Marani, Ferdinand Herbert

MARANI, Ferdinand Herbert (1893-1971), a successful architect active in Toronto, Ont. and highly respected military officer whose career in Canada spans over 50 years. He was the founding partner in a succession of architectural firms in Toronto including:

F.H. Marani (1919 to 1923)
Marani & Paisley (1924 to 1925)
Marani, Lawson & Paisley (1926 to 1928)
Marani & Lawson (1928 to 1929)
Marani, Lawson & Morris (1930 to 1941)
Marani & Morris (1941 to 1959)
Marani, Morris & Allan (1959 to 1964)
Marani, Rounthwaite & Dick (1964 to 1971)

His various offices can be credited with the design of literally hundreds of buildings in Canada from Prince Edward Island to Manitoba. Born in Vancouver B.C. on 8 August 1893, he attended Ridley College in St. Catharines, Ont. from 1901 to 1911, then studied architecture at the University of Toronto from 1912 to 1914, but he did not graduate with a degree. Instead, he trained in the local Toronto offices of Eden Smith & Sons, and later with Sproatt & Rolph. In August 1914, his education was interrupted by the outbreak of WWI when he enlisted with Canadian Expeditionary Forces, becoming a captain in the Toronto Regiment, and he was posted overseas. After returning to Toronto he completed his architectural training and opened his own office in 1919. He later served as Group Captain of the R.C.A.F. during WWII, and was awarded an OBE for his war service in June 1945.

Marani proved himself to be a talented and capable designer at an early stage in his career when, in 1923, he unveiled his grand vision for a War Memorial Square and General Post Office in Toronto, located directly opposite Union Station on the site later occupied by the Royal York Hotel. The plans and perspective drawings of his scheme were published in The Telegram [Toronto], 22 December 1923, 16 and in other local newspapers and journals. It included a proposal to create a new Annex to City Hall at Queen Street West and Bay Street, with a bridge structure straddling Bay Street and linking both buildings (Telegram [Toronto], 22 Dec. 1923, 16, illus.; 15 Jan. 1924, 17, illus.).

The longevity and success of Marani’s practice can be attributed to his ability to associate himself with talented partners who shared his interest in the conservative Classical and Neo-Georgian styles of architecture, strongly favoured by his clients that included insurance companies, hospitals, private schools, and wealthy businessmen seeking designs for private houses. His collaborators included James E.H. Paisley, James I. Lawson, Marvin F. Allan, and, most importantly, the British-born designer Robert S. Morris (1898-1964). Morris brought fresh ideas about emerging modernist ideals, resulting in the firm receiving one of the first Massey Silver Medals for Architecture in 1950 for the design of the outdoor Grandstand at the Canadian National Exhibition (built 1947-48; demol.). Morris was later awarded the prestigious Gold Medal from the Royal Inst. of British Architects in 1958, one of only two Canadian architects ever to receive this award (the other was Frank Darling in 1915).

Marani also took an interest in promoting architecture and the allied arts among a younger generation of students, and in early 1923 he established The Thumbtacks Club at 112 Yonge Street in Toronto (Const., xvii, Sept. 1924, 298, descrip.). This atelier provided a venue for sketching, drawing, painting and crafts, and it formalized a connection with the Beaux Arts Institute of Design in New York in the autumn of 1923. The firm continued to produce conservatively-styled buildings well after 1950, but by then their work had been almost totally eclipsed by the strident modernism of a younger generation of architects such as Peter Dickinson, John B. Parkin and John C. Parkin, James A. Murray and Bregman & Hamann.

Marani was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Inst. of Canada in 1939, and as full Academician of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1947. He regularly exhibited his work at the annual exhibitions of the Academy from 1937 to 1967; a complete list of his exhibited works appears in E. McMann, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts 1880-1979, 1981, 267-69. Marani died in Toronto on 18 July 1971 (obit. Globe & Mail [Toronto], 20 July 1971, 2; Toronto Star, 20 July 1971, 30; Telegram [Toronto], 20 July 1971, 30; obit. Daily Commercial News [Toronto], 22 July 1971; biog. R. Hamilton, Prominent Men of Canada, 1931-32, 378-79; National Reference Book, vi, 1940, 454-55; biog.. port. and list of works in Who’s Who in Canada, 1947-48, 895; port. and biog. Saturday Night Magazine, 14 Nov. 1953; Engineering & Construction [Toronto], Jan. 1970, 97-99, illus.)

The Ontario Archives in Toronto holds a extensive collection of drawings by Marani and the successive firms from 1920 to 1950 and beyond (OA, MS 824). Virtually every project listed below, and many other minor works not included here, are documented with architectural drawings in this collection.


(works in Toronto unless noted)

ROCHE'S POINT, ONT., residence at Lake Simcoe for E.G. Baker, 1920 (Const., xiii, Dec. 1920, 390-94, illus.)
ROCHE'S POINT, ONT., residence at Lake Simcoe for Henry H. Mason, 1920 (Studio Year Book of Decorative Art [London], 1924, 32, illus.; C.H.G., iii, Aug. 1926, 30, illus.)
EAST YORK, Dentonia Park, residence for Dr. Arthur M. Goulding, c. 1921 (R.A.I.C. Journal, v, Feb. 1927, 70, illus.; vi, July 1928, 255, illus.)
GREAT WAR VETERAN'S ASSOCIATION, Clubhouse & Assembly Hall, College Street at Crawford Street, 1921-22 (Const., xvi, Oct. 1923, 358-61, illus. & descrip.)
WOOD GUNDY LTD., office building, King Street West near Bay Street, 1921-22; demol. 1984 (Const., xv, June 1922, 170-74, illus.; xviii, Feb. 1925, 65-6, illus. & descrip.)
RIVERDALE COURTS, an extension of the Toronto Housing Co. complex on Bain Avenue at Logan Avenue, 1922-23 (Const., xvii, Feb. 1924, 38-45, illus. & descrip.; Studio Year Book of Decorative Art [London], 1924, 30-31, illus.)
VICTORIA BUILDING, King Street East at Victoria Street, alterations and new facade, 1922 (Const., xvi, April 1923, 140-43, illus. & descrip.)
TIMMINS, ONT., residence for Miss Ballantyne, c. 1925 (Saturday Night [Toronto], 5 June 1926, 32, illus.)


AURORA, ONT., St. Andrew's College, Yonge Street, 1924-25; Memorial Gates, 1928 (Const., xix, Oct. 1926, 304-16, 318, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, iv, April 1927, 137, illus.)
ST. GEORGE APARTMENTS, Bloor Street West at St. George Street, 1926; demol. 2002 (R.A.I.C. Journal, iii, Sept.-Oct. 1926, ix, illus. in advert.; iv, April 1927, 146, illus.; Const., xix, Nov. 1926, 338-45, 349, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xl, 29 Dec. 1926, 206-08, illus. & descrip.)


ST. CATHARINES, ONT., Ridley College, The Lower School, Ridley Road West near Louth Street, 1926-27 (R.A.I.C. Journal, v, Dec. 1928, 433-45, illus. & descrip; vi, March 1929, 98, 107, 109, illus. & descrip.; K. Beattie, Ridley: The Story of a School, 1963, 465)
OTTAWA, ONT., residence for Hugh M. Hughson, Crescent Road, Rockliffe Park, 1927-28 (C.H.G., ix, April 1932, 28-30, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, x, March 1933, 48, illus.; dwg. at National Gallery, Ottawa, Royal Canadian Academy Coll.)
WYCHWOOD PARK, residence for H.C. Barber, 1927 (inf. from Toronto Historical Board)
OLD FOREST HILL ROAD, near Dunvegan Road, residence for Andre Dorfman, 1928 (Const., xxv, April 1932, 89, illus.)
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT., Lower Arch Bridge Office, 1927 (Const., xx, Nov. 1927, 365-67, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, vi, March 1929, 103, 109, illus.)
MEDICAL ARTS BUILDING, Bloor Street West at St. George Street, 1928-29 (C.R., xlii, 4 July 1928, 719, illus.; xliii, 25 Dec. 1929, 1535-36, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, Feb. 1930, 55-65, illus. & descrip.; Const., xxii, Nov. 1929, 357-8, 361-3, illus. & descrip.; Architectural Forum [New York], lii, June 1930, 829-30, illus.)
DUNVEGAN ROAD, residence for Harold C. Walker, c. 1928 (C.H.G., vii, April 1930, 20-5, 88, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, ix, April 1932, 96, 103, illus. & descrip.)


CREED'S STORE, Bloor Street West near Yonge Street, 1928-29; demol. (Const., xxii, April 1929, 124, illus.; xxiii, April 1930, 109-12, 117-22, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, July 1930, xxxiii, illus. in advert.)
PROVINCIAL PAPER LTD., office building, University Avenue near Dundas Street West, 1929; demol. 1968 (R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, June 1930, 215, illus.; viii, March 1931, 79-81, illus. & descrip.)
ABITIBI POWER & PAPER CO., office building, University Avenue opposite Armoury Street, 1929; demol. 1968 (Toronto Star, 10 Jan. 1930, 34, descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, June 1930, 217, illus.; Const., xxiii, June 1930, 182-88, 193-6, illus. & descrip.)
VALCARTIER, QUE., residence for John H. Price, 1929 (R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, Dec. 1931, 419, illus.; C.H.G., ix, May 1932, 18-19, illus.)
HAMILTON, ONT., Medical Arts Building, Young Street at James Street South, 1930-31 (Telegram [Toronto], 25 March 1930, 15, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xliv, 7 May 1930, 67)
ST. CATHARINES, ONT., Ridley College, residence for H.G. Williams, Headmaster, c. 1929 (Toronto Star, 3 Jan. 1930, 29, illus.; C.H.G., vii, March 1930, 24, illus.)


ST. CATHARINES, ONT., Ridley College, Ridley Road West, remodelling of the Upper School, 1930; Merritt House Dormitory, 1931-32; Entrance Gates, 1934; Gymnasium 1939 (Toronto Star, 3 Jan. 1930, 29, illus.; 16 Oct. 1931, 26, illus.; St. Catherines Standard, 22 June 1934, 10; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxiii, Dec. 1946, 328-32, illus.; K. Beattie, Ridley: The Story of a School, 1963, 557, 1113)
ETOBICOKE, residence for Lee Roy Wilson, Edgehill Road, Humber Valley Estates, 1930-31 (C.H.G., x, March 1933, 22, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, x, May 1933, 94, illus.; Const., xxvi, July/Aug. 1933, 88, illus.)
NORTH AMERICAN LIFE ASSURANCE CO., King Street West near York Street, 1931-32; demol. 1975 (Telegram [Toronto], 11 Aug. 1931, 3, illus. & descrip.; Financial Post [Toronto], 15 Aug. 1931, 9, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, Oct. 1931, 357, illus.; C.R., xlvi, 13 July 1932, 785-7, illus. & descrip.; 19 Oct. 1932, 1181-89, illus. & descrip.; Const., xxv, Sept. 1932, 197-210, 213-4, illus. & descrip.)
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I., Prince of Wales College, Weymouth Street, 1932 (C.R., xlvi, 9 Nov. 1932, 1275, illus.; Charlottetown Guardian, 2 April 1932, 1, 10, descrip.; 17 Jan. 1933, 8, 11, illus. & descrip.)
NORTH YORK, ONT., 'Uplands', residence for Alfred Rogers, Bayview Avenue, 1930-31 (R.A.I.C. Journal, ix, Oct. 1932, 218, 222, 224, illus.; C.H.G., x, Nov. 1933, 24-5, 54, illus.; xiii, April 1936, 28-39, 69, illus.)
FORT YORK ARMOURY, Fleet Street at Strachan Avenue, 1933-34 (Const., xxvii, Oct./Nov. 1934, 119-24, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xlviii, 21 Nov. 1934, 987-89, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xii, Oct. 1935, 162-65, illus.)
LAMPORT AVENUE, residence for Dr. David E. Robertson, 1934 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xii, Nov. 1935, 187, illus.)
DIANA SWEETS RESTAURANT, Yonge Street near Queen Street East, 1934 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xii, Jan. 1935, 12-13, illus.)
GALT, ONT., Gore District Mutual Fire Insurance Co., Dundas Street, 1935-36 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xiv, Feb. 1937, 23-4, illus.; Oct. 1937, 206-08, illus. & descrip.)
VICTORY BUILDING, Richmond Street West, near Bay Street, completion of the office tower begun in 1929 by Baldwin & Greene, but construction suspended during the Depression, completed 1936 (Financial Post [Toronto], 26 Sept. 1936, 10, descrip.)
ST. HILDA'S AVENUE, residence for Mrs. Cora A. Bell, 1936 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xiv, Dec. 1937, 257, illus.)
(with S.G. Davenport) OTTAWA, ONT., The Bank of Canada, Wellington Street at Bank Street, 1937-38 (Ottawa Journal, 14 July 1936, 1, descrip.; 3 Feb. 1937, 1 & 12, illus. & descrip.; C.R., vol. 50, 17 Feb. 1937, 5-6, illus. & descrip.; Ottawa Journal, 7 May 1938, 24, illus. & descrip.; Globe & Mail [Toronto], 13 June 1938, 8, descrip.; 11 Aug. 1937, 4, descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xv, July 1938, 153-59, illus. & descrip.; Financial Post [Toronto], 9 July 1938, 10, extensive descrip. & illus.; Canadian Engineer, lxxv, 19 July 1938, 6-9, illus. & descrip.; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 60, illus. & descrip.)
GEORGIAN BAY, summer residence for Mrs. Geoffrey Boyd, Good Cheer Island, 1937 (dwgs. in the possession of Bruce J.F. Corley, Toronto)
OAKVILLE, ONT., residence for Andre Dorfman, Middle Road, 1937-38 (C.R., l, 15 Sept. 1937, 148)
OUR LADY OF MERCY ROMAN CATHOLIC HOSPITAL, Queen Street West at Sunnyside Avenue, 1938-39 (Canadian Hospital, xvii, March 1940, 54, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, Oct. 1940, 174-79, illus. & descrip.)
TORONTO ISLAND, Bath House for the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, 1939 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xvi, July 1939, 160, illus.)


LEASIDE, Imperial Bank of Canada, Laird Drive at McRae Drive, 1941 (dwgs. C.I.B.C. Archives, Toronto; inf. Marybeth McTeague, City of Toronto)
OTTAWA, ONT., Bank of Canada Office Building [not to be confused with the main Bank of Canada Building on Wellington Street, designed by the same firm], King Edward Avenue at York Street, 1942-43 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxi, May 1944, 96-9, illus.)
PERFECT CIRCLE CO. LTD., Wicksteed Avenue, factory, 1942 (dwgs. at OA, Dept. of Labour Coll.)
(with Eric Arthur) QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL, Dunn Avenue, major addition, 1945-46 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxv, Sept. 1948, 308-11, illus.)
(with Chapman, Oxley & Facey) BANK OF MONTREAL, King Street West at Bay Street, begun 1937; completed 1948; demol. 1973 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxiii, March 1946, 64-5, illus.; xxvi, Nov. 1949, 365-88, illus. & descrip.)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT., Allis-Chalmers-Rumely Ltd., Danforth Road near Mack Avenue, factory, 1946 (dwgs. at OA, Dept. of Labour Coll. )
BRANTFORD, ONT., Bell Telephone Central Office Building, Market Street at Wellington Street, 1947-48 (Brantford Expositor, 23 April 1949, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxviii, Oct. 1951, 286-7, illus.)
CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION, Grandstand, 1947-48 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvi, June 1949, 175-84, illus. & descrip.; Builder [London], 7 July 1950, 24, illus.)
STRATFORD, ONT., General Hospital, John Street, 1948 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxv, Sept. 1948, 326-7, illus.; xxviii, April 1951, 88, illus.; Canadian Hospital [Toronto], xxvii, Oct. 1950, 31-4, 112, illus. & descrip.)
BAY STREET, at Cumberland Street, offices for the architects, 1948; demol. 2000 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxv, Oct. 1948, 371-73, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., Appleby College, Lakeshore Road West opposite Suffolk Avenue, new gymnasium, swimming pool, administration building, and classroom building, 1948-49 (C.R., lxii, Jan. 1949, 190)
ST. CATHARINES, ONT., Ridley College, Ridley Road West, Schmon Infirmary and Memorial Great Hall, 1949 (C.R. , lxii, April 1949, 155)
PETERBOROUGH, ONT., City Hall, George Street at Murray Street, 1950-51 (Peterborough Examiner, 2 Dec. 1950; 24 Oct. 1951, 18-23, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxix, Dec. 1952, 358, illus.)
MANUFACTURERS LIFE INSURANCE CO., Bloor Street East at St. Paul's Square, major addition, 1950-51 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxx, Nov. 1953, 320, illus.)
NORTH YORK, ONT., Armour Heights Public School, Wilson Avenue, 1949-50 (C.R., lxii, June 1949, 113)
OTTAWA, ONT., Central Mortgage & Housing Corporation Head Office, Montreal Road, 1950-52 (dwgs. at NAC, Picture Collection, C 104592-96; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxxii, Nov. 1955, 424, illus.; Andrew Waldron, Exploring the Capital: An Architectural Guide to the Ottawa-Gatineau Region, 2017, 138-9, illus. & descrip.)
FLAMBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, ONT., Sisters of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Convent, Queen Elizabeth Way at Highway Six, 1950-51 (C.R., lxiii, May 1950, 142)
CONFEDERATION LIFE INSURANCE CO., Bloor Street East at Mount Pleasant Road, 1950-51 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxix, June 1952, 166, illus.)
PROCTOR & GAMBLE CO. OF CANADA, Yonge Street at Farnham Avenue, office building, 1953; ground floor altered c. 2010 (University of Calgary, Canadian Architectural Archives, Panda Photography Coll., inf. Alex Bozikovic, Toronto) POSTAL TERMINAL "E", Dovercourt Road near Bloor Street West, 1953; altered 2017 (Globe & Mail [Toronto], 24 Aug. 2018, H9, illus. & descrip.)