after the First World War can be clearly documented. It is virtually im-
possible to find any mention of women in the profession before 1920;
Mother Joseph of the Sacred Heart is the only real exception. The first
woman to be registered as an architect by the A.!. B.C. was Sylvia Holland,
in 1933. See Constructing Careers: Profiles of Five Early Women Architects
in British Columbia (Vancouver: Women in Architecture Exhibits Com-
mittee, 1996). Lydia H. Archer is listed as an architect in the 1915 and
1916 city directories (sharing an office with W.H. Archer), but nothing
is known of her career. The virulent racism of the time has been well
documented. Only one Chinese-Canadian, W.H. Chow, stands out in
the early history of the profession. He was working in Vancouver just after
the tum of the century, and was listed as an architect with the British
Columbia Society of Architects (an organization that did not stipulate
qualifications for membership) in 1913, but his application to the A.I.B.C.
in 1921 was rejected for his "lack of technical training." In the opinion of
Percy Leonard James (through the reminiscences of his daughter Rosemary
James Cross), there were a number of architects registered at the time
who were not properly qualified, so the exclusion of Chow is telling. The
vast majority of the early architects in B.C., and certainly those who led
the profession, were from England and Scotland, a factor that did not
change until well into the 20th century.
5 R.P.S. Twizell , "Evolution of the Architectural Institute of British
Columbia," B.C. Architecture Edition, Journal of the Royal Architectural
Institute of Canada 27, no. 9 (September 1950) : 287,326-27.
1 20 JSSAC I .JsEAc 23:4 ( 1 998)
6 The first transcontinental train arrived in Port Moody in 1885, after years
of political foot-dragging, and in Vancouver two years later.
7 Canadian Architect & Builder 2, no. 5 (May 1889): 56. The "provenance"
of the architects can be more precisely defined (A.!. B.C. membership
files list place of birth): virtually all of the men considered to be architects
had apprenticed or studied in Great Britain, and a high percentage were
Scottish. Many who came from Eastern Canada were in fact British-born
and, like Thomas Hooper, quick to point this out in tern1s of loyalty and
connections. Some were the product of a colonial upbringing: William
Ridgway Wilson was born in China but educated and apprenticed in
England. Others had experience in other parts of the Empire: G.L.
Thornton Sharp and H.W. Cockrill worked in South Africa; R. Mackay
Fripp practiced in Auckland, New Zealand, from 1884 to 1888 before
moving to Vancouver, and returned there from 1896 to 1898. There
were very few Americans (N.S. Hoffar was one) or Europeans practicing
in B.C. prior to the pre-First World War boom era; even then they were
the exception and often did not establish permanent connections. Samuel
Maclure was unique in having been born in B.C. The balance did not
shift to non-British architects until the middle of the 20th century, and
an R.I. B.A. qualification was considered a great asset until the 1940s.
The extent of the Scottish influence on the local profession was signifi-
cant: As S.W. Jackson wrote, "It was once said that Scotland gave its
people to Canada, and England gave its institutions" (The Men at Cary
Castle [Victoria: Morriss Printing Co., 1972]).
8 Other cities in the province such as New Westminster, Nanaimo, Vernon,
and Nelson ultimately played a minor role in the development of the
architectural profession. They generally supported one or more resident
architects, but the difficulties of communication, as opposed to the close,
daily ties between Vancouver and Victoria, ensured that the profession
was driven by those practitioners in the Lower Mainland and the capital.
This is still largely the case, given the current distribution of population.
9 Thomas Hooper reputedly walked the last five hundred miles to the coast.
One notably itinerant pioneer architect was Elmer H. Fisher, a Scot who
worked his way across the United States, ending up on the West Coast.
He chased Great Fires, transcontinental railways, and other opportunities
from city to city, barely staying in one place long enough to finish projects.
Fisher arrived in Victoria in 1886, worked in Vancouver and Port
Townsend, Washington, simultaneously, and had established his Seattle,
Washington, office by November 1887. He had a few extremely success-
ful years but was dogged by personal scandal ; he gave up architecture
and moved to Los Angeles, where he ended up working as a carpenter.
10 B.C. Directory (Vancouver: Henderson, 1891), 725. This list includes 11
names in Victoria, 8 in Vancouver, 5 in New Westminster, 2 in Vernon,
and 1 in Kamloops. Hooper & Goddard are listed in both Vancouver and
Victoria.
11 Crossman, 120.
12 The following information is extracted from the Report of Provincial
Architects' Meeting, Held 29th]une 189 1 at Victoria, B.C. (Victoria, B.C.:
The Colonist Steam Print, 1891) [A.!. B.C. collection].
13 John Teague and Richard Roskell Bayne from Victoria were unable to
attend, but sent a message of support for forming a provincial association.
Sharp had brought written authority to act by proxy for another four
mainland architects, C. H. Clow, William R. King, and Samuel Maclure
from New Westminster, and Charles E. Hope from Vancouver. Eleven
others had indicated their support: T.B. Norgate, Cole Woodall, and E.M.
Mallandaine, Jr., from Victoria; George W. Grant from New Westminster;
R Mackay Fripp, William Crickmay, and C.W. H. Sansom from Vancouver;
J.A. Coryell and J.P. Burnyeat from Vernon; R.H. Lee from Kamloops;
and J.J. Honeyman from Nanaimo.
14 An additional reference may be found in the report of the A.G.M. held
on 5 December 1891: "Mr. Wickenden therefore explained in as few words
as possible that the formation of the present Association had emanated
among some of the Architects on the Mainland who held two or three
local meetings and then arranged a meeting with the Victoria Architects
which was held on 29th of June last." See "Report of the Annual General
Meeting of the British Columbia Association of Architects," 5 December
1891 , held at the B.C. Archives, NW 720.9711 B859.
15 Crossman, 43. This group apparently wanted to model itself on the
provincial associations in Ontario and Quebec.
16 The progress toward registration in Ontario and Quebec was regularly
reported in the Canadian Architect & Builder. Although western iss ues
were rarely covered, this journal was an invaluable connection to the
profession in the rest of the country. Local architects were clearly aware
of the growing national trend toward professionalization.
17 For some unknown reason R.R. Bayne was omitted from this list.
18 "Report of the Annual General Meeting, " 1891.
19 Teague, president; Wickenden, and R.P. Sharp, vice-presidents; Ridgway
Wilson, secretary; Edward Mallandaine, Sr., treasurer; and Trimen,
McCartney, Bayne, Soule, and Hooper, directors.
20 William's B. C. Directory, 1892, 1202. This list includes 23 names in
Victoria, 11 in Vancouver, 3 in Nanaimo, 8 in New Westminster, and
1 in Steves ton.
21 British Columbia Institute of Architects, "Professional Practice and
Charges of Architects. Adopted by the Institute 8th May 1892" [A. I. B.C.
collection]. During the Victorian era the architectural profession in
Great Britain was more concerned with status and business ethics than
education, leading to the imposition of uniform fees. In 1845 the
R.I. B.A. adopted a standardized figure of 5 percent, reinforced by the
publication of "Professional Practice and Charges for Architects" in
1862. This was increased to 6 percent after the end of the First World
War. See Wilton-Ely, 177.
22 Mallandaine, Ridgway Wilson, Sharp, McCartney, Wickenden, Teague,
Soule, Bayne, Hooper, and Trimen.
23 British Columbia Institute of Architects, Declaration of Establishment and
Bye-Laws (Victoria, B.C.: The Colonist, 1892) [AI. B.C. collection] .
24 Letter, Ridgway Wilson to Edward Mohun, CE, 26 October 1892 [Victoria
City Archives, CRS 104 13E4].
25 Reported in the Canadian Architect & Builder 5, no. 12 (December 1892) :
118.
26 Ibid.
27 Canadian Architect & Builder 7, no. 1 Oanuary 1894) : 12.
28 Ibid.
29 Professional jealousy dogged Rattenbury throughout his career. The
feeling of the archi tectural community may have been somewhat justi-
fied, however, as Rattenbury freely exaggerated his past experience and
credentials. See the discussion in the first two chapters of Terry Reksten,
Rattenbury (Victoria, Sono Nis Press, 1978), and in Anthony A. Barrett
and Rhodri Windsor Liscombe, Francis Rattenbury and British Columbia:
Architecture and Challenge in the Imperial Age (Vancouver: University of
British Columbia Press, 1983) .
30 "British Col umbia Correspondence," Canadian Architect & Builder 7,
no. 5 (May 1894): 64.
31 Crossman, 159.
32 B. C. architects were well aware of the prevailing styles in other areas,
either through travel or architectural journals. Hooper travelled back
east courtesy of his Methodist clients, and the Metropolitan Methodist
Church in Victoria (1890-91) is copied almost directly from Edmund
Burke's work in Toronto (among others, Sherbourne Street Methodist
Church, 1886-87, and Trinity Methodist Church, Toronto, 1887-89,
both by the office of Langley & Burke). After importing the Romanesque
Revival to B.C., Hooper continued to be more influenced by American
models, to his ultimate detriment. For the context of the Romanesque
Revival and the source of Hooper's inspiration, see Angela Carr, Toronto
Architect Edmund Burke: Redefining Canadian Architecture (Montreal:
MeGill-Queen' s University Press, 1995), and William Westfall and
Malcolm Thurlby, "Church Architecture and Urban Space: The Devel-
opment of Ecclesiastical Forms in Nineteenth-Century Ontario," in Old
Ontario: Essays in Honour of ].M.S. Careless, ed. David Keane and Colin
Read (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 1990) . Commercial work was generally
influenced by American models, including Maclure's sublime Temple
Building, Victoria (1893), which draws on the Romanesque, heavily
influenced by Sullivan (although his residential work was purely English
in derivation). The Classical Revival arrived late but it did arrjve (see
G.D. Curtis' seminal Catholic Cathedral of Mary Immaculate, Nelson,
1898-99; Dalton & Eveleigh's Royal Bank, Vancouver, 1903; Rattenbury's
Vancouver Court House, 1906- 11 ; Hooper & Watkins' B.C. Permanent
Building, Vancouver, 1907). Most residential work was clearly British in
derivation, and Colonial Revival styles are almost completely absent in
B.C. (except in vernacular Foursquare houses) until much later. The
enormous influence of the California Bungalow movement is, arguably,
based on English Arts and Crafts sensibilities.
33 "British Columbia Letter No. !,"Canadian Architect & Builder 12, no. 3
(March 1899): 50.
34 "British Columbia Letter No. II," Canadian Architect & Builder 11, no. 7
Ouly 1899) : 137-38.
35 "British Columbia Letter No. IV," Canadian Architect & Builder13, no. 12
(December 1900): 235.
36 Covered by Dr. Thomas Howarth, "Royal Architectural Institute of
Canada College of Fellows: A History," revised 1977 [courtesy R.A. J.C.] .
37 He was confirmed as a council member in the elections held in Montreal
on 22 August 1907, and also served on the council in 1908 and 1909,
although it is not certain he attended the following two conferences.
38 Programme, "First Congress Of Canadian Architects and First Annual
Convention of the Institute of Architects of Canada," Montreal, 19-24
August 1907, 12-13 [City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS 326 Vol. 1
File 2].
39 Howarth, "College of Fellows: A History," notes some political significance
in the subtle name change.
40 Reported in the Institute of Architects of Canada Quarterly Bulletin 2, no.
2-3 (April-July 1909) : 31-32. It is not known which Jones is referred to.
41 Architect's Association of Victoria I B.C. Society of Architects minutes,
1910-1914 [B.C. Archives, Q/Q/B77] .
42 Crossman makes the point that architectural competitions stimulated the
drive to organize throughout the country. See also Carr, 167-69.
43 Included on the jury were two resident architects, Samuel Maclure of
Victoria and A. Arthur Cox of Vancouver; British architect W. Douglas
Caroe was chairman. Sharp & Thompson's "free style" Gothic design was
chosen. Although it refers to American Collegiate Gothic precedents,
the outcome of this competition firmly established a British idiom as the
fitting mode of local design. The concept of British tradition was explicitly
stressed in the competition documents. The outright rejection of his
American-influenced Beaux-Arts plan appears have been a contributing
factor in Thomas Hooper's decision to leave B.C. for New York in 1915.
See Douglas Franklin, "The Competition for the Design of the University
of British Columbia," West Coast Review 15, no. 4 (spring 1981): 49-57.
44 Leech was later the architect for the Vancouver School Board.
45 The Daily Province [Vancouver], 6 April1912, 51.
46 Menu from the convention dinner, Empress Hotel, 22 June 1912. John L.
Putnam, William T. Whiteway, Kennerley Bryan, RichardT. Perry, John
J. Honeyman, J.C.M. Keith, Maj. Ridgway Wilson, Capt. H.J. Rous
Cullin, and S. Maclure were elected to the council [City of Vancouver
Archives, Add. MSS 326 vol. 1 file 3] .
47 Twizell, 287.
48 The Architect, Builder & Engineer, 16 September 1912, 11.
49 Located in the E.A. Morris Building at 437 West Hastings Street. The
Progress Club was a booster group established in Vancouver in 1912 as a
joint effort of local business people and the city. Dedicated to continued
civic growth in optimistic anticipation of the opening of the Panama
Canal, this short-lived group did not survive the 1913 economic down-
turn. See Patricia E. Roy, Vancouver: An Illustrated History (Toronto:
James Lorimer and National Museum of Man, 1980) , 87.
50 Industrial Progress, August 1913, 14-16 [Vancouver Public Library, Special
Collections].
.JssAc 1 -.Jst:Ac 23: 4 ( 1 99Bl 1 2 1
51 Somervell, a highly talented practitioner, was one of the Americans drawn
to the province during the boom years. Originally from Washington,
D.C., he attended Cornell University and worked in New York before he
settled in Seattle. He opened a branch office in Vancouver in 1910,
forming a partnership with J.L. Putnam. Although Somervell served
overseas, the office remained open and active until just after the end of
the First World War. Other Americans, and branch offices of larger
firms, had gained a foothold just before the war, but virtually all were
driven out as a result of the 1913 economic downturn.
52 Year Book of the Briti.sh Columbia Society of Architects Vancouver Chapter
AD MCMXIII [U.B.C. Special Collections, and A.I.B.C.].
53 Two honorary members are also listed in Vancouver, artist Charles
Marega and landscape architect /town planner Thomas H. Mawson.
54 One obvious name missing from the B.C.S.A. list is that of Francis
Rattenbury. There were still no limitations on who could call himself an
architect, and it is extremely difficult to determine accurate counts of
architects in the city directories during this volatile time. Names show up
for one year only, or in one directory only; some move from city to city;
some are more accurately builders than architects; and there are numerous
inaccuracies, especially in spelling. Nevertheless, the effect of the boom
and bust is obvious: a rough count yields approximately 56 architects
listed in B.C. city directories in 1909, 172 in 1912, and 50 in 1917.
55 Industrial Prowess, August 1913, 15. The Jameson referred to has not been
identified; both a Jameson and a Jamieson were practicing in Vancouver,
but no-one by that name in Victoria.
56 It has been difficult to extract information about the public perception of
the registration issue, or indeed of the profession itself. B.C.'s earliest
architects seem to have been part of the general entrepreneurial mix, and
they often had other business interests. Despite increasing recognition of
professional status, there was little coverage of the architects themselves.
B.C. lacked truly heroic figures in this profession (Rattenbury, arguably,
being the exception). Many led quiet albeit industrious lives. Joan
McCarter, daughter of architect John Young McCarter, recalls what
contrac.tors generally thought about several leading architects: Rattenbury
and Thomas Hooper were considered very competent, pragmatic practi-
tioners, the best around; Samuel Maclure was dismissed as "just a water-
colour painter," not terribly practical and not good with stairs. The split
between architects being perceived as business people or artists is discussed
in Andrew Saint, The Image of the Architect (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1983) .
57 Twizell, 287.
58 RM. Fripp, "Inefficiency in Architectural Practice," The Contract Record
27, no. 12 (17 March 1913): 290-91. His comments about the lack of
Canadian-based architectural education are exaggerated, given the
opportunities in the East; see Crossman, 51-63, and Harold Kalman,
A History of Canadian Architecture (Toronto: Oxford University Press,
1994). The development of architectural education and the role of
apprenticeship in the West are not covered in this article, but other than
Fripp's comments, we find little discussion of the inherent value of
academic training. The British system was traditionally one of apprentice-
ship, which Canada followed quite closely. The situation in the United
States was somewhat different, with a growing influence from the French
Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which was the preferred place of training for those
who became the leaders in American architecture (Richard Morris Hunt,
Louis Sullivan, and Henry Hobson Richardson among many others). See
Draper, "Ecole des Beaux-Arts." There is no evidence that any of B.C.'s
early architects ever trained in France; rather, almost all were apprenticed
in Britain. One architect is known to have maintained the traditional ·
British apprenticeship system: Thomas Hooper, born in England in 1859,
apprenticed in London, Ontario, with J.H. Dodd & Son from 1875 until
1879. In tum, C. Elwood Watkins apprenticed under Hooper, starting in
1890, and did not pursue any other formal architectural education. Later
in partnership (c. 1902 to c. 1909), Hooper & Watkins' office grew to
become the largest in Western Canada. It was a fertile ground for the
training of many young men; John Young McCarter, for example, was
articled directly to Hooper from 1907 to 1912. A school of architecture
was not established at UBC until 1946.
59 Benevolent Societies Act, certificate no. 411.
1 22 .JSSAC I ..JsE:AC 23:4 ( 1 998)
60 Twizell, 327.
61 A.I.B.C. minute books, 1914-1918 [A.I.B.C. collection].
62 Ibid.: R. Mackay Fripp, A.J. Bird, R.P.S. Twizell, C. D. James, S.B. Birds,
S. Mason (associate), Max Downing (associate), D. Jamieson, W.F.T.
Stewart, J.J. Honeyman, Gordon L. Wright, Kennerley Bryan, Cecil
Croker Fox, W.T. Dalton, S.M. Eveleigh, F.L. Townley, G.P. Bowie,
W.C.F. Gillam, Gordon B. Kaufman, J.W. Keagey, and George Twizell.
Several other members also were listed in the letter sent on 25 June 1914
to the R.A.I.C. requesting affiliation, including J.C. Day and George
Mackay Fripp.
63 Hoult Horton, Victoria, J.C.M. Keith, Victoria, W.T. Whiteway,
Vancouver, W. Ridgway Wilson, Victoria, S. Maclure, Victoria, J.L.
Putnam, Victoria, J.J. Honeyman, Vancouver, John Wilson, Victoria,
Percy Leonard James, Victoria, N. Emms Read, Victoria, J. Rous Cullin,
Victoria, R.T. Perry, Vancouver, G. Thornton Sharp, Vancouver, H.S.
Griffith, Victoria, F.M. Rattenbury, Victoria, L.W. Hargreaves, Victoria,
F.S. Gardiner, New Westminster, W.M. Dodd, Vancouver, Thomas
Hooper, Victoria, J.A. Berkinhead, Vancouver, C.J. Thompson,
Vancouver, G.A. Horel, Vancouver, J.D. Beatson, Vancouver, A.C.
Hope, Vancouver, C.B. Fowler, Vancouver, A.J. Russell, Vancouver,
J.H. Bowman, Vancouver, T.E. Julian, Vancouver, W.F. Gardiner,
Vancouver, Edward Mallandaine, Cranbrook [printed bill in the
collection of the A.I.B.C.].
64 Vancouver Civic Centre: Report by Plans Committee (Vancouver: News-
Advertiser Printers), 8 Aprill915 [U.B.C. Special Collections, SPAM
23275]. There were 37 submissions. The competition was won by
Theodore Komer and Robert H. Mattocks, draftsmen in T.H. Mawson's
office, but the project was never started. Second prize went to F.L.
Townley, who was eventually awarded the design of the new city hall in
1935, partly on the strength of this competition. Komer had a more
problematic career, and ran into numerous troubles with the A.!. B.C.,
including a rancourous lawsuit.
65 T wizell, 32 7. The last recorded meeting of the Victoria chapter of the
B.C.S.A. was held on I September 1914.
66 It is unknown how many architects were killed overseas, but at a minimum
this would include C.C. Fox, George Fripp (the son ofR. Mackay Fripp) ,
D. Jamieson, and H.S. Davie [City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS
326 Vol.! File 5; and G.P. Bowie].
67 A.I.B.C. minute books 1914-1918 [A.I.B.C. collection].
68 Ibid.
69 R.P.S. Twizell was elected second president of the A. I. B.C.
70 Correspondence in City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS 326 vol. I file
7. The history of the incorporation of the engineering profession has not
been fully covered. Notice of the intention to introduce a bill to regulate
engineering had officially been given as early as 1917, but the bill was
delayed until after the war. By 1918-19 there was a country-wide move-
ment to regulate engineering. Many returning soldiers had received tech-
nical but not necessarily academic training; self-interest among qualified
engineers presumably drove this movement. A national committee was
struck, which provided a draft bill to nascent provincial organizations. In
contrast to the late incorporation of architects, British Columbia was
among the first to regulate engineering.
71 As reported in the Vancouver Daily World and the Daily Province [Vancou-
ver], 18 March 1920.
72 Ibid.
73 The Association's first A.G.M. was held 16 October 1920. It is now called
the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province
of British Columbia.
74 A.I.B.C. council minutes [City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS 326
Vol. 2 File II].
75 Illustrated by Ross Lort [City of Vancouver Archives, Add. MSS 326 Vol.
5 File 32]. The event was also covered in the local press [A.I.B.C. collec-
tion].
76 In addition to Constructing Careers, the struggle of women for professional
acceptance has been covered in Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, "Slowly and
Surely (and Somewhat Painfully}: More or Less the History of Women in
Architecture in Canada," Society for the Study of Architecture in Can-
ada Bulletin 17, no. 1 (March 1992): 5-11. See also two articles by
Annmarie Adams, "Archi-ettes in Training: The Admission of Women
to McGill's School of Architecture," SSAC Bulletin 21, no. 3 (September
1996}: 70-73, and "Building Barriers: Images of Women in Canada's
Architectural Press, 1924-1973," Resources for Feminist Research 23, no. 3
(fall1994): 11-23.
77 William F. Gardiner, on behalf of the A.I.B.C., took Charles Bentall and
Dominion Construction to court in 1938 over their design-build activities
for Vancouver's Bay Theatre. Bentall, as a registered engineer, stamped
the drawings for it and many other structures without the involvement of
a registered architect. After dismissal and appeal, the case was ultimately
decided in favour of the architects, and Bentall was fined a nominal twenty-
five dollars. It was a hollow victory, as the architectural profession contin-
ued to languish while Dominion Construction prospered throughout the
following decades, continuing to design many of their own projects. See
Shirley F. Bentall, The Charles Bentall Story: A Man of Industry and Integrity
(Vancouver: The Bentall Group Ltd., 1986), 118-22, and Rhodri Windsor
Liscombe, The New Spirit: Modem Architecture in Vancouver 19 38-1963
(Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture; Vancouver: Douglas &
Mcintyre, 1997), 44.
78 Covered extensively in rhe local press throughout the last several years
but now reaching crisis proportions. There is no quantifiable answer yet
as to how much responsibility architects may have to bear in the resolu-
tion of this issue.
This article has benefitted greatly from the review and comments of Fred
Thornton Hollingsworth, Harold Kalman, Gordon Fulton, Stuart Stark,
Jennifer Nell Barr, and Rosemary James Cross, to whom I extend my
sincere appreciation.
Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada
Annual Conference, MCft{ 26-29, 1999
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Call for Papers
Themes:
Architectural Modernism in Canada
Industrial Architecture
Coastal Architecture
Post-Colonial Views on Canadian Architecture
Urban Representations I Deconshucting the Architectural Image
Practising in Public
Strategic Buildings
Current Research
Those interested in presenting a paper should send an abstrart (maximum 250 words,
in the language of your choice) before 15 February 1999to MichMe Picard,
4312 Garnier, Montreal, Quebec H2J 3R5; telephone and lax: 514-524-5013;
e-mail: mpicard@securenet.net
The SSAC may cover a portion of speakers' travel costs. Those submitting abstrarts
who will be requesting financial support must irKiude cin estimate of travel costs.
Funds from the SSAC travel grants are extremely limited. We strongly urge speakers
to seek funding from other sources .

La Societe pour I' etude de I' architecture au Canada
Conference annuelle, du 26 au 29 mai 1999
Halifax, Nouvelle-fcosse
Depot des Communications
Themes:
La modernih! architecturale au Canada
L' architecture industrielle
L' architecture cotiere
Considerations post-coloniales sur I' architecture canadienne
Les representations urbaines I Deconshuire !'image architedurale
La pratique architedurale dans le sedeur public
Les batimenh shategiques
Recherches en cours
Veuillez envoyer, avantle 15 fevrier 1999, vos propositions d'au plus 250 mots (dans Ia langue
de vatre choix) il Michele Picard, 4312, rue Garnier, Montreal (Quebec) H2J 3R5; teh\phone at
telecopieur : 514-524-5013; courrier elertronique : mpicard@securenel.net
La SEAC paurrait rembourser une partie des Ira is de voyage des conlererKiers.
Veuillez joindre une estimation de vas besoins financiers il votre envoi de communication.
Cene an nee, Ia SEAC dispose de fonds restraints at c' est pourquoi ella incite lortementles
conlerenciers il obtenir des fonds d' outres sources .
.JSSAC I .JSEAC 23:4 ( 1 99B) 1 23
New Building Technology in
Canada's Late Nineteenth--Century
Department Stores: Handmaiden
of Monopoly Capitalism
ANGELA K . CARR, CARLETON UNIVERSITY
The emergence of a handful oflarge-scale distributive enterprises in the 1880s and 1890s [added to] independent proprietors' con-
cerns [about an increase in 'destabilizing' competition] .... These stores were all characterized by their 'departmental' organization
(the separation of display stock, workforces, accounts, and buying by type of goods) and by the centralization of their administration
and management. But it was not their form that made them so singular; it was their size. These businesses came to be called 'mass
merchandisers' not because they sold 'to the masses,' but because they sold so much.
1
P"'lf1us assessment by David Monod oflate nineteenth-century
..1. retailing in Canada describes one fragment of a much
larger economic reorientation - from mercantile to monopoly
capitalism -the consequences of which were at least as far-
reaching as any precipitated by free trade or modern retail giants
like Wal-Mart. By the 1890s department stores were cutting
out local wholesalers and buying directly from overseas agents
to assure their profit margins. As for their smaller r ~ t a i l com-
petitors, the big-store discounts on volume buying, together
with loss-leaders, mass-marketing campaigns, and mail-order
services, drew customers away to such an extent that many
faced bankruptcy. Dislocations occurred not only in the urban
centres, but in the surrounding rural areas, and nationwide. In
the cities, business districts formerly made up of single shop-
fronts with residential accommodation upstairs gave way to
entire blocks occupied by single enterprises. When a major
retailer began land assembly for a new store, the focus often
shifted to a less densely developed area of the city, leaving the
old commercial core in a state of decline.
2
In architectural
terms, the concentration of capital dictated an unprecedented
growth in building scale, the dimensions of which could be
sustained only with the help of new technology. Iron and steel
quite literally supported the ample stage upon which the
premier economic and social upheavals of the age were being
enacted. Structural "modern-ness" and size became the hall-
marks of the successful department store. Entrepreneurs knew
that the latest in built form could establish a corporate profile
commensurate with the best stores in Chicago, New York,
1 24 o.ISSAC I o.ISEAC 23:4 ( 1 998)
Paris, or London. As a result, Canadian architects had to master
innovation or lose major commissions to their American
counterparts, whose audacious synthesis of European theory
heralded a new era in commercial design. At first, the Canadian
response was cautious and freighted with older conventions,
which scholars have regarded in pejorative, evolutionary terms.
But inscribed in these dissonances is a distinctive architectural
topography negotiated in relation to specific market pressures.
The nineteenth century has often been described as an age
of secularization, in which architects dedicated their talents to
"the modern Mammon worshipper."
3
The department store-
that emporium of profligate consumerism - was the supreme
culmination of this tendency. Its large open floors, designed
for the storage and display of goods in volume, were adapted
from the conventions of the wholesale warehouse. The open,
flexible interiors were ideally suited to a new consumer culture
in which shoppers wandered at will, selecting according to
their own preferences, instead of relying on a proprietor to
draw down items from stock in response to specific requests.
The peripatetic buying expedition was replaced by one-stop
shopping that offered both variety and personal selection.
Ultimately, coat-check and restaurant facilities were also
introduced to encourage customers to linger all day, in the
expectation that this would boost sales still more. It was an
environment calculated to appeal to women, whose traditional
role in the management of household resources was now
harnessed to the engine of consumer demand. Department
store salons were conceived as places to see and be seen.
In these venues for public display, away from the confinement
of domesticity, aspiring middle-class matrons might demonstrate
their taste and status simply by cutting a figure in the right
sort of setting.
The vigorous entrepreneurialism of the late nineteenth
century is still clearly inscribed in the building stock of many
Canadian cities, not least in Montreal, the country's main
port of entry in this period. In the old city near the harbour
are small retail stores and warehouses of the mid century,
whereas the large departmental stores of the 1890s are clustered
on rue Sainte-Catherine beneath the mountain brow, near a
suburb known as the Golden Square Mile, where the families
of nouveau-riche railway barons practised the conspicuous
consumption of the Gilded Age.
In the narrative lineage of "significant" architectural form,
much has been made of the historical continuities between
the warehouse type and later retail emporia. Montreal's place
in this modernist paradigm was described by Jean-Claude
Marsan in 1974, when he identified the mid-century ware-
houses as "proto-rationalist" and first credited them as worthy
of recognition among "the authentic types of architecture in
the province." They were, he wrote, similar to American
examples like the 1824 Quincy Market stores in Boston,
designed by Alexander Parris, the Granite Block and Roger
Williams Bank in Providence, Rhode Island, and the 1849
Jayne Building in Philadelphia, designed by William Johnston.
These buildings had already been described by American
scholars Henry-Russell Hitchcock and Winston Weisman as
conceptual precursors of the Chicago School.
4
The Spartan
aesthetic of their skeleton facades and their open interiors
supported by post-and-beam construction were proposed as
exemplars of rational structure. Yet this synthesis was far from
being fully realized in all cases. Philadelphia's Jayne Building,
for example, had only a single file of columns aligned with the
centre bay of its five-bay facade. By contrast, Montreal's ware-
houses were usually planned on a common mathematical grid
that dictated i:he placement of both exterior stone pilasters
and internal wooden framing. Recent scholarship, however,
has largely avoided the issue of rationalism, which lends itself
too conveniently to the construction of an artificially linear
narrative, and has focused instead upon the sociological
changes that accompanied the growth of the department
store. The two strands meet in the understanding of use as an
expression of cultural ritual, and technological innovation as a
factor that responded to or facilitated cultural change.
Historical narratives are constructed in part by the questions
we as historians choose to ask, and in part by the records that
survive to form the object of our inquiry. One can, for example,
peruse nineteenth-century publications for descriptions of
different types of commercial premises, such as the ware-
houses in old Montreal, which had a "first [floor] flat utilized
for show and salesrooms [while] the remaining two storeys
[were] a manufactory." Such accounts usually appear in
chronicles of commercial prowess intended to celebrate the
city's progressive spirit, whereas today they provide evidence
of how the economic order was structured.
5
Criticisms written
in the 1890s about the social costs of these changes offer lucid
insights, but no recognition of their ubiquity and permanence.
6
In the professional journals, theorists heralded the aesthetic
superiority of facades with windows extending from street
level to cornice over earlier commercial designs, in which
large areas of plate glass, sustained by cast-iron stanchions,
seemed overweighted by conventional masonry in the upper
storeys. Yet these same reports rarely mentioned either the
framing techniques or the materials used to achieve these
results, or, more broadly, the changing character of business
that required larger areas for display on the building facade.
7
Debates often centred on whether or not structures so func-
tional and so utterly devoid of ornament could be called
"architecture." Frequently, the only secure evidence to recon-
struct the technological response comes from insurance atlases,
surviving architectural drawings, or details revealed through
o.ISSAC I o.ISEAC 23:4 (1998) 125
the renovation, decay, or demolition of the structures them-
selves. The challenge is to describe or perhaps construct a
sociology of change from fragmentary writings that conceptu-
alized economics, technology, and aesthetics as discrete issues
instead of aspects of a single problem.
By examining one of the earliest extant stone building
skeletons in the old city, it is possible to recognize both the
pattern of future design in the sparse geometry of the four-bay,
four-storey facade, and what this represented in terms of the
market at mid century. The Urquhart Building of 1855, at 434
rue Saint-Pierre, was planned for the retail sale of European
specialties (Figure 1) .
8
Instead of living upstairs, however, the
owner dedicated the entire premises to his business, a decision
that implies a significant increase in the volume of business,
and a growing separation between residential and commercial
uses within the city commensurate with the upward social
mobility of the mercantile class. The building's load-bearing grey-
stone piers, which ascend without interruption through the
four storeys, frame large glass lights mounted and mullioned in
wood. In all, the design is a direct response to the demands of
commercial life, not to the conventions of architectural prece-
dent. With party walls of conventional rubble construction
and an interior almost certainly wooden post-and-beam (now
extensively renovated), the resulting open floors, lit by natural
light, facilitated display and inspection of a varied range of
goods without any need for oil lamps or gasoliers.
Urquhart's architect, George Browne, like most practitioners
of his day, is remembered more for his neoclassical public
buildings than for his commercial designs. A native of Belfast
Figure 1. Urquhart Building, 434 rue Saint·Pierre, Montreal; George Browne,
architect, 1855. (Canadian Inventory of Historic Building, 1970)
1 26 o.ISSAC I o.ISEAC 23:4 ( 1 998)
Figure 2. Cathedral Block, boulevard Saint·Laurent, Montreal; Michel Laurent and
William Spier & Sons, architects, 1859.60. (Canadian Illustrated News 6 [30
November 1872]: 339) ·
and educated by his father, Browne immigrated to Quebec
City in 1830, where he taught architectural draughting and
established a reputation, in collaboration with John Howard,
for his work on the city's legislative buildings. Apart from the
street architecture to which he was exposed in his youth, the
most likely influence on his commercial work was a five-year
period he spent in the United States, beginning in 1835.
When he returned to Canada - this time to Montreal - he
founded an architectural school and sustained himself
through investments in real estate.
9
It is significant in the
context of architectural practice of the day, and the emphasis
placed by historians since, that commercial commissions have
figured so little in later assessments of his career.
There were many similar projects undertaken in the old
city in those years, but one, the Cathedral Block, has attracted
particular attention because of its size (Figure 2) . Its facade
extends some 176 feet along boulevard Saint-Laurent on
lands left vacant by a fire in Christ Church Cathedral in 1856.
Although the scale prefigures that of the later department
stores, it is important to note that the building was conceived
as eight separate but similarly articulated units, executed inde-
pendently for different clients by two firms of architects,
Figure 3. lves & Allen Company, 261, rue Queen, Montreal; Alexander Cowper
Hutchison, architect, 1872. (Canadian Inventory of Historic Building, 1974)
Michel Laurent and William Spier & Sons. In addition to the
increased size, the designers also experimented with mono-
lithic greystone piers instead of ashlar construction to frame
the window bays. Otherwise, the methodology was conventional,
with rear walls of brick enclosing a separately framed interior.
10
Within a decade, as Renee Losier has described, cast iron
was also in use for Montreal's commercial buildings, after
favourable tariffs encouraged its import and a modest level of
manufacture. Of the half-dozen foundries established in the
city, one operated by Americans Hubert R. Ives and Roger N.
Allen flourished from the 1860s, in des Recollets quarter. A
single four-storey, seven-bay structure, purpose-built in 1872,
has survived on what was once a very extensive site on rue
Queen (Figure 3). Remillard describes the building as the last
cast-iron skeleton facade in the city, but recent deterioration
reveals that the main piers on the ground floor are cast iron,
while the transverse beams are wood sheathed in metal, like
the posts and beams of the upper facade. Similarly, the interior
is, at least partially, slow-burning wood construction. Most
remarkable, however, is the brick infill in the spandrels beneath
the windows. The brick is carried on the wooden frame in a
manner similar to medieval nagging, a concept adapted by
Viollet-le-Duc in his project for a brick and iron shopfront,
and later realized with great success in the facade of the Meunier
chocolate factory.' '
The designer of the I ves & Allen building at 261 rue
Queen was Alexander Cowper Hutchison, a Montrealer of
Scottish descent. He apprenticed as a stone cutter in his father's
building practice and was proficient enough by age twenty to
execute the masonry for Christ Church Cathedral on rue
Sainte-Catherine, before receiving an invitation to · work on
the Parliamentary precinct in Ottawa. When he returned to
Montreal four years later he began teaching architectural and
geometrical drawing, first at the Mechanics' Institute and
then for the Board of Arts and Manufactures. In 1863 he
went into business as an architect, and became sufficiently
well-recognized by 1880 to be named a founding member of
the Royal Canadian Academy by the Marquis of Lome. Sub-
sequently, in 1895, he was elected president of the Province of
Quebec Association of Architects.
12
His thoughtfui solution for
Ives & Allen reflects a level of professional competence on the
leading edge of his contemporaries. It foregrounds the client's field
of specialty rather than the architect's, and, together with the
stone building skeletons, underlines both the pace of economic
expansion and the degree to which new technologies played a
part in the process. By the same token, it is important to recog-
nize that stone and wood construction dominated work in the
old city throughout this period, because Quebec's economy
was centred on forestry products rather than on iron and steel,
and masonry was an established part of the province's heritage.
By the 1870s Montreal's stone skeleton facades were being
conceived on a still larger scale, sometimes with interiors of
cast-iron columns. One of the most notable examples is Cours
Le Royer, a vast complex of stores and warehouses built for
the Sisters of Saint Joseph on lands formerly occupied by the
Hotel Oieu (Figure 4). Now restored as a precinct of offices,
stores, and cooperative apartments, the five-storey commercial
Figure 4. Cours le Royer, Montreal; Victor Bourgeau, Michel laurent, Albert
Mesnard, Henri-Maurice Perrault, architects, 1861-74. (A. Carr, 1993)
.JssAc I .JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 27
Figure 5. New York Life Insurance building, Place d' Armes, Montreal, 1889; Babb,
Cook & Willard of New York, architects. (National Archives of Canada, PA-45937)
blocks are fully articulated on every side with minimal skeletal
facades of Montreal greystone. Undertaken in four stages
between 1861 and 1874, the complex still occupies two full
city blocks and parts of two others, abutting Saint-Paul, Saint-
Dizier, de Bresoles, and Saint-Sulpice streets. Initially, the Sisters
commissioned ten shops on Saint-Paul from architect Victor
Bourgeau, which were rented to reputable merchants. This
strategy, recommended by the Order's financial advisors to
support the cost of running their hospital, proved so successful
that a further expansion was initiated a decade later. Eleven
more storefronts were completed on Le Royer by architect
Michel Laurent in a similar if less elaborate idiom. Then, in
1872, a third section by Albert Mesnard opened on Saint-
Dizier. Surviving drawings of this latter project confirm that
Mesnard introduced cast-iron columns to support the structure's
interior wooden lintels and red-pine floors. Meanwhile, a
fourth phase in 1874 by Henri-Maurice Perrault brought the
enclosed area to 43,000 square metres. The repeated expansions
speak to thf· lucrativeness of the undertaking, while the result
in architectural terms represents a high level of mastery. Still,
the stores and warehouses of the Sisters of Saint Joseph were
conceived as a series of units that housed no fewer than
thirty-three tenants. Within two decades the same floor space,
united through a common sysi:em of structural support, would
1 28 .JSSAC I .JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998)
be occupied by a single retail enterprise.
13
By the late 1880s insurance companies and banks had begun
building not for their immediate needs, but for future growth.
Expansion was clearly anticipated in the construction of the
New York Life Insurance building on Place d'Armes in 1888
(Figure 5). Much of the space was initially rented to lawyers
and wholesale merchants, but New York Life preened its cor-
porate image and covered its future needs by erecting a large
building claimed to be "a quarter of a century in advance of
anything in the Dominion" to "place at the disposal of the
Montreal public a series of offices which challenge comparison
with any in the world." It was no idle boast. For the first time
Montreal had the type of multi-storey structure that had been
a feature of American cities for about a decade. New York
architects Babb, Cook & Willard used load-bearing walls and
internal metal piers to carry iron girders that sustained its
eight floors, fireproofed in brick. The red Scottish sandstone
exterior, in the Romanesque Revival idiom of American archi-
tect Henry Hobson Richardson, reflected both commercial
fashions south of the border and the heritage of the Scottish-
descended railway barons whose businesses and fortunes fuelled
the economy of the city. The load-bearing wall construction
ignored the structural economies of the curtain wall to articu-
late an air of corporate gravity through sheer mass and solidity
- "the enormous size and solidity of the company is well
exemplified by the building its has erected and owns on Place
D'Armes Square." The fireproof character of the interior,
claimed by its rental agent to be the first of its type in the
province, was a selling point - even the internal division
walls were brick. Each office had separately controlled steam
heat and electric light, and individual wash-stands, while the
building's elevators ensured that the view from the upper
storeys, well above the height of human climbing endurance,
would command premium rentals. For the era the technology
was conservative, but its execution represented a significant
turning point in the context of Canadian practices of the day.
American commentators were unimpressed, however:
Canadians are rather slow in adopting novelties ... . Their elevators
are few and far between, and are looked at askance by many who
would as soon attempt to walk upon the waters, as Peter did of old,
as to trust their precious lives in one of those "bird-cages."
14
While it is not possible in many cases to document all
aspects of the technical developments as they were assimilated
throughout this period, it is clear that the transition from
load-bearing to curtain-wall construction was under study as
part of the increased scale and international competitiveness
of commercial enterprises in major urban centres. Within two
years of the opening of the New York Life Insurance building,
attempts were made to translate Romanesque Revival vocabu-
lary into a less weighty idiom. The skeletal facade of the Brunet
Figure 6. Brunet Building, boulevard Saint-Laurent, Montreal; Daoust & Gendron,
architects, 1890. (Gordon Fulton, 1996)
Building, designed by Daoust & Gendron, was part of an 1890
urban renewal project on the west side of boulevard Saint-
Laurent intended to give Montreal its own version of the
Champs Elysees (Figure 6). Four round-arched bays framed in
greystone enclosed a sparse grid of verticals and horizontals
that supported large areas of glass on three floors. The internal
framing consisted of iron, so the result may be described as a
hybrid of the proto-rationalist architecture of the old city and
elements of the Chicago School. Yet, the facade is still articu-
lated as a series of four conjoined shopfronts, despite an internal
space that may have been contiguous. (The result was suffi-
ciently commodious to include a concert stage for the Montreal
Symphony.) Indeed, in a similar project metal posts were placed
immediately behind the building facade to support the floor
upon which the stone pilasters of the exterior were carried.
15
In the meantime, the character of retailing in the city was
undergoing significant change. The urban population had
doubled in a decade and residential areas in the city were
spreading to the north and west. As a result, some business
people found it possible to operate successfully outside the
traditional mercantile core. Among them was Joseph Nazaire
Dupuis, who in 1868 established a dry-goods business on rue
Sainte-Catherine est at the comer of Montcalm, close to the
French-speaking districts that were the mainstay of his clientele.
Through hard work and a singular reputation for honesty,
Dupuis built up his enterprise sufficiently by 1871 to support a
move to larger premises next door. He then expanded his
stock into the upper storeys of the building, which were pre-
viously residential, and added an annex. By 1872 Dupuis
considered his returns sufficient to justify semi-annual buying
expeditions in Europe, a practice that seems to have continued
despite a world-wide economic downturn that plunged Canada
into a recession between 1874 and 1879. His premature death
in 1876 left his younger brothers to continue the firm as a
partnership until 1907 (then under federal incorporation, and
finally, in 1921, as a provincial corporation; the pace of expan-
sion slowed in this latter period). In 1877, just a year after the
founder's death, Dupuis Freres built a new three-storey ware-
house at the comer of Sainte-Catherine and Amherst streets
(Figure 7). The design was a larger version of a conventional
mixed-use property, with load-bearing masonry in the upper
two storeys and plate-glass windows at street level to attract
passersby.
16
While Dupuis Freres seem to have relied upon the loyalty of
its customers rather than upon the glamour of technical inno-
vation to preserve its market share, a second retailer, farther
west on rue Sainte-Catherine at the comer of University, was
quick to take advantage of the new aesthetic as soon as the
opportunity presented itself. W.H. Scroggie had occupied
three out of six shopfronts in a row known as the Queen's
Theatre Block since the 1880s, when the firm decided to alter
the ground floor of its rented premises by mounting plate-glass
windows between iron uprights. In the course of this work the
entire building collapsed dramatically, as terrified bystanders
rescued a startled night watchman. A year later, in 1890,
Scroggie's reopened in a fashionable three-storey "palazzo"
with a minimal skeletal facade (Figure 8). Without mentioning
the building methods, the newspapers described the new
premises as a "modem department store" of the type favoured
by "popular demand." Its principal attractions were said to be
the convenience of shopping in one location and the economies
available through volume buying_ On opening day visitors
noted the brightness, cheerfulness, and freshness of the interior,
where they were treated to a fashion show and found a millinery
department well stocked with the latest fashions from New York,
Paris, and Rome. The premises also boasted a well-furnished
Figure 7. Dupuis Freres, Sainte-Catherine and Amherst streets, Montreal;
architect unknown, 1877. (Canadian Illustrated News 11 [1 0 November 1877]: 301)
.JSSAC I .JSE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 29
Figure 8. W.H. Scroggie's store, rue Sainte-Catherine, Montreal; architect unknown,
1890; demolished. (Archives of Ontario, Eaton Fonds: AO 4010, F229-308-0-604)
ladies' parlour on the second floor, which was expected to
become "a favourite meeting place for the women of Montreal."
For Scroggie, the new design was a coup that placed its bargain
business in direct competition with several of its more prestig-
ious neighbours.
17
Scroggie's was so successful at attracting customers that it
soon became the object of censure for its cut-throat business
practices. Its reputation for deep discounts persisted until the
enterprise finally closed its doors in 1914, when one employee
painted a vivid picture of the store's reputation and clientele:
Scroggie's is one of the best known names in Montreal, and well it
ought to be, the firm having paid enough out in advertising to make it
so. [It] is a departmental store, one of the sort the great body of the
public goes to in the full conviction that here may be obtained goods
at a low price .... [Always] a liberal patron of the advertising columns
of the newspapers, its half-page and full-page advertisements have
furnished interesting reading matter to thousands of economic house-
wives who search diligently for bargains every night and get up with
the lark in the morning and fall into line at eight o'clock to secure first
chance at the counter. These are the people of whom the patrons of the
store are largely composed. Even in these hard times they buzz to and fro
from one floor to another like bees, spending their money frugally and
elbowing their way around with a determination deserving of results.
18
By this time Scroggie's was in a new location at Sainte-
Catherine and Peel streets, having abandoned its three-storey
palazzo in 1908 to John Carsley's firm. A year later the building
passed to Rea & Company, then to Goodwin's, and finally, in
1925, to Eaton's, whose reputation for fixed prices and cash
sales presented as formidable a presence in the retail sector as
any to which Scroggie's aspired. Shrewd business decisions
propelled Eaton's to national prominence, so that it came to
outrank even stores like Macy's and Gimbel's in New York. The
key to its dominance, like its Toronto competitor, Simpson's,
1 30 .JssAc 1 .JstAc 23:4 ( 1 99B>
was that it seized upon the potential of mail-order to extend
its influence across the country. Following a major three-storey
addition in the year of its acquisition, the former Scroggie-
Goodwin's store became Eaton's flagship in eastern Canada.
A second expansion on the same scale five years later under-
lined the retailer's determination to master the Montreal
market; even as the country sank into the Depression in 1931,
an elegant new Art Deco restaurant by no less a light than
French architect Jacques Carlu was opened on the building's
ninth floor. By that time the departmentals were sufficiently
well established to pretend imperviousness to even the most
dramatic of economic reversals.
19
As for the assimilation of ideas in the 1890s, Montreal's
architects came to grips with the principles of new construction
methodologies just as the city's retail enterprises expanded on
a scale never before seen. On 21 April 1891 Henry Morgan &
Company opened Colonial House on rue Sainte-Catherine
ouest, on the doorstep of the Golden Square Mile (Figure 9).
For two years the opening had been anticipated by everyone
from Morgan's competitors to the architects who served them.
One among the latter group, A.F. Dunlop, remarked pro-
phetically that the "establishment of Messrs. Morgan's store
on St. Catherine street will be followed by the erection of oth-
ers of the same class; the other down-town traders of impor-
tance will be forced to go up the hill." Within five years, rue
Sainte-Catherine ouest was home not only to W.H. Scroggie,
but also to firms including John Murphy & Company and
James Ogilvy's. But Morgan's was the largest of them all, and
the most prestigious.
20
It had not always been so. The first dry goods business
founded in the old city in 1845 by Fifeshire emigrant Henry
Morgan lasted only six years before an economic downturn
caused his partner David Smith to move on. Morgan then
allied with his brother James, who sold a dry-goods interest in
Glasgow to come to Montreal. They began buying goods directly
from an agent in London, and within a year had established
themselves sufficiently to move to a larger premises with twice
as many employees. Over the next five years of 15-hour days
the firm grew. First it expanded into an adjoining building in
the next block, then in 1866, with a staff of a hundred and
stock worth $50,000, it relocated to Great Saint James Street
and Victoria Square. A decade later the firm was forced to
reorganize on a departmental system in order to control the
growing enterprise in the recession of the 1870s. Each section
was headed by a manager responsible for his own purchasing
and sales. Results were positive, and by 1889 it was clear that
a far larger building would be required so the lot on Phillips
Square "in the suburbs" was purchased. There was not so
much as a streetcar stop nearby, but within a year one was
installed immediately outside the front door.
21
The architect of Colonial House was a virtual unknown by
the name of John Pierce Hill , who set up his practice in the
• ( • '< Y C.
0
-
- ['An rJ T"- f_/"• ..,..-
..S'· E ... •
.. ¢-c 6::: ... .
Figure 9. Henry Morgan & Co., rue Sainte-Catherine at Phillips Square, Montreal;
John Pierce Hill, architect, 1889-91. (A. Carr, 1993)
Figure 10. Front elevation of the Henry Morgan & Co. store, rue Sainte-Catherine,
Montreal; John Pierce Hill, architect, 1889-91. (Courtesy of W. Hyndra, The
Hudson's Bay Company, Montreal)
city about 1886 with a series of small residential commissions.
He then completed two larger works, Mountain Methodist
Church and an office tenement, also on rue de Ia Montagne,
owned and occupied by Messrs. Wells, Richardson & Co.,
makers of diamond dies. The tenement was noteworthy not
only for its imported Scottish sandstone facade but also for its
fireproof construction, which included sprinklers activated by
temperatures in excess of 150 degrees and an elevator shaft
enclosed at every level by automatic steel doors. At the time
there was no expertise in Canada that could have trained Hill
in this field - the area of specialization was little more than
five years old in the United States.
22
One can imagine the consternation among the established
architects in the city when it became clear that a commission
for what was then the largest department store in Canada had
been awarded to a neophyte. In March of 1889 the Canadian
Architect & Builder reported that a temporary architectural furore
occurred when ten designs submitted for the new Morgan
store were adjudicated privately, then returned "without note
or comment" to the unsuccessful competitors. Hill was named
to undertake the project, estimated to cost $150,000, a figure
that inflated during the course of construction to $325,000. In
the year of completion Hill disappeared from the Montreal
street directory, but his monumental red sandstone edifice
(now The Bay) still stands in Phillips Square in the midst of
the new commercial core -just as Dunlop had predicted in
January 1889 it would.
23
Of the annual building starts reported in Montreal between
1865 and 1888, the years 1871 and 1887 were the most
active, each with a thousand or more new projects. In 1888
there were a further nine hundred new projects. Of these, the
largest number were tenements, followed by stores, factories,
and offices, a statistic that reflects the growth in urban popu-
lation and a concomitant escalation in the industrial and retail
sectors. Unlike the previous year, in which $1.9 million had
been concentrated in Saint-Antoine ward, the values in 1888
were almost evenly divided between Saint-Antoine and Centre
wards. It was clear that the city was in the process of a signifi-
cant reorientation, which Morgan's anticipated and promoted
through its project on Phillips Square.
24
Proclaiming "the tendencies of the present age to break
loose from the traditions and customs of the past .. . in every
phase oflife ... religious, political, social and commercial," the
Montreal Gazette heralded the opening of Morgan's new "dry
goods palace" as part of a developing trend towards mammoth
enterprises. So many "precious goods" were displayed, the
columnist thought it difficult "to be modest in one's desires in
the presence of so much that is seductive." Phillips Square had
been transformed by a building that stood forth as a "triumph
of architecture." Comparisons were not to other enterprises
within the city, but to world-class establishments that competed
on the international stage:
A New York lady who visited the new Colonial house yesterday
expressed the opinion that there was nothing in Gotham to equal
Messrs. Morgan's new store, except perhaps A.T. Stewart's.
25
A.T. Stewart's was the first American department store. In
the 1840s the firm initiated the process of buying from over-
seas suppliers, and had established its own manufacturing
plants by the 1860s. Its New York emporium, known as the
"marble palace," was designed by architect John Kellum in
1859. It was fully framed and faced in iron, but was not fire-
proof. By sheer good fortune the structure survived as part of
its successor Wanamaker's until 1956, when it burned to the
ground during demolition. The metal framing, which facilitated
its grand scale, was vulnerable to collapse in extreme heat of
the kind that developed very rapidly in open floors. For this
reason, many considered the technology unsuitable for crowded
public settings such as department stores until better protection
methods were refined in the latter part of the century.
26
.JssAc 1 .JstAc 23: 4 ( 1 99B> 1 3 1
Between 1859 and 1889, when Hill began his plans for the
Phillips Square store, a great deal had occurred in the United
States in the field of retail design. In 1877, American Architect
& Building News published plans of James MacLaughlin's John
Shillito store in Cincinnati. Its exterior was lined with free-
standing brick piers , which, in turn, were pinned to· the
internal metal frame by means of metal rivets. A year later, in
Chicago, William Le Baron Jenney adapted this concept for
his first Leiter store in Chicago by introducing metal columns
immediately behind the load-bearing pilasters of the exterior.
Within five years Jenney had made the conceptual leap that
brought the underlying structural frame to the surface of the
building, where it was lightly veneered with cladding to protect
it from the elements. This synthesis, partly realized in his design
for the Home Insurance building, was later refined in his second
Leiter store of 1889, the same year Hill conceived his scheme
for the new Morgan's store in Montreal. Fireproofing the metal
frame with concrete, brick, or terra cotta simply extended the
principle of cladding to the building's interior. Judging by
reports of Hill's other works in Montreal, these techniques
and the use of sprinkler systems, only just being introduced in
Canada, were already known to Hill before he submitted plans
for Morgan's in 1889.
27
Instead of Jenney's skeletal facades, however, Hill adopted
the still fashionable Richardsonian Romanesque and introduced
a light well into the centre to illuminate the four-storey
interior. His choice of idiom was consistent with Canadian
commercial tastes of the day, which still saw Richardson's
work as a progressive contrast to the Gothic Revival, long
established and sustained in Canada by a generation of British-
born immigrant architects.
28
Like the New York Life Insurance
building completed one year earlier, the exterior of the new
Colonial House was of imported Scottish sandstone, evocative
of Morgan's own heritage and that of the city's railway barons,
whose money was at least partly responsible for the store's
success. A solitary surviving copy of Hill's front elevation for
the new store confirms that the facade is load-bearing, the
marginal notations revealing that the stone is three feet thick
at the base and only 1.8 feet at the cornice (Figure 10) .
29
There is no clear indication of the nature of the internal framing
nor how it was connected to the sandstone facade, but the size
of the bays and the scale of the interior, reportedly covering
some 94,000 square feet, suggests that the new idiom owed its
dimensions to the tensile strength of the metal 1-beam.
The competitive atmosphere was such that within months
of the Morgan's opening, John Murphy & Company had
determined to construct a new five-storey building of red
sandstone two blocks to the west, at the comer of Sainte-
Catherine and Metcalfe streets (Figure 11) . Like Colonial
House, Murphy's boasted a fire-proof interior, an elevator,
and a centralized cash system, as well as large plate-glass
windows. A report in the Daily Herald on 1 December 1894
1 32 o.ISSAC I .JSEAC 23:4 ( 1 998)
]obn murpby
~ ~ o ' s " " "
1899 Christmas &
New Year's
1900 Annual ...
Gre&t
Departmental
Store
Cor. Metcalfe "'
St. Catherine Sts.,
MONTREAL
Figure 11 . John Murphy & Co., Sainte-Catherine and Metcalfe streets, Montreal;
architect unknown, 1894; demolished. (John Murphy & Co's 1899-1900
Christmas & New Year's Annual, National Archives of Canada)
emphasized that the store made "no pretensions to great archi-
tectural beauty, utility having been the chief point kept in
view," although the new premises were stylistically "by no
means behind the other buildings on this thoroughfare."
Advertisements at the same time offered assurances consis-
tent with claims made by many departmentals that customers
would see the same goods at the "usual low prices," despite
the lavish new surroundings.
30
The John Murphy enterprise grew in a series of defined
stages, just like its competitors. The son of Irish immigrants,
its founder took over the family linen importing business with
his brother in 1867. Within three years their partnership had
ended, but John Murphy, now incorporated, moved into the
Tiffin Building on northeast corner of Notre-Dame and Saint-
Pierre streets in the old city. There the firm remained until
1891, when it relocated to rue Sainte-Catherine ouest in the
wake of the Morgan's move. Retailers no longer needed prox-
imity to wholesalers in Montreal's lowertown; the primary
consideration was location - in a place and manner suitable
to attract customers.
Murphy's proved to be an early casualty of Canada's con-
centration in the retail sector, which was more severe than in
the United States because of the smaller size of the market.
The firm was bought by Simpson's of Toronto in 1905 as part
of the latter's campaign to confound the ambitions of its chief
rival Eaton's in the national market. Eaton's had just opened a
new branch in Winnipeg to challenge the power of the Hudson's
Bay Company in the west. Murphy's was Simpson's toe-hold
in the east. The name remained unchanged until 1929, but
the new owners quickly doubled the size of the rue Sainte-
Catherine store, employing architects Ross & MacFarlane to
undertake the concrete and steel extension. A quarter-century
later, on the eve of the Great Depression, Chapman & Oxley
began a second major renovation. They extended and converted
the old red sandstone building into a sleek Art Deco monolith
with six times the floor area of the original, a rate of growth
that exceeded even that of the ciry's population.
31
The gradual concentration of businesses on rue Sainte-
Catherine ouest continued throughout the 1890s as upscale
entrepreneurs like jeweller Henry Birks and retailer James
Ogilvy joined the contingent, in 1894 and 1896 respectively.
The red granite Romanesque Revival edifice commissioned by
Birks occupied a prominent position on Phillips Square opposite
Morgan's. A sparser design more in keeping with the grid
facades of the American mid-west defined the new Ogilvy
store, located still farther west at the corner of rue de Ia
Montagne (Figure 12). The architect, David Ogilvy, son of
the owner, took a leaf from Scroggie's book and worked in a
manner consciously evocative of the Chicago School. But the
technology stopped short of a fully realized free-standing metal
frame - the prerequisite for true curtain-wall construction.
The piers of the facade were massively built to bear the weight
of the 1-beams from the internal framing (Figures 13, 14).
Announcements proclaimed the result to be "splendid," and
Figure 12. James A. Ogilvy store, Sainte-Catherine and de Ia Montagne streets,
Montreal; David Ogilvy, architect, 1896. (A. Carr, 1993)
Figure 13. Plan of the James A. Ogilvy store, Sainte-Catherine and de Ia Montagne
streets, Montreal; David Ogilvy, architect, 1896 (National Archives of Canada,
NMC 56076)
Figure 14. Section through the James A. Ogilvy store, Sainte-Catherine and de Ia
Montagne streets, Montreal; David Ogilvy, architect, 1896. (National Archives of
Canada, NMC 56078)
correctly predicted that the rather isolated location well to the
west of Phillips Square would "yet be the centre of a large
retail shopping district."
32
Like most of the other rue Sainte-Catherine entrepreneurs,
James Angus Ogilvy had moved from lowertown- His first
store of 1866 was at the corner of Bonaventure and de Ia
Montagne streets, across from the old St. Antoine market. At
the time of his arrival from Kirriemuir, Scotland, the population
of the city was 100,000, concentrated in the southeastern part
of the island. Over the next decade it doubled in size, and
residential districts began to spread closer to the Ogilvy's loca-
tion. Just one decade later a move was essential, so the firm
took premises a block farther north on Saint-Antoine, east of
rue de Ia Montagne, where several wealthy public figures
lived_ After another seven years Ogilvy was obliged to build
.JssAc 1 .JsEAc 23:4 < 1 99B> 1 33
an entirely new store nearby, and within four years that premises,
in tum, had to be enlarged. When the time came "to move up
the hill" in 1896, nothing but courage and intuitive business
sense could have guided the selection of what was then an
extremely remote site. Ogilvy, like his competitors, survived
by playing the odds, and was richly rewarded for his audacity.
Judging by the pattern that characterized these early years,
firms such as his simply ignored the recession that slowed the
economy after 1874, and left the less aggressive to fall by the
wayside.
33
The pattern of the retail development in Montreal was
mirrored in Toronto. King Street East had been the old commer-
cial centre of the city, but by the 1890s the core had moved
north and west.
34
Eaton's and Simpson's squared off in a battle
for market share on opposite comers of Y onge and Queen
streets. Both firms had survived shaky starts in the 1860s to
emerge as giants of retailing two decades later. Timothy Eaton
left a modest dry-goods and grocery business in St. Mary's,
Ontario, to move to Toronto in 1869, where he hoped to
benefit from the larger population base. Initially, the upper
floors of his mixed-use premises on Yonge Street below Queen
were rented to tenants, but the volume of trade soon displaced
them and necessitated additions. Then, in 1873, Robert
Simpson arrived from Newmarket, Ontario, to establish himself
in a similar property a few doors up the street. Within a decade
the thirteen dry-goods businesses in the block had diminished
to two serious competitors. Each tried to outdo the other in
pricing, but when Simpson succeeded in impeding future
Eaton expansion by renting an adjacent property, the latter
reacted by building a new store at 190 Yonge Street. When it
opened in 1883, Eaton's had an enclosed area of 25,000
square feet on four floors, its plate-glass display windows
measured sixteen feet square, and the interior was illuminated
by electricity and light wells. There were also two hydraulic
Figure 15. Eaton's store, Yonge and Queen streets, Toronto; architects
unknown, 1883-93; demolished. (Archives of Ontario, Eaton Fonds: AD 8387,
F229-308-0-390)
1 34 .JSSAC I .JsEAc 23:4 ( 1 998)
Figure 16. Oak Hall, Toronto; architect unknown, 1893; demolished. (Construction
3 [September 191 0]: 83)
elevators to ferry shoppers to the upper floors. Within a year
the company had also introduced the earliest mail-order cata-
logue in the country, which had a dramatic impact on sales
and made further additions imperative. An extension along
Queen Street more than doubled the store's floor area, its
convenience promoted in advertising that trumpeted the store's
"Mammoth Buildings." Over the next decade 190 Yonge
Street grew to more than ten times its original size (Figure
15). It was predictable, therefore, that Robert Simpson
would answer Eaton's challenge by relocating his enterprise
directly across the street, on the southwest comer of Yonge
and Queen, going his rival one better in 1894 with the very
latest in Chicago-School design.
35
Whereas Eaton made a point of pursuing every innovation
in retail sales by carefully monitoring the market trends tested
by his American counterparts, his approach to architecture
was less inventive. His store grew in increments of convenience
Fugure 17. Central Chambers, Confederation Square, Ottawa; John James
Browne, architect, 1890. (W.H. Carre, National Archives of Canada, C-7029)
to cover most of the block north of Queen Street. On the
other hand, Robert Simpson determined to create a coherent
architectural statement when he retained Toronto architect
Edmund Burke, then president of the Ontario Association of
Architects, to build a new premises in time for the 1894
Christmas rush. Earlier that year, delegates to the convention
of the OAA had attended a lecture by Gambier Bousfield on
"Shop Fronts During the Next Decade." The speaker explored how
the profession might respond to the needs of retail marketing
by opening up the facade to the display of goods on every
floor. The load-bearing systems of the past were dismissed in
favour of facades of iron or steel with glass, like that of Oak
Hall in Toronto (Figure 16). During the discussion, several
observed that plate glass facades "could not be accepted as high
art, but ... might be tolerated as what was demanded by commer-
cial requirements of to-day." Specifically, Ottawa's Central
Chambers was cited as having a pleasing effect, although it
could not be considered "pure architecture" (Figure 17). Its
floor-upon-floor of plate-glass oriels, supported on steel girders
set in load-bearing brick and sandstone walls, answered the
purpose of Seybold & Gibson, the dry-goods firm for whom it
was executed in 1890-91 by John James Browne, son of Montreal
architect George Browne. Many architects were still troubled
by these new ideas, but Burke, who two years earlier had read
a lecture on "Structural Iron Work" before the same body, was
more venturesome. His correspondence with former colleagues
then living in New York and Chicago told him that the
"Chicago men had solved [the problem] as nearly as it was
possible to do, having resolved their supports into simple iron
stanchions with sufficient masonry to protect the iron from
damage in the case of fire." Prophetically, he added that his
experience with proprietors of retail establishments led him to
dread any attempted solution of a problem of that kind.
36
In the summer of 1894 Burke began Simpson's six-storey
retail palazzo on the comer opposite Eaton's (Figure 18). The
facade was undoubtedly influenced by one that Chicago archi-
tect Louis Sullivan had recently published, but structurally the
design drew back from the idea of a fully freestanding metal
frame in favour of an internal steel cage enclosed by self-
sustaining brick piers, like the Shillito store in Cincinnati.
Burke did introduce 1-beams in the lower two storeys of the
facade, so the bricklayers could start constructing the upper
piers while masons veneered the metal framing at street level
(Figure 19). This decision, made to meet the deadline of the
Christmas shopping season, engaged directly with ideas then
being explored by leading practitioners in Chicago and formed
part of a coherently expressed exterior of dimensions that spoke
directly to the new economic order. In the haste to complete
the project, however, the owner also decreed shortcuts that
Figure 18. Robert Simpson store, Yonge and Queen streets, Toronto; Edmund
Burke, architect, 1894; destroyed. (Canadian Architect & Builder 8, no. 1 [January
1895]: after 18)
US SAC / .JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 3 S
Figure 19. Section through the Robert Simpson store, Yonge and Queen streets,
Toronto; Edmund Burke, architect, 1894; destroyed. (Archives of Ontario,
Horwood Collection, C 11-24-0-1 [26)8)
proved to be the building's undoing in the months to come.
Pine floors were laid over the steel frame without either cement
or concrete to protect the metal. Consequently, when an arsonist
torched the building in March 1895, fire raced through the
open flats, quickly heating the steel to a temperature that
precipitated a complete collapse of the structure within
twenty minutes (Figure 20) .
A chastened Robert Simpson announced that a new
structure would be rebuilt immediately, this time with every
fireproofing measure that modem technology could provide
(Figure 21). Burke, now in partnership with his old colleague
John C.B. Horwood, who had recently returned from New
York, redesigned the building with a fully realized curtain wall
and concrete fireproofing in the interior. Visitors to the annual
agricultural exhibition that year were astonished to see the
freestanding iron frame of the new and larger building out-
lined against the sky, as the project proceeded. Utilizing the
same proportions and configuration as its predecessor, the
result was generally agreed to have "succeeded in giving a
dignified solution without in the least entrenching upon the
first requisite of such a building - abundance of light." The
success of the rebuilt design enhanced Simpson's prestige, and
earned Burke & Horwood a well-deserved reputation as the
country's premier retail design firm.
By this time Eaton and Simpson had succeeded in dividing
the Toronto retail market between them. So dramatic was the
effect of their rivalry upon the local economy that one journ-
alist became extremely exercised over the issue. Citing the
commercial dislocations caused by departmentals across the
continent, Joseph Clark, assistant editor of Toronto's Saturday
Night magazine, published a series of scathing articles between
February and July of 1897 under the pseudonym "Mack." He
discussed in minute detail the impact of the department store
1 36 .JSSAC I ..JsE:Ac 23:4 ( 1 998)
Figure 20. Remains of the Robert Simpson store, Yonge and Queen streets,
Toronto, 4 March 1895. (Toronto Reference Library, T-13288)
upon the retail sector in Ontario, first in terms of economic
issues, then on a level of overt consumer advocacy. His tirade
elicited sufficient response to merit republication of his columns
in the form of a pamphlet entitled "The Bamums of Business,"
and even roused the politicians sufficiently to inspire an abortive
piece of consumer protection legislation in the Ontario legis-
lature.37
The campaign began judiciously, with a passing remark
on mail-order services in an article about free newspaper
postage:
This matter of postage, then, is not one that interests only the country
editor, but the country merchant, who, while postage of newspapers
is free, is submitting to a tax that assists the department stores to
place their bait under the noses of the people in every hamlet in
Canada. The growth of [Toronto] and its trade is a good thing for
residents of the city and I am telling tales out of school in writing
this, but the forces at work are bigger than even the facts here
pointed out would indicate, and I think the very commercial life of
the country, as it is, hangs for the present on the action of the Postal
Department.
38
As the writer observed, professionally written advertisements
circulated free under an exemption granted to newspapers, so
that Toronto department s t o r ~ s . through their mail-order
services, could reach customers in the most remote areas of
the country. The effect on the economy was to overthrow ."all
the mercantile, financial and industrial conditions that at present
prevail. "
39
In the next two weeks "Mack" warmed to his task, describing
how department stores were feeding off a significant demo-
graphic shift that had swelled Canada's urban population
from 19 percent in 1870 to 29 percent two decades later, after
Figure 21. The second Robert Simpson store, Yonge and Queen streets, Toronto, after the addition of 1898-99; Burke & Horwood, architects, 1895. (Archives of Ontario, Horwood
Collection, C 11, Additional 5)
agricultural machinery relieved much of the need for manual
labour in rural districts.
40
At the same time, corresponding
developments in the retail sector meant that "trade that was
once diffused over the whole city is now concentrated on a
few acres in the center, and ... the profits that were once
divided among a hundred houses now enrich only two or
three," referring of course to Eaton and Simpson.
41
A tongue-
in-cheek advertisement for KETCHEM, SKINEM & COOKEM's
Mammoth Department Store, at the comer of Skin Street and
Humbug A venue, which appeared on the same page as one of
Mack's commentaries, was a thinly disguised jab at Eaton's.
The earnest promise to "sell some goods at high prices to
cover our Enormous Expenses" as part of the company's goal
to corner "all the business on earth" and "ruin trade in all
locations" was a harsh indictment of the retailer's decade-long
initiative to lower prices by eliminating local middlemen in
favour of overseas agents or direct purchase from manufacturers.
Eaton's made its reputation on quality goods at fair prices, but
Mack's mythical department store staged phony sales and fatu-
ous contests to entice ingenuous female customers to part with
more money than they intended. The Mack retailer used mass-
marketing to push inferior quality goods at what purported to be
discount prices. Loss-leaders were just another ploy to attract
shoppers and drive competitors out of business one by one, the
sales being sustained through higher prices on other itemsY
Whether or not there was any substance to these claims,
the results were not in doubt. Mack enumerated 117 whole-
sale and retail businesses in Toronto, worth nearly $4 million,
that had gone into liquidation in recent years, among them
houses like McMaster and Company, which had been estab-
lished for sixty years. Many were victims of the direct-
purchase policy that Eaton pioneered in an effort to secure
the best possible prices for his customers. As for small retailers,
store vacancies across the city topped 585, standing as mute
testimony to the impact on shopkeepers, landlords, and the
building trades that depended upon them.
43
Mack also alleged that the women clerks favoured by Eaton
to attract female customers were paid half the salary of their
male counterparts. Joy Santink believes this discrepancy may
have been a facsimile of the turnover in women employees, as
gender stereotypes discouraged married women from continuing
their business careers and few ever achieved the seniority that
went with the highest rates of pay. Nevertheless, Mack viewed
such strategies as cynical ploys to cut the payroll and cultivate
..JssAc I ..JsE:Ac:: 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 37
profligate consumerism. In addition, the market was fuelled
not by demand per se, but by advertising, which artificially
inflated the consumption of products, "The volume of trade
was no longer regulated by the necessities of the people ...
but for the things that happen to be offered at apparent or
pretended reductions in price."
44
Female bargain-hunters
tempted by the spurious puffery of advertisers were even accused
of wasting valuable domestic resources. One local minister
took it upon himself to rebuke his women parishioners for
ruining their husbands and for making it inevitable that both
wives and daughters would have to go "out into the world to
earn their own living." Such an expedient was considered to
damage the structure of the family, which, being the sole
responsibility of women, left them accountable for every social
evil from the neglect of children to increased rates of crime!
Legislators began to consider special licensing provisions to
regulate department stores. In the United States, in Illinois,
New York, and Minnesota, draft statutes were already under
review. In Aprill897, the Hamilton Member of the Provincial
Parliament, J.T. Middleton, introduced a private member's
bill that would have provided for municipal licensing of
department stores. The proposal seems to have taken the Liberal
government of Arthur Sturgis Hardy entirely off guard, although
Hardy himself was sensitive to the social issues. The proposal
was sufficiently topical to draw a sympathetic response, but
action on the bill was deferred. As readers of Saturday Night
were quick to point out, cities like Vienna and Berlin already
had legislative constraints upon sharp business practice, but
the measure did not even begin to tackle the problem of
misleading advertising, already under review in New York
State. In the end, Canada's response to the problem was
deferred into the second decade of the twentieth century.
45
Meanwhile, Mack contented himself with offering a platform
for all the consumer complaints his readers were prepared to
provide. He protested that he was not trying to "make water
run up hill," but that the journal wished to expose those who
ground their employees to starvation along with labourers in
shops, factories, cellars, and garrets in order to "sell goods cheap."
In most cases, according to Mack, these attempts to depress
the intrinsic value of merchandise meant that it was not a cent
cheaper than elsewhere, but retailers thereby got four profits
instead of one.
46
Mack's editorials were part of a movement
that ultimately led to the formation of the Retail Merchant's
Association of Canada to police the conduct of all store owners.
Saturday Night even allowed their literary contributors to
demonize the department store owners in two poetic quips. The
first, signed Earnest E. Leigh, was entitled "The Departmental":
Old Satan sticks to business well
Since he, the great insolvent, fell,
Resolving when he struck to sell
"Hot bargains" at "rockbottom."
1 38 ..ISSAC I .JsE:Ac:: 23:4 ( 1 998)
Long centuries he rack'd his brain
For swifter schemes of getting gain,
Until at last, almost insane,
He tour'd the earth for pointers.
What chuckles left his grimy jaws
When he the departmental cause
Espous'd amid the lowd [sic] applause
Of his sulfuric escort.
"Hurrah!" he said and swished his sting:
"Hurrah, thou blatant, bloated thing!"
And all his imps with swagg'ring swing,
Yell'd, "Bargain day's next Friday!" .. .
"Yo ho!" said Pluto, "well I know
That many a faked and lying blow
Hath laid these looted highways low,
Thou scooping departmental."
47
The following week, "G." added a briefer stanza headed "No
More Room- He Hogged It":
Said Satan, "Stir up the fire,
There's room for one or two more."
"Not so," said the stoker, "the last
On earth kept departmental store."
48
Such vilification had no effect on the entrepreneurs to whom
they were directed, an indication, perhaps, that their stores
were more fitted to needs and expectations than anyone but
the retailers themselves could have predicted.
Figure 22. Poured concrete frame for the second phase of the Hudson's Bay Co.
store, Vancouver; Burke, Horwood & White, architects, 1926. (Stuart Thompson,
Vancouver Public Library, 11260)
In the years to come the grand retail palazzo became the
normative index of a store's pretensions in the retail market.
But the trappings of success were not always so indicative of a
lucrative enterprise as was the case with the national chains.
Furthermore, architectural education was introduced in
Canadian universities only in the 1890s, and even then the
training was shaped largely by the Arts-and-Crafts rather than
the Beaux-Arts tradition upon which teaching curricula in the
United States was based. This meant that many Canadian
practitioners learned their skills in an apprenticeship system
that tended to perpetuate the traditions of an older generation
of architects, many of whom were British-trained and not
conversant with American technical innovation. While Burke
& Horwood went on in their later work for the Hudson's Bay
Company to explore both the refinements of the reinforced
concrete frame and the Beaux-Arts idiom so favoured
by American architect Daniel Burnham (Figure 22), some
Canadian architects were still interpreting the Chicago School
in an idiosyncratic fashion that reflected a lack of familiariry
with the details of the construction technology.
Ottawa architect Moses Chamberlain Edey is a case in
point. Despite an apprenticeship with Toronto architect
William Thomas and with American Z.D. Stearns of Moravia,
New York, his 1904-05 design for what later became known as
the Daly Building made use of self-sustaining stone columns
pinned to an underlying steel skeleton (Figures 23, 24). The
piers of Gloucester limestone were sufficiently delicate to
mimic the idiom of the Chicago School, but the metal frame
stood outside rather than within the stone pier. The resulting
mammoth department store, built not for a retail entrepreneur
but for an aspiring local developer, served the pretensions of a
capital city experimenting with the principles of the Ciry
Beautiful movement, but its 125,000 square feet on five floors
was ultimately out of scale with the city's population. The first
tenant, clothier T. Lindsay Limited, did not survive the
founder's death in 1908. A succession of occupants followed
-the chain store A.E. Rae & Company, then the Canadian
Navy during the First World War, then H.J. Daly Company,
whose name was thereafter identified with the structure,
despite a brief tenancy of only three years. The property was
finally subsumed within the largest of Ottawa "industries"
when it was acquired by the federal government in 1921,
under whose stewardship it deteriorated progressively until
the National Capital Commission demolished it in 1992.
49
Edey was commissioned to execute the ill-fated project in
Ottawa for the simple reason that the department store had
emerged as a pivotal element in the country's economy. In
1900 W.B. Phillips codified the principles of the new order in
a 125-page pamphlet entitled How Department Stores Are Carried
On. Of the "General Principles," he wrote "the first aim is to
get the best and choicest goods direct from the makers; and,
second, to have the lowest prices, thus enlarging the purchasing
Figure 23. Daly Building, Ottawa, during demolition showing the construction of
the facade; Moses Chamberlain Edey, architect, 1904-05. (A. Carr, 1992)
Figure 24. Detail of the upper facade of the Daly Building during demolition.
(A. Carr, 1992)
.JssAc I .JsEAc 23:4 ( 1 998) 1 39
power of every dollar." Service was to be courteous and agree-
able under all conditions, with "everything done that can be
done to study the convenience of customers and look after
their interests." Notwithstanding Mack's allegations, Phillips
insisted that "lying advertisements never built a permanent
and successful business," and that a strict standard of reliability
must be maintained. Among the minutia of management
details, he also underlined what he considered one of the
greatest factors in the success of modem retailing:
A store large enough to accommodate thousands of shoppers arranged
to serve a purpose. Floor upon floor filled with merchandise, broad
aisles, easy stairways, elevators to do the stair climbing, cash system
for quick and easy change-making, with all the newest ideas in store
mechanism; places to sit,- wait, meet, lunch, talk, and rest; in short
an ideal place to shop in.
50
By century's end the large department stores supported over-
seas purchasing offices in many international cities. Instead of
one store in a major centre, national chains opened branches
in every major city across the country and placed mail-order
outlets in the smaller towns. One commentator even charac-
terized the department stores' engagement with the world
outside as contributing to the country's educational and
cultural value on a level that was "hardly to be estimated."
The retail sector honed managerial skills, stimulated marketing
and promotional expertise - and challenged the creativity of
Canadian architects:
By the architectural excellences of the building housing the larger
undertaking, standards of design and construction are set which have
an incalculable influence on the business architecture and the general
aspect of the town. This is seen in the gradual smartening of exteriors
and more tastefully arranged show windows and interiors, and a more
efficient executive administration. In the end everyone benefits. 5
1
For those who survived the coming of age, it seemed that the
department store was the quintessential symbol of Canada's
new place on the world stage.
1 40 .JssAc I .JsEAc 23:4 ( 1 998)
Endnotes
David Monod, Store Wars: Shopkeepers and the Culture of Mass Marketing,
1890-1939 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1996) , 27.
2 One of the best short summaries, referenced by Monod, who elaborates
these issues at some length, is the Report of the Royal Commission on Price
Spreads (Ottawa: J. O. Patenaude, 1935) , 204-12.
3 Marshall B. Aylsworth, "Departmental Store Buildings," Canadian Architect
& Builder 8 (March 1895) : 48.
4 Jean-Claude Marsan, Montreal in Evolution: Historical Analysis of the
Development of Montreal's Architecture and Urban Environment (Montreal:
MeGill-Queen's University Press, 1981) , 231, quoting Henry-Russell
Hitchcock, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd ed.
(Baltimore: Penguin, 1964), 234; and Winston Weisman, "Philadelphia
Functionalism and Sullivan," Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians
20 (March 1961): 6. See also "Ante-bellum Skyscraper," Journal of the
Society of Architectural Historians 9 (October 1950): 25, 27, 28, and "The
Jayne Building Again," ibid. , (March 1951): 25.
5 Dominion Illustrated, special number on Montreal (1891).
6 Joseph Clark, pseudo. "Mack," The Barnums of Business (Toronto: Sheppard
Publishing, 1897), reprinting weekly articles from Saturday Night 10 (13
February-31 July 1897).
7 W.H.R., "Design in Shop Fronts," Building News (22 April1870): 293-94.
8 Franc;:ois Remillard and Brian Merrett, L'architecture de Montreal: guide des
styles et des bdtiments (Montreal: Editions du Meridien, 1990), 64. A
slightly earlier example, also by Browne (and later altered), is Frothingham
& Workman at 157 rue Saint-Paul ouest; see Josette Michaud, Vieux
Montreal: cite marchand (Montreal: Ville de Montreal et Ministere des
affaires culturelles, 1983), 7. Also, the Hagar Building at 367-373 Place
d'Youville was designed by John Springle in 1855; see Repertoire d'architec-
ture traditionnelle sur le territoire de la Communaute Urbaine de Montreal:
architecture industrielle (Montreal: Communaute Urbaine de Montreal,
1982), 10-13.
9 For George Browne (1811 -85), see the Archindont Index, Toronto Refer-
ence Library (MTRL), Toronto, and Jennifer McKendry, With Our Past
Before Us (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1995). For other infor-
mation on Browne, see J. Douglas Borthwick, History and Biographical
Gazetteer of Montreal to the Year 1892 (Montreal: J. Lovell, 1892) , 259,
and Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology 2, no. 3-4
(1970): 76-7 (references courtesy of Parks Canada, Ottawa).
10 Guy Pinard, Montreal: son histoire, son architecture (Montreal: Editions du
Meridien, 1992) , 5:114-19, and Repertoire d'architecture traditionnelle sur
le territoire de la Communaute Urbaine de Montreal: les cinc'mas, les magasins
(Montreal: Communaute Urbaine de Montreal, 1985) , 19-22. For a brief
biography of Michel Laurent (1833-1891), see Gerard Morisset, L'archi-
tecture en Nouvelle-France (Quebec: Collection Champlain, 1949), 133.
11 Renee Losier, Fac;:ades en fonte a Montreal (Montreal: Heritage Montreal,
1986), and "Fac;:ades en fonte a Montreal: aspects technologique et
srylistique," MA, Concordia University, 1984 (Ottawa: Bibliothcque
nationale du Canada, 1986). See also Andre Giroux, Etudes sur divers
biltiments anciens de Montreal, serie Travail inedit n° 370 (Ottawa: Pares
Canada, 1973-75), 2:422-26; and Communaute Urbaine de Montreal:
architecture industrielle, 133-35. The files of the Ministcre des affaires
culturelles, Direction regionale de Montreal, record the usc of metal
beams in a structure of 1866-67 at 438-442 Place Jacques-Carrier. For a
biography of H.R. lves, sec J. Douglas &mhwick, Montreal: Its History,
Biographical Sketches, Photographs of Many of its Prominent Citizens (Mont-
real: Drysdale, 1875) , 147. For similar information on Quebec City, see
Sylvie Thivierge, "L'architecture commerciale de Quebec, 1860-1915,"
MA, Universite Laval, 1985 (Ottawa: Bibliothcque nationale du Canada,
1986), and Christina Cameron, Charles Baillarge: Architect & Engineer
(Montreal: MeGill-Queen's University Press, 1990). For additional
material on lves & Allen, see the Dominion Illustrated special number on
Montreal (1891): 195; Marsan, Mcmtreal in Evolution, 162-63; and Giroux,
Etudes, 2:422-26. For other Canadian examples, see A Sense of Place:
Granville Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Halifax: Heritage Trust of Nova
Scotia, 1970) ; Nancy Patricia Volcsky, "The Exterior Use of Decorative
Iron Work in Ottawa Architecture during the Latter Half of the
Nineteenthth Century," MA, Concordia University, 1987 (Ottawa:
National Library of Canada, 1988) .
12 For Hutchison (1838-1922), see William Cochrane, ed., The Canadian
A lbum: Men of Canada ... (Brantford, Ont.: Bradley, Garretson, 1891-
96), 2: 172, and "Mr. A. C. Hutchison, RCA," Canadian Architect &
Builder 8 (October 1895): 117. For information on the Quebec economy
at this period, see Andre Gosselin, "Histoire economique du Quebec:
1867 -1896," in Economic Quebecoise (Quebec: Les Cahiers de l'Universite
du Quebec, 1969), 105-4!.
!3 "LeCours Le Royer: une seconde jeunesse a des batiments du 19e siecle,"
Habitat 20/21 (1977-78): 20-24; Communaute Urbaine de Montn!al: les
magasins, les cinemas , 96-lll , which refers to a contract of 7 June 1873
signed before notary F.J. Durand (minute n° 4331, Archives narionales
du Quebec a Montreal [ANQM]). See also contract drawings 5-06-70-SA
of the same date, ANQM (reference courtesy of M. Ferron, Communaute
Urbainc de Montreal); Guy Pinard, "Les magasins-cntrepots des sceurs
hospitalieres," La Presse (Montreal), 5 novembre 1989, D6; Pinard,
Montreal, 4:263-72; and Michaud, Vieux Montreal. For Victor Bourgeau
(1809-88), see Raymondc Gauthier, "Victor Bourgeau et !'architecture
religicuse ct conventuelle dans le diocese de Montreal, 1821-1892," PhD,
Universite Laval, 1983 (Ottawa: Bibliotheque nationale du Canada,
1986), and "Une pratique architecturale au XIXe sicclc- Victor Bourgeau,
1809-1888," ARQ 41 (1987) : 10-23. For very brief biographies of Michel
Laurent, Albert Mcsnard, and Henri-Maurice Perrault, see Morisset,
!33, !37. See Communaute Urbaine de Montreal: architecture industrielle,
20-21 , for the James McCready factory at 361 d'Youville and the building
at 108-110 Saint-Pierre, also by Michel Laurent (1873) and in a similar
idiom.
14 Quote from Inland Architect & News Record 27 (March 1896) : 16.
"A Magnificent Structure: The New York Life Building Unsurpassed on
the Continent, " Gazette (Montreal), 2 January 1889, 5; "Montreal,"
Canadian Architect & Builder 2 Oanuary 1889) : 9; Dominion Illustrated,
special number on Montreal (1891); Lawrence F. Abbott, The Story of
NYLIC: A Hi story of the Origin and Dc'Velopment of the New York Life
Insurance Company from 1845 to 1929 (New York: The Company, 1930);
Madeleine Forget, Les gratte-ciel de Montreal (Montreal: Editions du
Mcridicn, 1990), 37-41, quoting Helene Trocme, "Les premiers gratte-
cicl ," L'histoire 22 (avril 1980): 16-26; Kelly Crossman, Architecture in
Transition: From An to Practice, 1885- 1906 (Kingston, Ont.: McGill-
Queens Uni versity Press, 1987) , 17-19.
15 See "View during the widening of Notre Dame Street, Montreal, December,
1890," in The Dominion Illustrated 6, no. !33 (17 January 1891): 56. See
also Remillard and Merrett, L'architecture de Montn!al, 146;
Communaute Urbaine de Montreal: les magasins, les cinemas, 172-73; and
Cochrane, Canadian Album, 2:389.
16 No further additions were undertaken until the post-war boom of 1950
encouraged renewed entrepreneurial optimism. In the end, the enterprise
was forced to close its doors in 1978, along with many of its nationally
known competitors, all of whom were brought down by unexpected
pressures in the Canadian retail market. Sec "The House of Dupuis
Frcres," Canadian Illustrated News 16 (10 November 1877) : 291, 301;
Paul Trepanier, "Legrand magasinage: une tournce des magasins qui ont
fai t les beaux jours des rues Continuite 42 (hi ver 1989) :
36-39 (reference courtesy of Madeleine Forget); Special Committee on
Price Spreads and Mass Buying: Proceedings and Evidence (Ottawa: King's
Primer, 1934), 3860-6!. For information on the Quebec economy at this
period, sec Louis Maheu, "Dcvcloppement economique du Quebec:
1896- 1920," in Economie Quebecoise, 143-59.
17 "Desastreux effondrcment: une partie de !'edifice du Queen's Block
s'ecroule, " La Presse (Montreal) , 18 septembre 1899, 1; "Bad Collapse:
Part of the Queen's Theatre Block Falls," Gazette (Montreal), 18 Septem-
ber 1899, 5; "Scroggie's New Store," Star (Montreal), 10 September
1900; "Un agrcable magasin," La Patrie (Montreal), 10 September 1900;
Saturday Night 28 (14 November 1914) : 19; AI Palmer, "Ourtown:
Scroggic's," Gazette (Montreal) 21 April1967. Palmer notes that George,
W.H., and Ernest Scroggic were among the members of the family involved
in the business (references courtesy of Archives de Ia ville de Montreal) .
18 Saturday Night 28 ( 14 November 1914) : 19; Monod, Store Wars, 118.
19 "Annual Review of Trade & Commerce," Montreal Herald (1922) ;
George Radwanski, "Mini-Store to Empire in 100 Years," Gazette
(Montreal), 8 decembre 1969; Lily Tasso, "La maison Eaton celebre cette
annee le centieme anniversaire de sa fondation," La Presse (Montreal), 8
decembre 1969; ''T. Eaton Company," Trace Magazine 1, no. 2 (ApriV
May/June 1981) (references courtesy of Archives de Ia ville de Montreal);
Elisabeth Naud, "Pour oublier Ia Crise: le 9• chez Eaton," Cap-aux-
Diamants 40 (hiver 1995) : 42-44 (reference courtesy of the Canadian
Centre for Architecture, Montreal) . See also Isabelle Gournay, "Le res-
taurant Eaton, " Continuite 42 (hiver 1989) : 20-24 (reference courtesy of
Madeleine Forget). Michael Bliss, A Canadian Millionaire: The Life and
Times of Sir Joseph Flavelle, Ban., 1858-1939 (Toronto: University of
Toronto Press, 1992), 80, points out that neither Morgan's nor Ogilvy's
found it worthwhile to launch a mail-order service to serve the Quebec
hinterland. In this respect Eaton's and Simpson's had a distinct advantage
over their Montreal competitors.
20 "Sermons in Stones: The City's Buildings Preach of the City's Growth,"
Gazette (Montreal), 17 January 1889, 2.
21 For Henry Morgan (1819-93) , see Henry Morgan & Co. Ltd., "One Hun-
dred Years," Henry Morgan & Co. Papers, McGill University Archives,
Montreal; and Pinard, Montreal, 5: 440-44.
22 ]. Lovell's Montreal Directory for 1883-84 (Montreal: J. Lovell, 1884) con-
tains no reference to Hill. His name appears first in the 1885-86 edition
and vanishes again in 1890-9!. His business address was a room at 162
St. James St., and his home was at 17 Drummond St. For an account of
the first two years of Hill's career in Montreal, see "Sermons in Stone,"
Gazette, 2; additional information on the early house commissions from
Le Prix Courant, courtesy ofM. Ferron, Communaute Urbaine de Montreal.
Hill may also have been awarded the commission for the Methodist train-
ing college at Cote Saint-Antoine in 1889; see Canadian Architect &
Builder 2 Qanuary 1889): 9. For information on the history of fireproof
building, see American Architect & Building News 15 (26 January 1884):
37; ibid., 16 (9 August 1884): 69; and ibid., 17 (11 April1885): 179.
23 Morgan's served Montreal for 120 years before being taken over by the
Hudson's Bay Co. in 1972.
24 "The City's Buildings: Annual Report of the Building Inspector during the
Past Year," Gazette (Montreal) 15 January 1889, 5; "Montreal," Canadian
Architect & Builder 1 Oanuary 1888) : 9; ibid. , 2 Oanuary 1889): 9; and
ibid., 2 (March 1889) : 32.
25 "A Dry Goods Palace: Something About the New Colonial House on
Phillips Square," Gazette (Montreal) 25 April1891, 2.
26 Joy Santink, Timothy Eaton and the Rise of His Department Store (Toronto:
University of Toronto Press, 1990) , 42; Alan Burnham, "Last Look at a
Structural Landmark," Architectural Record 120 (September 1956) : 273-
79.
2 7 For the influence of American ideas on stores in the province of Quebec,
sec Sylvie Thivierge, "Commerce et architecture," Continuite 48 (hiver
1989) : 25-29 (reference courtesy of Madeleine Forget); for the influence
in Toronto, see Angela Carr, Toronto Architect Edmund Burke: Redefining
Canadian Architecture (Montreal : MeGill-Queen's University Press,
1995), 114-25. The best discussions of the American development have
been published by Art Institute of Chicago: John Zukowsky, ed., Chicago
Architecture, 1872- 1922 (Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1987-88) ; Carl Condit,
The Chicago School of Architecture: A History of Commercial and Public
Building in the Chicago Area, 1875- 1925 (Chicago: Chicago University
Press, 1964) ; Gerald Larson and Roula Geraniotis, "Toward a Better Under-
standing of the Iron Skeleton Frame in Chicago," Journal of the Society of
Architectural Historians 46 (March 1987) : 39-48.
28 Crossman, Architecture in Transition, discusses the problem, particularly in
relation to the competition for the Ontario legislative buildings.
29 I am indebted to William Hyndra and The Bay, Montreal, for providing
me with a whiteprint of the front elevation under the seal of John Pierce
Hill, for reproduction in this paper.
30 "From the Old to the New!" and "John Murphy's Block," Montreal Daily
Herald, 15 September and 1 December 1894; "Simpson's Reorganizes,
C. L. Burton, J.E. Golding on the New Directorate," T oronto Daily Star,
12 March 1925, 14; "Un soixantenaire commercial: l'histoire de Ia
.JSSAC / ..JSE:AC 23:4 (1998) 141
maison R. Simpson s'identifie a celle de Ia Confederation," La Patrie
(Montreal), 31 March 1932. "Soixante-cinq ans d'histoire commerciale:
The Robert Simpson, Montreal, Ltd.," La Presse (Montreal), 13 octobre
1934, remarks on the fact that Murphy advertised his goods in French in
La Presse. "Le nouveau magasin Simpson, une etape dans notre econo-
mic," La Presse (Montreal) , 25 septembre 1954; "Present Store Capacity
to be Doubled," Montreal Star, 15 November 1954; Madeleine Dubuc,
"Simpson's: 110 ans biens sonnes," La Presse (Montreal) , 23 janvier .
1982; Jack Todd, "Writing was on the Wall for the Landmark Store,"
Gazette (Montreal), 18 January 1983 (references courtesy of Archives de
Ia ville de Montreal).
31 Like Dupuis Freres, the final halcyon days were the post-war boom of the
1950s. The end came in 1979, when the market contracted under pressure
from international competition. Simpson's itself was absorbed by The Bay
(as was Morgan's), and the Montreal flagship store finally closed in 1989.
See Report of the Royal Commission on Price Spreads (1935), 207; Cochrane,
Canadian Album, 4:352; Pinard, Montreal, 5:448-49; "The T. Eaton &
Co.'s Store at Winnipeg," Canadian Architect & Builder 18 Ouly 1905): 112.
32 "James Ogilvy & Sons," The Herald (Montreal), 26 November 1898 (refer-
ence courtesy of Archives de Ia ville de Montreal); Communaute Urbaine
de Montreal: les magasins, les cinemas, 212-15.
33 For further information on James Angus Ogilvy (1836-1911) and his store,
see Pinard, Montreal, 5:449-51; "Dean of Montreal Department Store
Dies," Saturday Night 24 (13 May 1911): 19; Joshua Wolfe, "Ogilvy,"
Continuite 42 (hiver 1989): 30-3 1 (reference courtesy of Madeleine
Forget) . See also Edgar Andrew Collard, "All Our Yesterdays: Ogilvy's
119 Years of Montreal Tradition," Gazette (Montreal), 20 July 1985;
Walter Poronovich, "Montreal's Changing Face- No. 67: Like Topsy
the Store Just Grew," Montreal Star, 19 March 1977; "Fondes 11 ans
avant Ia Confederation, les rayons Ogilvy's se sont eleves au rang des
plus grands magasins de Montreal," La Presse (Montreal), I octobre 1955
(references courtesy of Archives de Ia ville de Montreal) . It is also worth
noting that the department stores assumed leadership in many areas not
directly related to commerce, such as culture, which Ogilvy's encouraged
with the addition of the "Tudor Hall" in 1928; see "The Ogilvy's Store,
Montreal," Construction 22 (May 1929): 165-66, 169 (reference courtesy
ofM. Ferron, Communaute Urbaine de Montreal); Claude Gingras,
"Musique," La Presse (Montreal), 11 novembre 1986 (reference courtesy
of Archives de Ia ville de Montreal). These were not the only department
stores in Montreal, only the largest and longest surviving; see "Les grands
magasins a departements," La Presse (Montreal), 11 decembre 1900, 1,
20, reprinted 15 decembre 1985 (latter reference courtesy of Archives de
Ia ville de Montreal). Other important examples in Quebec City have
been documented in Trepanier, "Legrand magasinage," 36-39 (reference
courtesy of Madeleine Forget), and Aylne LeBel, "Une vitrine populaire:
les grands magasins Paquet," Cap-aux-Diamants 4 (ete 1988): 45-48.
34 This subject has been treated in detail by Gunter Gad and Deryck
Holdsworth in "Large Office Buildings and Their Changing Occupancy:
King Street, Toronto, 1800-1850," SSAC Bulletin 10 (December 1985):
19-26; "Looking Inside the Skyscraper: Size and Occupancy of Toronto
Office Buildings, 1890-1950," Urban History Review 16 (October 1987):
176-231; and "Building for City, Region, and Nation: Office Develop-
ment in Toronto, 1834-1984," in Forging a Consensus: Essays on Historical
Toronto, ed. V.L. Russell (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1984),
272-319.
35 Santink, Timothy Eaton, 58-138; Edith MacDonald, pseud. "The Scribe,"
Golden jubilee, 1869-1919: A Book to Commemorate the Fiftieth Anniversary
of the T. Eaton Co. Limited (Toronto and Winnipeg: T. Eaton & Co.,
1919); Harold Kalman, "Big Stores on Main Street," Canadian Heritage
11 (February/March 1985) : 19-23.
36 "Ontario Association of Architects," Canadian Architect & Builder 7
(February 1894): 29-32. For the Central Chambers and John James
Browne, see Royden Moran, "The Central Chambers, 38-54 Elgin Street,
Ottawa, Ontario," paper prepared for a course on Canadian architecture
at Carleton University, Ottawa, 1980; and Fred Dickinson, "Central
Chambers, 46 Elgin Street, Ottawa: An Architectural Report," paper
prepared for a course on Architectural technology at Algonquin College,
Ottawa, 1975 (references courtesy of the National Capital Commission,
Ottawa). J.J. Browne's idea was based on Liverpool's Oriel Chambers;
1 42 .JSSAC I .JsE:AC 23:4 ( 1 998)
see Geoffrey Woodward, "History: Oriel Chambers," Architectural Review
119 (May 1956): 268-69. Browne is credited with no fewer than fourteen
warehouses and a significant number of commercial buildings; sec
Borthwick, Montreal: Its History, 50; History and Biographical Gazetteer of
Montreal (Montreal: J. Lovell, 1892), 455-56; Montreal Illustrated, 1894
(Montreal: Consolidated Illustrating, 1894), 348; Canadian Architect &
Builder 5 (August 1893); and Edgar Andrew Collard, "Two Architects of
Old Montreal" and "Houses, Churches, Stores and Fire Stations," Gazette
(Montreal), 18 July and I August 1959, respectively (references courtesy
of Don Boisvenue, Parks Canada, Ottawa).
3 7 Departmental Stores: The Modem Curse to Labor and Capital. They Ruin
Cities, Towns, Villages and the Farming Community (Toronto: s.n., 1897).
38 "Around Town," Saturday Night 10 (13 February 1897): I.
39 Mack, "Around Town, " Saturday Night 10 (20 February 1897): I.
40 Clark, Bamums of Business, 14. For identification of Clark as "Mack," see
Hector Charlesworth, "About Joe Clark," Saturday Night 52 (31 July
1937): 1, 5.
41 Mack, "Departmental Stores," Saturday Night 10 (27 February 1897): 3.
42 Ibid.
43 Mack, "Departmental Stores," Saturday Night 10 (6 March 1897): 7; ibid.
(13 March 1897): 3; ibid. (20 March 1897): 3; ibid. (27 March 1897): 3;
ibid. (3 April 1897): 3; "The Barnums of Business," Saturday Night 10 (10
Aprill897): 3.
44 Clark, Bamums of Business, 63. For more information on how departmen-
tals affected consumption practices, see Michelle Comeau, "Les grands
magasins de Ia rue Sainte-Catherine a Montreal: des lieux de monderni-
sation, d'homogeneisation et de differenciation des modes consommation,"
Material History Review 41 (spring 1995): 58-68.
45 Mack, "Departmental Stores" and "The Bamums of Business," Saturday
Night 10 (3,10, 17 Aprill897): all at p. 3; and Santink, Timothy Eaton,
71-81.
46 Mack, "The Barnums of Business," Saturday Night 10 (10 Aprill897): 3.
47 Earnest E. Leigh, "The Departmental," Saturday Night 10 (27 March 1897): 3.
48 G., "No More Room- He Hogged It," Saturday Night 10 (3 April 1897): 3.
49 "Departmental Store: Four-Storey to be Reared on the Clemow Lot, " and
"Second to None: New Lindsay Department Store Finest in Canada,"
Citizen (Ottawa), 13 June and 1 December 1904, 9 and 10 respectively;
Gregory P. Utas, "The Daly Building, Ottawa, Ontario," Historic Sites
and Monuments Board of Canada, Agenda Paper 1979-05; Heritage
Renfrew, Faces and Facades: The Renfrew Architecture of Edey and Noffke
(Renfrew: Juniper Books, 1988) , 5-9 (references courtesy of Don
Boisvenue, Parks Canada, Ottawa); Harold Kalman and John Roaf,
Exploring Ottawa (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1983), B3; Peter
Hessel, From Ottawa with Love: Glimpses of Canada's Capital through Early
Picture Post Cards (Ottawa: National Capital Commission, 1979), 68-69.
For the demise of the structure after failed restoration by the National
Capital Commission, see Jack Aubry, "Daly Building to be Saved," Citizen
(Ottawa), 21 August 1990; Jack Aubry, "Cash-Poor Governments Link
Arms with the Developers," ibid., 17 September 1990; Ron Eadc, "Daly
Building Demolition Looms," ibid., 5 October 1991; and Michael Prentice,
"The Daly Building Demolition: Jacques Greber Would be Pleased," ibid.,
16 October 1991.
50 W.B. Phillips, How Department Stores A re Carried On (Toronto?: s.n.,
1900), 7-9, 12, 17, 26.
51 "Department Store Growth in Canada," Const ruction 21 (December
1928): 401-406, 423.
I wish to acknowledge with thanks the advice of Isabelle Gournay,
University of Maryland; Madeleine Forget, Ministere des affaircs culturelles,
Direction regionale de Montreal; Louis Alain Ferron, Communaute
Urbaine de Montreal ; Susan Bronson, architecte, Montreal; Don
Boisvenue and Colin Old, Parks Canada; and the staff of the Archives
de Ia ville de Montreal and of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in
Montreal.
THE SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF ARCHITECTURE IN CANADA
LA SOCIETE POUR L'ETUDE DE L ARCHITECTURE AU CANADA
p 0 Box 2302 STATION 0 c p 2302, succ 0
OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA K p 5 w 5
ISS N 1486·0872

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