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)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

SSAC journals are now online

Exciting news, everyone: the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC) has recently digitized its archive of journals! These were previously tricky to find in libraries and we are thrilled that they are now easily accessible. You can find them here.

If you are looking for some quality writing on Canadian architecture, be sure to take a look. If you want some specific suggestions, try "Why Such an Odd Plan? Milton Earl Beebe's St Thomas Anglican Church, St Catharines, Ontario" by Candace or "Storming the Castle: The Architecture of Trafalgar Castle" by Jess ... not that we're biased or anything.

Some of these articles will also be added to our Articles page for easy access. Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lest we forget

In honour of Remembrance Day on Friday, November 11, we are bending the rules slightly with our selection of the Building of the Week. We realize that it's not a building, but we have decided to feature the National War Memorial in Ottawa. Built between 1926-1939 to commemorate the First World War, it was altered in 1982 in order to include the Second World War and the Korean War.

This Remembrance Day, be sure to pay tribute to all of the men and women who have made sacrifices for our country.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Weekend in the Capital...

The Malcomites descended upon the capital this weekend for the Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Conference. Friday presented a Malcolmite reunion at the National Gallery; Peter, Barry, Jess, myself, and the chief himself, Malcolm, met for drinks, laughs, and a bit of shop talk!

Saturday brought an early start to the day; Jess and I co-chaired two sessions on Canadian Architecture. The first session was such a succes that the second session was completely full, standing room only! The paper topics ranged from Gothic Revival churches and rectories, to architectural theory, to environmental design; the variety was amazing and both Jess and I are grateful to the presenters in our session for making it a success.

After a long day of conferencing, Jess and I ran around Ottawa taking in the sites and arrived at the Parliament Buildings just in time for "magic light"!

As the lights went down, we noticed a crowd of people was gathering across the street; it was a ghost tour...obviously we bought tickets and joined the crowd! We didn't see any ghosts, but we did see the post-mortem plaster cast of D'Arcy Mcgee's hand and a chandelier made of human hair!

Sunday we all dispersed...Barry went back to BC, Malcolm, Jess and I went back Toronto, and Peter stayed at home in Ottawa. The next stop for the Malcolmites...Winnipeg in March...that's right...March...it's going to be a bloody cold meeting for the M-mites, but it should be fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A strong endorsement

While photographing a lovely little church in Jordan, Ontario, we came across this chip truck with one hell of an endorsement (pun completely intended).
Unfortunately it was closed when we were there, but here's the church in case you were wondering: a nice little Gothic Revival number to make up for the lack of heavenly fries.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The 2012 Martin-Eli-Weil Prize has been announced!!!

Ok students, you should submit a paper for this; it's a great competition, and if you win you'll get $$$ and a publication!

The Martin-Eli-Weil Prize is awarded annually by the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (SSAC) to a student who submits an essay on the role played by the built environment in Canadian society.



Hey folks,

Just a heads up that the Universities Art Association of Canada Annual Conference is coming up and that Candace and I are hosting a two-part session about Canadian architecture. We have a great line up of speakers, so if you are in the Ottawa area and looking for something to do on October 29, come and check it out!

Here is the conference schedule: http://www.uaac-aauc.com/files/UAAC%202011%20%2011%20OCT%20conference%20programme.pdf

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

A Canadian in Chicago

This past weekend I was in Chicago, the birthplace of the skyscraper. I managed to visit a good number of late-nineteenth and early-twentieth century skyscrapers which made me think that it might be good to post a Canadian building that was influenced by the style. Toward the end of the century, iron and steel were used increasingly for the structure of buildings. The materials were strong and lightweight, allowing buildings to be built higher with larger windows. Elevators, recently-invented, made it possible to access the upper floors with ease and allowed buildings to maximize their available floorspace in upwardly expanding cities. One Canadian building that used many of these new techniques from the Chicago school is the Robert Simpson Co. Store in Toronto of 1895 by Toronto architect Edmund Burke.

Robert Simpson Co. Building, Toronto, 1895 (photo from here)
While it is only six stories high, it is important to remember that skyscrapers in the nineteenth century were not nearly as tall as what we might consider a skyscraper today. You can see that the building is of substantial size and that there is little wall space that is not occupied by windows as it makes use of the new metal-framing technology.