Molesworth, George Nepean

MOLESWORTH, George Nepean (1885-1958), a talented and prolific designer in Toronto, Ont. and partner in the following architectural firms:

Bovell & Molesworth (1911-1913) with Howard Bovell
George N. Molesworth (1914-1918)
Molesworth, West & Secord (1918-1936) with Gordon M. West and Herbert F. Secord
Molesworth & Secord (1937-1945) with Herbert F. Secord
Molesworth, Secord & Savage (1945-1955) with Herbert F. Secord and Harold Savage

Born in Toronto, Ont. on 19 November 1885, he attended Jarvis Collegiate and later graduated with honours from the Dept. of Architecture in the School of Practical Science at the Univ. of Toronto in 1907. Molesworth served a four year apprenticeship in the office of Eden Smith & Son (in 1908-11), and then worked briefly for J.P. Hynes before forming a partnership in late 1911 with Howard Bovell (see list of works under Bovell & Molesworth). Their collaboration was short-lived however, and dissolved within two years. In late 1913 Molesworth invited Gordon M. West and Herbert F. Secord to form a new partnership in Toronto, but their activity was suspended at the outbreak of WWI when Molesworth joined the Canadian Army, and later served in France for three years, obtaining the rank of Major in the 124th Battalion.

After returning to Toronto in 1918 he re-opened his office, and during the next two decades his firm prospered, obtaining commissions for commercial, institutional and ecclesiastical projects. However, their reputation as a leading architectural firm rests upon their outstanding designs of sumptuous private residences for leading Toronto businessmen including Sir Joseph Flavelle, E. R. Wood, Sidney Smith, Murray Fleming, and W. Ryrie Smith. Their best know work is “Glendon Hall”, a sprawling mansion for Edward R. Wood (1924), still standing and now part of the Glendon College campus owned by York University. Inspired by Italian country houses of the 19th C., this design was exhibited in London, Eng. in 1926 and described as “..a perfect exemplar of a quiet, distinguished and urbane dwelling" (The Architect [London], cxvi, 22 Oct. 1926, 459, 462, illus. & descrip.). They also designed “The Chedington”, a carefully crafted and impeccably detailed interpretation of the English Tudor Revival style built as a large private residence for Murray P. Fleming (1928).

Gordon M. West left the firm in late 1936, and Molesworth & Secord continued to work together until early 1945 when they invited Harold Savage to become a partner. Molesworth was a lifelong resident of Oakville, situated 24 miles west of Toronto, and he commuted daily to his architectural office in downtown Toronto. His activity in the social and business circles in Oakville would explain how he obtained more than a dozen commissions for buildings in that town between 1913 and 1950 (see list below). Molesworth died in Oakville, Ont. on 14 August 1958 (obit. Toronto Star, 16 Aug. 1958, 10; death notice Globe & Mail [Toronto], 16 Aug. 1958, 35; biog. The Canadian Who’s Who, iv, 1948, 682; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects; inf. University of Toronto Archives; inf. John P.M. Court, Toronto), His son David H.G. Molesworth was the successor to the practise, and he was active in the Toronto firm of Armstrong & Molesworth from 1958 onward.


(works in Toronto unless noted)

OAKVILLE, ONT., three houses for unidentified clients, 1913-14 (Const., vii, June 1914, 282-3, 285, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., orphanage for the International Order of Odd Fellows, 1914 (C.R., xxviii, 5 Aug. 1914, 81, illus. in advert.; dwgs. at OA, RG 15-13-2-1777)
DOUGLAS DRIVE, residence for H.L. Kerr, 1916 (Const., ix, July 1916, 241)


MILTON, ONT., Halton County Registry Office, 1916 (Const., xiv, May 1921, 152-3, illus. & descrip.)
BANK OF BRITISH NORTH AMERICA, Dundas Street West at Keele Street, major addition and interior alterations, 1917 (dwgs. at Bank of Montreal, Premises Dept., Toronto)
ROYAL COLLEGE OF DENTAL SURGEONS (later occupied by the School of Architecture, Univ. of Toronto), College Street at Huron Street, addition and alterations to existing College, 1919 and 1920 (Toronto b.p. 22651, 14 May 1919; and b.p. 31481, 26 May 1920)
PORT CREDIT, ONT., residence for Matthew Langmuir, 1920 (Const., xiii, June 1920, 176-7, 179, illus. & descrip.)
DINNICK CRESCENT, residence for Thomas M. Mix, 1920 (Const., xiii, June 1920, 186-7, illus.)
unnamed street, residence for Sidney Smith, 1920 (Const., xiii, June 1920, 188-9, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., residence for Ellsworth Flavelle, 1920 (C.R., xxxiv, 13 Oct. 1920, 60)
INGLEWOOD DRIVE, at Clifton Road, residence for Howard T. West, 1921 (Toronto b.p. 37150, 15 March 1921; C.R., xxxvi, 5 July 1922, 678, illus. & descrip.)
LAURA SECORD SHOP, Dundas Street West at Keele Street, 1921 (Const., xiv, May 1921, 142, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., public school, 1920-21 (Const., xiv, June 1921, 183, illus. & descrip.)
POPLAR PLAINS ROAD, at Russell Hill Road, residence for Frederick W. Harcourt, 1921 (Toronto b.p. 43981, 8 Oct. 1921; R.A.I.C. Journal, iii, March/April 1926, 54, illus.; C.H.G., vi, Feb. 1929, 40, illus.)
HIGHLAND AVENUE, at Roxborough Drive, residence for Joseph J. Follett, 1921 (Toronto b.p. 45748, 17 Dec. 1921; Const., xvi, Aug. 1923, 281, illus.)
CANADIAN UNIVERSAL FILM EXCHANGE CO. LTD., Victoria Street at Dundas Street, 1922; major addition, 1930 (C.R., xxxvi, 26 April 1922, 58; Const., xvi, Oct. 1923, 377, illus. & descrip.; and xxi, April 1928, 136, illus.; Toronto Star, 17 Jan. 1930, 32, illus.; Toronto b.p. 15252, 29 April 1930)
INGLEWOOD DRIVE, residence for Gordon Hunter, 1922 (C.R., xxxvi, 31 May 1922, 527, illus. & descrip.)
BLYTHWOOD ROAD, residence for W. Ryrie Smith, 1922 (C.R., xxxvi, 14 June 1922, 569, illus. & descrip.)
RUSHTON ROAD, residence for J. Frank Raw, 1922 (C.R., xxxvi, 19 July 1922, 722, illus. & descrip.)
CHRIST CHURCH (Anglican), Yonge Street at Heath Street, 1922 (C.R., xxxvi, 13 Sept. 1922, 50)
OSGOODE HALL, Queen Street West at University Avenue, caretaker's lodge, 1923 (Const., xvi, Aug. 1923, 282, illus.)
PARKDALE CANOE CLUB, Lakeshore Boulevard West at Roncesvalles Avenue, 1923 (Toronto b.p. 64277, 23 Aug. 1923; Const., xxv, Jan. 1932, 19, illus.)
YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, McGill Street near Yonge Street, extensive alterations to facade and interior, 1923 (Toronto b.p. 64383, 28 Aug. 1923; Const., xviii, May 1925, 136-44, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, iii, March/April 1926, 52, illus.)
BAYVIEW AVENUE, at Lawrence Avenue East, 'Glendon Hall', a mansion for Edward R. Wood, 1924 (C.R., xxxviii, 28 May 1924, 563, illus. & descrip.; Const., xx, Jan. 1927, 4-17, illus. & descrip.; C.H.G., iv, March 1927, 22-6, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, iv, April 1927, 140-2, illus.; and Nov. 1927, 395, illus.; and v, July 1928, 247, 259, illus.; Toronto Daily Star, 18 Feb. 1927, 23, list of awards; W. Dendy & W. Kilbourn, Toronto Observed, 1986, 229, illus.; Profiles [York Univ. Alumni Magazine], vii, No. 3, Sept. 1987, 9-11, illus. & descrip.)
RUSSELL HILL ROAD, at St. Clair Avenue West, residence for Arthur J. Hardy, 1924 (Toronto b.p. 72212, 24 June 1924)
BIBLE & TRACT STORE, Bay Street near Charles Street West, 1926 (Const., xix, Sept. 1926, 287-88, illus.)
(with Chapman & Oxley) MAPLE LEAF BASEBALL STADIUM, Queen's Quay West at Bathurst Street, office and club rooms, 1926 (Canadian Engineer, vol. 50, 27 April 1926, 511-14, illus. & descrip.)
(with John M. Moore) LONDON, ONT., Young Women's Christian Association, Queen's Avenue at Wellington Street, major addition and extensive alterations, 1926 (dwgs. at Univ. of Western Ontario, J.M. Moore Coll.)
VICTORIA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Annette Street at Medland Street, addition of a Sunday School, 1926 (Toronto Daily Star, 1 June 1926, 3; and 3 Sept. 1926, 34, illus. & descrip.; Toronto b.p. 91460, 22 July 1926)
DUNVEGAN ROAD, residence for Mrs. Andrew Gunn, 1926 (C.R., xl, 14 April 1926, 55)
ST. ENOCH'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Winchester Street at Metcalfe Street, addition of a Sunday School, 1927 (Year Book of St. Enoch's United Church, 1930, illus.)
PHYSCIANS & SURGEONS BUILDING, College Street at Bay Street, a proposal for a 5 storey office block, 1927, but not built (Toronto Daily Star, 24 Feb. 1927, 15, illus. & descrip.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., residence for Dr. C.A. Page, Colborne Street, 1927 (C.H.G., iv, Aug. 1927, 26, illus.)
RUSSELL HILL ROAD, near Hillholm Road, residence for Osborne H. Shenstone, 1927 (C.R., xli, 12 Oct. 1927, 51)
THE KINGSWAY, residence for Benjamin W. Ballard, 1927 (C.H.G., vi, June 1929, 32, illus.; and vii, March 1930, 31, illus.; Const., xxii, Aug. 1929, 257, illus.; Building in Canada [Toronto], Jan. 1930, 31, illus. & descrip.)
LAWRENCE AVENUE EAST, near Bayview Avenue, 'The Chedington', a residence for Murray P. Fleming, 1928 (R.A.I.C. Journal, v, Dec. 1928, xii, illus. in advert.; and vi, April 1929, 141, illus.; C.H.G., vii, March 1930, 38-9, illus.; Toronto Star, 25 Nov. 1989, F4, illus. & descrip.)
INGLEWOOD DRIVE, residence for George Edmonds, 1928 (inf. Larry Pfaff, Toronto)
OAKVILLE, ONT., farm buildings for Sir Joseph Flavelle, c. 1927 (R.A.I.C. Journal, v, Feb. 1928, 53-4, 56, illus. & descrip.)
ST. MICHAEL'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, St. Clair Avenue West at Bracondale Hill Road, addition of a Sunday School, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 22 Feb. 1928, 142; t.c.)
RYRIE BUILDINGS, Yonge Street north of Bloor Street East, row of six stores and offices, 1929; demol. c. 1972 (Toronto b.p. 11839, 18 Oct. 1929)
EASTBOURNE, ONT., summer residence for David H. Gibson, 1929 (C.R., xliii, 11 Dec. 1929, 56; Year Book of the Toronto Chapter - Ontario Association of Architects, 1933, 41, illus.)
McCONKEY'S RESTAURANT, Bay Street, major alterations, 1929; demol. (Canadian Hotel Review, vii, Aug. 1929, 49-52, 66, illus.; Const., xxiii, March 1930, 87, illus.)
ORIOLE GARDENS, residence for Haldane R. Baird, 1929 (C.H.G., vii, Jan. 1930, 27, illus.)
OLD FOREST HILL ROAD, residence for William R. Baker, 1929 (C.H.G., vii, March 1930, 30)
LAWTON BOULEVARD, residence for the architect Herbert F. Secord, c. 1929 (Home Builders Service Bureau, 1932 Home Builders Plan Book, illus.)
PORT CREDIT, ONT., residence for E.S. Munroe, Mississauga Road, 1929 (C.H.G., vii, Oct. 1930, 28, illus.)
WHITNEY AVENUE, residence for Frank Y. McEachern, 1930 (Year Book of the Toronto Chapter - Ontario Association of Architects, 1933, 64, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, x, March 1933, 50, illus.)
INGLEWOOD DRIVE, residence for Lewis Samuel, 1932 (C.H.G., ix, Dec. 1932, 24-5, illus.)
MANITOULIN ISLAND, ONT., St. Francis Anglican Church, King Street at Nixon Street, Village of Mindemoya, 1932-35 (The Nugget [North Bay], 29 July 1935, 10, detailed descrip.; inf. from Anglican Synod Archives, Toronto)
OLD FOREST HILL ROAD, at Kilbarry Road, residence for J. Milton Cork, 1933 (C.R., xlvii, 27 Sept. 1933, 32)
(with Emmanuel Hahn, Sculptor) UNIVERSITY AVENUE, at Queen Street West, Sir Adam Beck Memorial, 1934 (inf. from Perth County Archives, Stratford)


NORTH YORK, ONT., residence for G.R. Sproat, Bayview Avenue near Glen Mawr Golf Club, 1937 (C.R., vol. 50, 17 March 1937, 38)
GLENAYR ROAD, residence for Donald C. Mulholland, 1936 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xiv, Feb. 1937, 21-2, descrip.; and Sept. 1937, 188, illus.; C.H.G., xiv, May 1937, 39, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., Maple Grove Public School, Maple Grove Drive, 1938 (Building in Canada, Summer 1938, 19, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., Linbrooke Public School, Linbrook Road, 1938 (Building in Canada, Summer 1938, 19, illus.)
ST. CLEMENT'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, St. Clement's Avenue at Duplex Avenue, Parish Hall, 1938 (St. Clement's Church - History of the Church, 1941, 10)
DUNVEGAN ROAD, residence for James I. Simpson, 1938 (C.R., li, 22 June 1938, 49; C.H.G., xvii, May 1940, 28-31, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., residence for Myra Chickering, 1940 (C.H.G., xvii, Aug. 1940, 25, illus.)


WESTON, ONT., St. John's Anglican Church, Weston Road near Fern Avenue, alterations and re-decoration of the church and parish hall, 1945 (Times & Guide [Weston], 15 Nov. 1945, 1 & 2, descrip.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., addition to Brantwood Public School, Allan Street, 1947 (C.R., lx, May 1947, 128)
A.R. CLARKE & CO., Eastern Avenue near Pape Avenue, major addition to tannery, 1947 (C.R., lx, Nov. 1947, 144)
OAKVILLE, ONT., addition to Oakville High School, Reynolds Street North, 1948 (C.R., lxi, Oct. 1948, 184)
NORTH YORK, ONT., St. John's Anglican Church, Don Ridge Drive, enlargement of the church, 1949 (M. Audrey, 150 Years at St. John's York Mills, 1966, 210-11)
STRATFORD, ONT., Odeon Theatre, 1949 (C.R., lxii, Feb. 1949, 152)
ST. COLUMBAN ANGLICAN CHURCH, St. Clair Avenue East at O'Connor Drive, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Jan. 1950, 144)
NORTH GWILLIMBURY, ONT., public school, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Feb. 1950, 123)
ANGLICAN WOMEN'S TRAINING COLLEGE, St. George Street near Bloor Street West, major addition, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, June 1950, 125)
PORT CREDIT, ONT., Trinity Anglican Church, Stavebank Road North at Park Street East, 1955; still standing in 2022 (Toronto Star, 15 April 1955, 29, illus. & descrip.; inf. Paula Wubbenhorst, City of Mississauga)