Belcher, John

BELCHER, John (1834-1915) was a successful architect and engineer in Peterborough, Ont. during the second half of the nineteenth century. Born in Cork, Ireland, he was educated there at Queen's University and articled with his father Samuel R. Belcher, also an architect, before receiving the appointment of assistant to Sir John Benson, Engineer of the Cork Harbour Board. After being engaged in engineering work in Liverpool he emigrated to Upper Canada before 1858 to take up the profession of civil engineer at Peterborough, Ont. By 1870 he had begun to accept architectural commissions and specialised in ecclesiastical design for Anglican and Methodist church organizations. His success may have influenced the local Roman Catholic church officials who appointed him as Diocese Architect for the Peterborough region in 1885. Belcher served as Town Engineer from 1878 until 1897 and capably handled a diverse range of design responsibilities for bridges, waterworks systems, and for public buildings, the most distinctive of which is the Market Hall, George Street, Peterborough. With its subtle allusions to the emerging Edwardian style Belcher produced a flamboyant display of brickwork on a civilised and urbane public facade and tower which still serves as a fitting civic symbol. After retiring from the position of Town Engineer in 1897 he devoted himself almost entirely to architectural activities, and served as President of the Ontario Association of Architects in 1899. He died at Peterborough on 20 August 1915, and is buried at Little Lake Cemetery (biography in Report of the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Institute of Civil Engineers, xxx, 1916, 24; obituary in Daily Examiner [Peterborough] 20 Aug. 1915, 5; 23 Aug. 1915, 9; portrait in C.A.B., iii, Dec. 1890; OA, Belcher Papers, Acc. 13129)

PETERBOROUGH

CHARLOTTE STREET METHODIST CHURCH, 1873; additions, 1882 (Peterborough Examiner, 3 July 1873, 2, descrip. & illus.; Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 13 Nov. 1882, 1)
SIMCOE STREET, commercial block for Robert Nicholls, 1876 (Peterborough Examiner, 18 May 1876, 3)
ST. LUKE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, Armour Road, 1877 (Dominion Churchman [Toronto], iii, 17 May 1877, 236; Peterborough Examiner, 27 Sept. 1877, 2, descrip.)
HUNTER STREET, residence for F. Bell, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3)
HUNTER STREET, residence for Walter Nesbitt, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3)
POST OFFICE, George Street at Brock Street, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3, descrip.)
LITTLE LAKE CEMETERY, Haggart Street, mortuary chapel, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3, descrip.)
WATER STREET, bakery for George Dunford, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3)
ST. PETER'S ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL, Murray Street, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3, descrip.)
PETERBOROUGH COUNTY COURT HOUSE, Water Street, major addition and alterations, 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3, descrip.)
GEORGE STREET NORTH, commercial block for R.A. Morrow, 1880 (M. Kidd, Peterborough's Architectural Heritage, 1978, 71, illus.)
FIRE HALL, addition of a hose tower, 1880 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 9 July 1880, 2)
ST. JOHN'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, Hunter Street, Sunday School, 1879; chancel addition and interior alterations, 1880-82; Sunday School addition, 1890 (Peterborough Daily Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3, descrip.; 2 Nov. 1882, 1, descrip.; 7 Jan. 1891, 4, descrip.); vestry porch and commemorative window for the architect, 1907; rectory, 1908-09 (E. Jones, St. John's, Peterborough - A Sesquicentennial History 1826-1976, 41, 57-9, 62, illus.)
CLUXTON BLOCK, George Street at Hunter Street, commercial block for William Cluxton, 1881 (Peterborough Examiner, 20 Jan. 1881, 5, t.c.)
PUMP HOUSE, at Hilliard's Dam, for the Peterborough Water Works Co. (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 13 Nov. 1882, 1)
BROCK STREET, residence for John Moloney, 1882 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 11 Nov. 1882, 1)
LONDON STREET, residence for T.W. Robinson, 1882 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 11 Nov. 1882, 1, descrip.)
HUNTER STREET, hotel for John Wilson, 1883-84 (Peterborough Examiner, 8 Nov. 1883, 1; Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 5 Nov. 1884, 3)
ST. PETER'S ROMAN CATHOLIC CATHEDRAL, Reid Street, new sacristy and interior restoration of the church, 1884-85 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 5 November 1884, 3)
TOWN HALL, Water Street at Simcoe Street, additions and new roof added to original building by William Thomas, 1885 (dwgs. at OA, Acc. 13129)
STEWART STREET, residence for William Smith, 1885 (Daily Examiner [Peterborough], 15 Oct. 1885, 1)
REID STREET, pair of houses for R.H. Green and E.B. Edwards, 1885 (Daily Examiner [Peterborough], 15 Oct. 1885, 1)
BETHUNE STREET, residence for T.H. Best, 1886 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 23 Oct. 1886, 4)
RUBIDGE STREET, residence for Albert Lech, 1887 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 7 Nov. 1887, 1)
HUNTER STREET, commercial block for George A. Cox, 1888 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 3 Dec. 1888, 3)
PETERBOROUGH HOUSE HOTEL, for C. Halpin, Hunter Street, 1888 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 3 Dec. 1888, 3)
ST. JOSEPH'S ROMAN CATHOLIC HOSPITAL, Armour Road, 1888-90; demol. 1969 (Peterborough Daily Examiner, 20 Aug 1890, 4, descrip.)
MARKET HALL, George Street at Charlotte Street, 1889-90 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 26 Sept. 1889, 3, 4, descrip.; M. Kidd, Peterborough's Architectural Heritage, 1978, 68, illus.)
ALL SAINTS ANGLICAN CHURCH, Rubidge Street at Sherbrooke Street, 1890-91 (Peterborough Daily Examiner, 23 Jan. 1891, 4, descrip.; with additions 1909-10 (E. Jones, St. John's, Peterborough - A Sesquicentennial History 1826-1976, 51)
ROMAN CATHOLIC CONVENT, Hunter Street, addition for Separate School, 1890 (Peterborough Daily Examiner, 15 Nov. 1890, 4, descrip.)
BANK OF COMMERCE, Hunter Street, 1892 (C.R., iii, 27 Aug. 1892, 1)
PAGODA BRIDGE, JACKSON PARK, 1895; restored 1989 (inf. M. Kidd, Peterborough)
HOUSE OF PROVIDENCE, Armour Road, adjoining St. Joseph's Hospital, 1899, demol. 1958 (Catholic Register [Toronto], 3 Aug. 1899, 6, descrip.)
PETERBOROUGH LOCK CO., Simcoe Street, a factory and foundry complex, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 5 April 1905, 6)
CHEMONG YACHT CLUB HOUSE, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 30 Aug. 1905, 2)
CHEMONG INDIAN RESERVE, Anglican Church, 1905 (NAC, RG22, 77803/11, dwgs.)
PETERBOROUGH COUNTY HOUSE OF REFUGE, near Lakefield, Ont., 1906 (C.R., xvii, 25 April 1906, 4)
COLLEGIATE INSTITUTE, McDonnell Street at George Street, 1907-08 (C.R., xviii, 17 April 1908, 4; Const., ii, Jan. 1909, 95, illus.; dwgs. at Board of Education Offices, Peterborough)
SACRED HEART ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, Aylmer Street at Romaine Street, 1907-09 (Catholic Register [Toronto], 25 Nov. 1909, 1, descrip.; E. Boland, History of the Diocese of Peterborough, 1976, 38, 155, illus.)
(with William Blackwell) PUBLIC LIBRARY, Water Street, 1909 (C.R.., xxiii, 28 April 1909, 19; dwgs. at OA, Blackwell Coll., Roll 13)
TOTAL ABSTINENCE SOCIETY HALL, Simcoe Street, 1910 (Evening Examiner [Peterborough], 16 April 1910, 9)

ELSEWHERE

BOBCAYGEON, ONT., Christ Church (Anglican), 1870-71; Sunday School, 1880 (Dominion Churchman [Toronto], 8 July 1880, 330; 75th Anniversary of Christ Church, Bobcaygeon, 1871-1946, illus.)
PORT HOPE, ONT., additions to residence of Charles Stuart, Cobourg Road at Rose Glen Road, 1879 (inf. Port Hope L.A.C.A.C. Committee)
OTONABEE TOWNSHIP, villa for Samuel Price, 'on his farm, two miles from town' 1879 (Peterborough Examiner, 15 Jan. 1880, 3)
HALIBURTON, ONT., St. George's Anglican Church, c. 1880 (H. Robinson, History of the County of Peterborough, 1884, 479)
COBOURG, ONT., office and residence for Dr. T. Edmond White (Mail [Toronto], 9 June 1881, 7, t.c.)
SPRINGVILLE, ONT., Presbyterian Church, 1881 (Peterborough Examiner, 3 March 1881, 8, descrip.)
MILLBROOK, ONT., Methodist Church, 1881-82 (Peterborough Examiner, 3 March 1881, 8, descrip.; 26 Oct. 1882, 8, descrip.)
NORWOOD, ONT., Public School, King Street, 1883 (Globe [Toronto], 18 Aug. 1883, 10, t.c.)
BENSFORT, ONT., Methodist Church, 1883 (Christian Guardian [Toronto], 24 Oct. 1883, 333)
MILLBROOK, ONT, St. Thomas Anglican Church, 1884 (Evangelical Churchman (Toronto), 25 Sept. 1884, 238)
MILLBROOK, ONT., Public School (C.A.B., ii, Feb 1889, v; dwgs. at OA, Blackwell Coll., Roll 80)
BAILIEBORO, ONT., Anglican Church, 1890-91 (Peterborough Daily Examiner, 7 Jan. 1891, 2, descrip.)
NORWOOD, ONT., High School, 1892 (C.R., ii, 16 Jan. 1892, 1)
DOURO, ONT., St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, 1892-93 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 12 June 1893, 3, descrip.; E. Boland, History of the Diocese of Peterborough, 1976, 184, 187, illus.)
COBOURG, ONT., St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Division Street, 1895-96 (Cobourg World, 25 Jan. 1895, 1; Catholic Register [Toronto], 27 Feb. 1896, 1)
BOBCAYGEON, ONT., addition of north wing to residence for Mossom Boyd Jr., 1896 (Acorn [Toronto], xviii, No. 3, Fall 1993, 8-9, illus.)
YOUNG'S POINT, ONT., St. Aidan's Anglican Church, 1899 (Canadian Churchman [Toronto], 11 Jan 1900, 25-6, descrip.)
EMILY, ONT., St. James Anglican Church, 1900 (Canadian Churchman [Toronto], 30 Aug. 1900, 521-22)
CHEMONG LAKE, ONT, a 3,400 foot long floating bridge, 1900 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 4 Oct. 1901, 4, 8)
STONY LAKE, ONT., a summer hotel on Eel's Creek for R.H. Jackson, 1905 (C.R., xvi, 5 April 1905, 2)