Welcome to the Canadian Architecture blog!

Welcome to the first Canadian Architecture blog brought to you by the Malcolmites! We hope this blog will encourage those interested in Canadian architecture to talk (or more specifically, type) about architecture in Canada.

Featured Building

Featured Building
William Eckhardt House, Unionville, Ontario (1852)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Practical (and wise) advice from 1845

I came across this gem in the pages of the periodical "The Builder" from 1845.  I feel that it is socially responsible to share this important advice with our readers, especially in case any of you were ever wondering how to deal with lead poisoning in the 19th century...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Knox Presbyterian, Dundas, Ontario

We may not be blogging very often this summer, but rest assured, we have all been hard at work on various other projects, the latest of which can be found (again!) on Raise the Hammer.  This time, Candace and Malcolm explore Knox Presbyterian Church in Dundas, Ontario of 1874 with discussion of its history and style in relation to the other churches in town and nearby.

For the full article, visit the website, or click here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Club Anyone???

To try something new Jess and I have decided to do mini book reviews and/or recommendations for architectural reading. The books will be written by non-Malcolmite folk! (Oh, don't worry, we'll still promote our own publications too!)
Here's how it will work - we will give a short description of an architectural book, article or other publication and our readers can look them up, read them, and then return to the blog to comment on the reading. We hope to start a dialogue about architectural writings this way.
Book 1: We'll start with an easy one, Looking at Architecture in Canada by Alan Gowans.
This book provides an introduction to Canadian architectural history in a manner that is accessible for anyone. I must admit that it mainly deals with Quebec and Ontario, especially in terms of providing architectural examples, but the written expression is witty, which makes the book an enjoyable read. I think Gowans is best classified as a social historian who deals with architecture, which makes his perspective somewhat more interesting. With that said, my one criticism is that, for this book anyway, Canadian history begins with contact and the author does not deal with First Nations pre-contact construction, but rather refers to it as 'stone age'.

I'll let our readers take it from there! I hope to see comments soon!

Friday, July 23, 2010

And yet another Malcolmite article...

This article examines Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Paris, Ontario and literally dissects the building, which is the result of several building campaigns, attributing its various parts to their architects. The article's author, none other than the leader himself, Malcolm Thurlby, describes the church as, "one of the most interesting 19th-century Gothic Revival churches in Ontario."
If you are interested in churches, architecture, or the Gothic style be sure to read this article, which can be accessed at:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Another new article brought to you by the Malcolmites!

A new article, written by Malcolm, can be found in the July 19th issue of Raise the Hammer.  The article examines St James's Anglican Church, Paris, Ontario, from its original 1839 building to the changes made by local Brantford architect John Turner in the 1860s to make it more ecclesiologically correct.  The article, like Candace and Malcolm's July 11th article John G. Howard's St James's Anglican Church, Dundas, is accessible to amateurs and professionals alike. 
It is definitely worth a read for anyone interested in the architecture of southern Ontario!

Read it online here: http://raisethehammer.org/article/1121/st_james%27s_anglican_church_paris

Friday, July 16, 2010

A New Article brought to you by the Malcolmites!

The July 11th issue of Raise the Hammer, an online magazine out of Hamilton, published a new article on the now demolished St. James's Anglican Church, Dundas by the architect John G. Howard. The church was an excellent example of the Commissioner's Gothic style in 1840's Ontario. The article, written by Malcolm and Candace, is intended for reader's of any architectural knowledge level and provides a full description of the evolution of Gothic ecclesiastical architecture in Ontario and details the life of the architect. Stay tuned to the Raise the Hammer site for more articles over the next few months.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Chatham's Downtown Churches

For those of you looking for a nice afternoon walk to take in some churches, here are some nice places in Chatham, Ontario.

(Left: First Presbyterian
Church, Chatham)

To begin Chatham has some amazing churches that are well worth checking out. To name a few, Christ Church (1861) (below R) has an interesting exterior and a lovely open-timber ceiling inside.

St. Andrew's (1869) (below L&R) incorporates two major building phases into one structure and has one of the most ornately beautiful timber ceilings in Ontario.

St. Joseph's (below) was designed by the Provincially-significant architect Joseph Connolly. Connolly, an Irish immigrant, designed mainly for the Catholics and is best known for The Church of Our Lady in Guelph. Finally, there is First Presbyterian Church (top left). This church and its architect, T.J. Rutley were the topic of my Master's thesis and therefore this massive Richardsonian Romanesque church is very special to me.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Churching by the Lake

My apologies for the delay in posts, however in an effort to avoid Toronto during the craziness of the G20, I have retreated to the cottage for the week. Yesterday the weather was awesome, so I decided to mutitask - I read Pugin's new bio while floating on an inflatable recliner on the lake, while also sipping wine and getting a tan - I sometimes even amaze myself at my ability to do so many things at once! Today - rain (boo), so I think I will write the history of Anglican architecture in Ontario and work on a co-authored article or two. Tomorrow I'll be off to Madoc for churches; so stay tuned for pics and posts!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Chatham-Kent Day 1: A Fine Day for Churching!

Today marked the start of the Ontario Heritage Conference in Ridgetown, Ontario. En Route Malcolm and I decided to take in a couple of churches. First on the list was Highgate United Church. Amazingly we were able to get inside the church...and what a doozie! The sanctuary boasts a beautiful stained glass dome, arced seating and a huge pulpit platform. The real gem of the church is in the basement though - an immaculately preserved Akron Plan - complete with original folding doors!

In our opinion this is without a doubt the best preserved Akron Plan in Ontario (and perhaps in Canada)!

Next we stopped off at Morpeth United Church, 1877, which is a most unusual building with a very unexpected massing - quite a nice stop! Unfortunately we could not get inside this one, but we haven't given up yet - I am in the C-K area for the next 5 days and will keep trying - I bet it has an amazing open-timber ceiling in there...stay tuned for an update on that bet!
After taking in a few papers we felt a craving for a good church hop. Soon we were off to Dover where we came across St. Thomas Anglican Church, 1875, perhaps one of the cutest Anglican churches I've come across in Ontario! (Really I'm biased; I grew up down the street from the church...nostalgia, what a wonderful thing!)
Tomorrow I present and am scheduled to have approx. 50 people attend my session - hopefully all will go well and everyone will enjoy learning about Henry Langley and T.J. Rutley. Once the papers are over we'll be out searching for more C-K churches...check back in later for my Chatham-Kent posts...until then, enjoy the new building of the week!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Ontario Heritage Conference this Week

This week both Malcolm and Candace will be presenting papers at the 2010 Ontario Heritage Conference in Chatham-Kent.
Malcolm will present, "Architectural Expressions of Denominational Differences in Chatham Churches", on Friday June 11th at 2pm.
Candace will be presenting, "From Provincial to Local Significance: Henry Langley and T.J. Rutley, Two Influential Architects in Chatham-Kent", on Saturday June 12th at 11am.
The conference is scheduled to have several keynote speakers, workshops, and lots of great papers. For more info. about the conference check out: http://www.heritageconferencechathamkent.com/

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nova Scotia Day 7: Eighteenth-century Nova Scotia

Throughout the trip, we've been updating you on all of the nineteenth-century buildings that we've been visiting, but yesterday, we were lucky enough to visit three eighteenth-century buildings AND even more fortunately, we were able to get inside two of them!  First was St Mary's Anglican, Auburn of 1790 which is what we might expect of a small eighteenth-century church; a James Gibbs-inspired preaching box complete with a Gibbsian spire and classical details.
Above: St Mary's Anglican, Auburn 1790
The interior is still in excellent shape and still retains its lovely gallery and lath and plaster barrel vault.  More on this spectacular building next week in one of our building profiles.  Thanks again to Roseann who kindly let us into the church and who gave us some wonderful background information.
 Above: the interior of St Mary's Auburn, looking west
After this, we went to Middleton to check out Old Holy Trinity Church of 1789.  We were intrigued by the authenticity of the Gothic details as its date would put it at one of the earliest (if not the earliest) examples of the Gothic style in Canada.
 Above: Old Holy Trinity, Middleton 1789
Thanks to Brian, we were able to enter the church to check it out and to look for proof about the authenticity of the pointed windows on the facade.  The interior has been well kept and we were able to determine that the Gothic windows were, in fact, original!  Quite a find!  The nave has been nicely restored as seen below.  We will also feature this building in a more detailed building profile some time in the near future.
  Above: the nave of Old Holy Trinity looking east
As icing on the cake, we were also able to see Old St Edwards Church in Clementsport of 1797.  This classically-inspired church was a real beauty including a south-side pedimented entrance and Palladian eastern window, though sadly we couldn't get in.
  Above: Old St Edwards Church, Clementsport 1797
It was a great day for very old buildings and also an excellent way to wrap up our visit to Nova Scotia.  All in all we visited just over 50 buildings in seven days, so we will be filling you in on the rest of our finds in the next little while.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Nova Scotia Day 6: St. Malcolm-in-the-Fields...

Today was another excellent day for a building hop. We bid a fond farewell to Lunenburg and headed west for the southern coastal towns. Our greatest accomplishment today was getting inside Holy Trinity Anglican, Jordan Falls - with its Sompting-inspired tower and open-timber roof it's a great architectural find!

(Left: Trinity Anglican, exterior)
(Right: Trinity Anglican, interior)

Some further highlights include the Barrington Meeting House of 1765 (which was unfortunately locked, though it looked great when we were peeking through the windows) and the Courthouse in Liverpool of 1854 which featured nicely executed Doric elements in wood.
Above: The wooden Doric entablature at the Liverpool Courthouse

Tomorrow we (sadly) leave the south shore behind but look forward to exploring some of the north shore before heading back to the airport in Halifax tomorrow night.  We'll give you the final buildings-visited-count of the overall trip after we wrap up tomorrow, but we will tell you that today was a jam-packed day that pushed our total building count through the roof.  Until then, here's one last taste of the south shore (for now): the lighthouse marking the entrance to Lunenburg Harbour.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Nova Scotia Day 5: A Day on the Atlantic

Today we took some time to explore some of the sights that Lunenburg had to offer. If you are ever in Lunenburg, we highly recommend the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic which was both our spectacular venue for the SSAC conference and an excellent museum to visit. We were able to learn about the fishing industry and its deep roots in the town of Lunenburg as well as about how fishing boats and crews traditionally worked. The museum has a few former shipping boats including a trawler and a schooner that you can explore and it is also the current home of the Bluenose II.

Later on in the day, we visited some more churches along the coast and stopped at seven, including one with an all wooden interior - amazing! We also came across a floating bell cote and even a floating tower. We're pretty sure that these were removed, then haphazardly replaced when the vinyl siding was put on each church. Whatever the reason, these were very strange-looking:
The highlight of the day for us was definitely our afternoon spent  whale watching.  Candace and I were fortunate to have the sunniest, warmest day to date for our trip and we were ready for anything.  We'd heard that the previous day's trip hadn't had any luck, but fortunately, the marine life knew that we were waiting for them.Because, while on the trip, we saw Minke whales.......dolphins...... and a whole lot of seals!  Incredible!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Nova Scotia Day 4: Conference and Coves

This morning began with some excellent papers by three Malcolmites and even the chief himself. Between Barry, Candace, Peter and Malcolm, the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were
Above: Candace, our new Ontario Rep. embraces her nautical side

thoroughly explored. In addition to this, we had two papers discussing Saskatchewan churches - with all of these presentations, a good portion of English-speaking Canada was covered. Well done everyone, it was an interesting and informative morning!

Further congratulations are in order as this afternoon, Candace was elected as the SSAC's Ontario representative, Barry was voted in as one of the Vice Presidents and Peter was voted in as President of the SSAC. Way to go team - don't screw it up!

Above: New VP and Phyllis Lambert Prize winner
Above: Our new President looking very dapper

Before dinner, we were able to squeeze in visits to six buildings in several cove towns. Some were nicer than others, thanks in no small part due to the outbreak of vinyl cladding plaguing Nova Scotia.... For the most part, today, we came across two-cell plans (though some of the chancels are not original) with an off-centred Western tower. Again, we saw another excellent open timber roof at St Michael and All Angels, Petite Riviere of 1886.
Above: St Micheal and All Angels, Petite Riviere 1886
Interestingly, we also found a pristine Anglican church that would have done the Ecclesiologists proud. I say interestingly because the church was not built in the mid 19th century, but rather in 1903!
Above: St John the Evangelist, La Have Island 1903

After a great day we all enjoyed the banquet where we feasted on local lobsters. Delicious!

Above: Malcolm toasting his little red friend while Jess gets ready to start crackin'!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Nova Scotia Day 3: The Conference Begins...

...and begin with a bang it did! Jess kicked off the 37th Annual Conference of The Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada by chairing the opening session and presenting a brilliant paper on domestic pattern books from the 19th century and how they were used in Port Hope, Ontario. The paper was well-received - nice work Jess! (Tomorrow is my turn...the nerves are kickin' in).

Later in the day we decided to take off and check out the local churches. We thoroughly photographed Lunenburg last year when we were in NS, so we decided to explore the surrounding towns where we found some amazing open timber roofs and some architectural peculiarities. First the open timber - Pugin would be so proud of Nova Scotia - so much wood and amazing craftsmanship, likely thanks in part to the ship-building industry in the Maritimes.
 Above: Detail of the hammer-beam roof of Lutheran Church,  La Have 1901

Then we came across the Catholic Church, St. Joseph's (1889), which oddly looked like an Anglican building with additions that made an unexpected composition.
 Above: St Joseph's Roman Catholic, Bridgewater 1889
On our way back to Lunenburg we made our last stop at Maitland to see Christ Church (1866), which was extremely picturesque; however, the shingle tower is a later addition to the main body, which has a unique board-and-batten finish where the battens overlap the window mouldings.
 Above: Christ Church Anglican, Maitland 1866

We were soon rained out by the unpredictable NS weather, so we returned to Lunenburg for dinner and then took in a lecture about the reconstruction of St. John's Church, Lunenburg - very interesting. It's been a full day of talks, buildings and photography, but overall it was extremely satisfying!

Left: St John's Anglican, Lunenburg

Nova Scotia Day 2: Rural Delights

Day 2 was a definite highlight for us as we were able to visit 8 churches and managed to get inside a record-breaking 7 of them.  We began bright and early in Wolfville with St John's Anglican where the minister was kind enough to give us a brief history of her church as well as a recommendation to visit the Covenanter's Church at Grand Pre of 1804 (thanks so much for the tip!).  This beauty was originally built as a Presbyterian meeting house without a tower.  The interior is in excellent shape and complete with box pews.
Left: Covenanter's Church, Grand Pre
Below: Interior, Covenanter's Church, Grand Pre

Next was St Andrew's Anglican of 1890 in Hansport.  Here too, we were lucky enough to have the minister unlock the church for us so that we were able to see the wonderful scissor-beam roof.
Above: Detail of the scissor beams in St Andrew's, Hansport
After this, we were fortunate to see not one, but two fantastic examples of James Gibbs style churches gone Gothic in Brooklyn and in Centre Rawdon.
 Above: St Paul's Anglican, Centre Rawdon 1845
From here we went on to see two rural delights in two very different styles of Gothic.  The first, St Paul's Anglican at Northfield, is quite Picturesque with simple lancet windows and stepped buttresses.
 Above: St Paul's Anglican, Northfield
The second, St Peter's Anglican at Upper Kennetcook, is a prime example of Carpenter's Gothic, incorporating domestic motifs and carpentry into this interesting church.
 Above: Detail of the bell cote, St Peter's Anglican, Upper Kennetcook
On the whole, it was a busy day, but an incredibly rewarding one.  We ended up in Lunenburg in the evening for the opening reception of the 2010 SSAC-SEAC conference, and we are looking forward to exploring the south shore in our free time.