Irving, William

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IRVING, William (1830-1883) was an ambitious and talented architect in Toronto who maintained his own practice from 1862 until his death there in 1883. Born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1830 he was the son of John Irving, a stone carver and contractor, and he may have obtained some of his early practical experience in the building trades under the supervision of his father. He came to Canada in 1852 and settled in Toronto where he became an apprentice in the office of Joseph Sheard, a prominent builder and architect in the city at that time. He collaborated with him on several important commissions including the Cawthra House (1852) and the Ontario Bank (1861) and in 1857 he married his employer's daughter Mary Sheard.

In May 1862 he opened his own office, and soon demonstrated that he was an adept and skillful designer of the picturesque who made frequent use of a restrained Italianate style for his residential commissions. He submitted an elaborate design in the competition for Metropolitan Church, Queen Street East, in 1869, but his proposal was set aside and Henry Langley was declared winner. In 1872 he was one of seven architects to submit designs for the Church Street Public School, but again his plans were passed over, this time in favour of those prepared by David Roberts. Among the commissions that he was able to secure during his later career were the important commercial buildings for the British America Assurance Co. (1876-77) and the Dominion Bank (1878-79), both executed in a convincing monumental and highly ornate Second Empire style. It is these works which helped to confirm his position as one of the leading architects of Ontario in the late nineteenth century.

As a delineator and draughtsman he was an acknowledged talent; in 1875 he was awarded first prize for architectural drawing at the Provincial Exhibition in Ottawa (Canadian Patent Office Record & Mechanics Magazine, iii, Nov. 1875, 331) and it is likely that he influenced many of the pupils, including Edward J. Lennox, who he employed in his busy office. He died in Toronto on 11 June 1883 (death notice in Globe [Toronto], 13 June 1883, 1; biography in J.H. Beers,Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of York, 1907, 189)

(works in Toronto unless noted)

COMMERCIAL & INDUSTRIAL

YONGE STREET, at Hayter Street, two stores for Robert Hayter, 1864; demol. (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1)
RICHMOND STREET, near Church Street, warehouse for M.A. Ashall, 1864 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1)
YONGE STREET, north of Elm Street, store and residence for James Fleming, 1865 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1, descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1)
YONGE STREET, at Temperance Street, commercial block for Dodgson, Shields & Co., 1865 (Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1)
JONES HOTEL, Queen Street West at William Street, for George Jones, 1865 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1; Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1)
YONGE STREET, at Wellington Street West, alterations and additions to warehouse for Judah G. Joseph & Co., 1865 (Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1)
GOLDEN LION DRY GOODS STORE, King Street East near Scott Street, for Robert Walker & Sons Co., 1867; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 23 Feb. 1867, 2, descrip.; Eric Arthur, Toronto - No Mean City, 1964, 159, illus., but lacking attribution; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1993, 97-100, illus.)
ALDWELL & CO. BREWERY, William Street at Dundas Street West, new malthouse, 1868; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 19 March 1868, 3, t.c.; 20 Nov. 1868, 1, descrip.)
COLBORNE STREET, alterations and new facade for J.B. Boustead Co., 1869 (Globe [Toronto], 12 Feb. 1869, 1)
WESTERN ASSURANCE BUILDING, Church Street at Colborne Street, alterations, 1869 (Globe [Toronto], 1 June 1869, 3, t.c.)
GORDON, McKAY & CO., Front Street West at Bay Street, commercial block of three warehouses, 1870 (Globe [Toronto], 4 March 1870, 4, t.c.; 27 April 1870, 1, descrip.; Leader [Toronto], 13 March 1871, 4, descrip.)
ODDFELLOWS HALL, with retail stores, Yonge Street at Albert Street, 1870; demol. c. 1970 (Globe [Toronto], 27 Sept. 1870, 1, descrip.)
McMASTER BLOCK, Front Street West near Yonge Street, warehouse for A.R. McMaster, 1870-71 (Globe [Toronto], 20 Jan 1871, 4, descrip.; Eric Arthur, Toronto - No Mean City, 1964, 171, illus. & descrip., but lacking attribution; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1993, 26-7, illus.)
COLLINGWOOD, ONT., warehouse for Melville & Farr, 1872 (Globe [Toronto], 7 March 1872, 4, t.c.)
YONGE STREET, at Queen Street, block of five 4-storey stores and apartments for Ald. Henderson, with two stores facing Queen Street, and three stores facing Yonge Street, 1875 (Globe [Toronto], 24 Aug. 1875, 4, descrip.)
BRITISH AMERICA ASSURANCE CO., Front Street East at Scott Street, 1876-77 (Globe [Toronto], 21 April 1876, 4, descrip.; Canadian Illustrated News, xv, 2 June 1877, 340, 342, Illus. & descrip.)
JARVIS STREET, at Adelaide Street East, four stores for James Beaty, 1876 (Globe [Toronto], 4 Dec. 1876, 3)
QUEEN STREET WEST, near Vanauley Street, commercial block of six stores and dwellings for Ritchie & Stratton, 1876 (Globe [Toronto], 4 Dec 1876, 3)
DOMINION BANK BUILDING, King Street West at Yonge Street, 1878-79; demol. 1913 (Globe [Toronto], 3 Jan 1878, 3, t.c.; 15 March 1878, 3, descrip.; 14 June 1879, 3, t.c.; Mail [Toronto] 5 Nov. 1878, 4, descrip.)

INSTITUTIONAL & ECCLESIASTICAL

PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHURCH, Parliament Street at Oak Street, 1864 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1, descrip.)
PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHURCH, Queen Street West at Hope Street, 1865; additions 1870 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1, descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1, descrip.; 23 June 1870, 4, t.c.)
ST. JAMES CEMETERY, Parliament Street, a Mausoleum, 1865 (Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1, descrip.)
NEW CONNECTION METHODIST CHURCH, Temperance Street, restoration, 1865; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 11 Dec. 1865, 3, t.c.)
PRIMITIVE METHODIST CHURCH, Yonge Street at Davenport Road, Yorkville, 1866; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 25 May 1866, 2, descrip.)
ST. JOHN'S WARD PUBLIC SCHOOL, Elizabeth Street at Chestnut Street, 1867; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 4 June 1867, 3, t.c.; Tenth Annual Report of the Local Superintendent of Public School of Toronto, 1868, 119)
CHARLES STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Charles Street East, 1868; Sunday School, 1870; additions, 1877 (Globe [Toronto], 21 Feb. 1868, 3, t.c.; 31 Oct. 1868, 1, descrip.; 20 April 1870, 4, t.c.; Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 23 Nov. 1877, 53, descrip.)
PALACE STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL, addition of top floor, 1869 (Eleventh Annual Report of the Local Superintendent of Public Schools of Toronto, 1869, 45, 98)
EAST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, King Street East at Sackville Street, 1869-70 (Globe [Toronto], 4 June 1869, 3)
(with James Grand) FIRE HALL, Queen Street West at Portland Street, 1871; demol. 1968 (Globe [Toronto], 7 Dec. 1870, 3, t.c.; 3 June 1871, 4, descrip.)
(with James Grand) FIRE HALL, Yonge Street at Grenville Street, 1871 (Globe [Toronto], 7 Dec. 1870, 3, t.c.)
(with James Grand) FIRE HALL, Berkeley Street at Adelaide Street East, additions and alterations, 1871; bell tower 1872 (Globe [Toronto], 7 Dec. 1870, 3, t.c.; Mail [Toronto], 27 Nov. 1872, 4, descrip.)
(with William G. Storm) RICHMOND STREET WESLEYAN METHODIST CHURCH, 1871; alterations 1874 (dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll. 662a)
ST MICHAEL'S COLLEGE, Clover Hill, Bay Street at St. Joseph Street, addition to the East Wing, 1871; demol. 1971 (Globe [Toronto] 23 Sept. 1871, 3, t.c.)
MAGDALEN ASYLUM, Belmont Street, Yorkville, 1873 (Globe [Toronto], 22 Feb. 1873, 3, t.c.; 17 June 1873, 4)
ST ANDREW'S WARD MARKET, Richmond Street West at Brant Street, 1873-75 (Mail [Toronto], 16 July 1873, 4, descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 6 Feb. 1875, 4, descrip.; 6 Sept. 1875, 4, descrip.)
CUSTOMS EXAMINING WAREHOUSE, Yonge Street at the Esplanade, 1874-76; demol. c. 1920 (Globe [Toronto], 19 Sept. 1874, 4, t.c.; 12 Dec. 1874, 4, descrip.; 4 Dec. 1876, 3, descrip.; dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll., 146, item 8 and 15)
QUEEN STREET WEST, at John Street, conversion of No. 3 Police Station to a new Fire Hall, with new facade and clock tower 90 ft. high, 1876 (Globe [Toronto], 12 Feb. 1876, 3, t.c.; 16 Nov. 1876, 4, descrip.)
MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY, Yonge Street near Lonsdale Road, gatehouses and fence, 1881 (Telegram [Toronto] 8 March 1881, 9)

RESIDENTIAL

WOOD STREET, residence for John Platt, 1863 (Globe (Toronto), 5 Nov. 1863, 2)
WOOD STREET, residence for Douglas Laidlaw, 1864 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1)
QUEEN STREET WEST, near Terauley Street, residence for Dr. William T. Aikins, 1864 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1)
GERRARD STREET EAST, near Yonge Street, reconstruction of residence for John W. Gwynne, 1864 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1)
MUTUAL STREET, at Shuter Street, residence for Mrs. Agnes Lister, 1865 (Leader [Toronto], 2 Jan. 1865, 1)
VICTORIA TERRACE, two houses for William Elliot, 1865 (Globe [Toronto], 8 Nov. 1865, 1)
PALACE STREET, at Trinity Street, residence for Henry Thompson, 1866 (Consumers' Gas Co., Toronto, Correspondence, 14 Jan., 15 Jan. 1867)
KESWICK, ONT., A.G.P. Dodge Estate, landscaping, fencing and paving, 1870 (Globe [Toronto], 22 April 1870, 4, t.c.)
ISABELLA STREET, east of Jarvis Street, residence for Weymouth C. Schrieber, 1870 (City of Toronto Archives, Schrieber Papers, SC 593, Box 2, Files 2 and 5)
JARVIS STREET, south of Gerrard Street East, new third storey and alterations to residence for Samuel Platt, 1872 (Mail [Toronto], 27 Nov. 1872, 4, descrip.)
CARLTON STREET, near Jarvis Street, pair of houses for S. Blachford, 1872 (Mail [Toronto], 27 Nov. 1872, 4)
BEVERLEY STREET, at Baldwin Street, mansion for George Brown, 1875; restored 1988-89 (NAC, MG 24, B40, Vol. 8, George Brown Papers, letters dated 25 June, 6 July and 20 July 1871)
JARVIS STREET, at Crookshank Street, residence for James B. Boustead, 1876 (Globe [Toronto], 4 Dec. 1876, 3)
WELLINGTON PLACE, west of Brock Street, additions and alterations to residence of the late Hon. Hamilton H. Killaly (Globe [Toronto], 7 Sept. 1878, 7, t.c.)