Gordon, Henry Bauld

GORDON, Henry Bauld (1854-1951), a prolific architect active in Toronto, Ont. for his entire career, and a partner in the successful firm of Gordon & Helliwell, Architects. He was born in Toronto on 30 September 1854 and was educated at the Normal School in that city. He articled with Henry Langley from 1872 to 1875, and learned much about High Victorian ecclesiastical design from him. In 1876, at the young age of 22 years, Gordon opened an office in Toronto under his own name. Just two years later, in 1878, he formed a partnership with Grant Helliwell, and for the next sixty years, their firm completed designs for nearly two hundred commercial, institutional, ecclesiastical and residential buildings which were built in Ontario, Manitoba and as far west as British Columbia. Their collective skill as designers garnered them the First Premium of $200 in the competition for Queen’s College [now Queen’s University] in Kingston, Ont. in 1879, and the following year their impressive Gothic design for the new Ontario Parliament Building in Toronto submitted in a competition was awarded First Prize in 1880. Alas, this winning scheme was later shelved by the provincial government, and the commission was then awarded to Richard A. Waite, an American architect from Buffalo, N.Y. who, coincidentally, had served as one of the jurors for this 1880 competition.

Gordon’s close personal connection with the Presbyterian sect ensured him a steady flow of commissions obtained from dozens of different Presbyterian congregations across the province. Many of these Gothic Revival works still stand today in towns and cities throughout Ontario. Gordon later spent three years living and working in Korea and North China from 1901 to 1904, operating under the auspices of the Presbyterian Mission Board of Canada, and he designed a number of mission churches in the Far East (Toronto Daily Star, 11 April 1901, 1; and 31 March 1904, 9). A detailed article on his work for the King of Korea, and his projects in Seoul, Korea, was published in the Free Press Prairie Farmer (Winnipeg), 25 April 1901, 5. The division of responsibilities within the firm of Gordon & Helliwell is difficult to interpret, but Gordon appears to have been a lifelong Gothicist, never wavering from the elements of the Gothic Revival movement popularized in the late 19th C. His style matured early and, once established, it never changed. However, his business partner, Grant Helliwell, was credited in several sources with introducing a fresh interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style to some of their institutional and commercial work, most notably in the design for the West End YMCA, Queen Street West at Dovercourt Road, Toronto (built 1889-90 and still standing).

Gordon was highly respected by his peers in the architectural profession, and he served two terms as President of the Ontario Association of Architects, the first in 1896, and another in 1908. He was elected as an Associate member of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1880, and regularly exhibited his architectural drawings at their annual exhibitions from 1880 until 1896 (E. McMann, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts - Exhibitions & Members, 1981, 152). He continued to work as an architect until c. 1942 when the partnership with Helliwell was dissolved after nearly 65 years of continuous activity, making it one of longest-running architectural partnerships in Ontario in the 20th C. Gordon later died in Toronto on 4 March 1951 (obituary Globe & Mail [Toronto], 6 March 1951, 4; Telegram [Toronto], 6 March 1951, 34; obit. R.A.I.C. Journal, xxviii, April 1951, 118; biog. Who‘s Who in Canada, 1910, 93; H. Morgan, Canadian Men & Women of the Time, 1912, 457). A photographic portrait of Gordon taken c. 1910 was published in The Contract Record [Toronto], xxv, 11 Oct. 1911, 47.

H.B. GORDON (works in Toronto)

CENTRAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Bay Street at Grosvenor Street, 1876-77; Sunday School, 1878; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 5 Sept. 1876, 4, descrip.; and 4 Dec. 1876, 3, descrip.; and 14 May 1878, 4, descrip.; J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 260-1, illus. & descrip.)
BEVERLEY STREET, near Sullivan Street, row of three houses for John McMichael, 1877 (Mail [Toronto], 2 May 1877, 2)
LESLIEVILLE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Queen Street East at Carlaw Avenue, 1877-78; demol. (Leader [Toronto], 3 April 1878, 4, descrip.; Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 12 April 1878, 369, descrip.)

GORDON & HELLIWELL (Ecclesiastical works in Toronto unless noted)

ST. MARYS, ONT., Widder Street Presbyterian Church, 1879 (St. Marys Argus, 27 March 1879, 3)
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Denison Avenue at Wolseley Street, 1879-80 (Mail [Toronto], 25 June 1879, 4, descrip.; Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 15 Aug. 1879, 668-9, descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 30 Oct. 1879, 3, descrip.)
BRAMPTON, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Church Street East at Union Street, 1880 (Globe [Toronto], 24 April 1880, 1, t.c.)
DEER PARK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, near St. Clair Avenue West and Yonge Street, 1880 (Mail [Toronto], 20 Nov. 1880, 2)
KNOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Queen Street West near Bay Street, extensive interior alterations, 1881; demol. (J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 215-16, descrip.)
PARIS, ONT., Dumfries Street Presbyterian Church, 1882-83 (Daily Expositor [Brantford], 24 Aug. 1882, 2; Globe (Toronto), 15 Aug. 1883, 5, t.c.)
NEWBORO, ONT., Presbyterian Church, 1882 (Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 25 Oct. 1882, 684)
PERTH, ONT., new Manse for St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 1882 (Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 17 Jan. 1883, 44)
PETERBOROUGH, ONT., St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, Murray Street, additions and alterations, 1883-84 (Daily Evening Review [Peterborough], 5 Nov. 1884, 3, descrip.)
KEENE, ONT., Presbyterian Church, 1884-85 (History of the Presbyterian Church at Keene, Ontario, 1897, 12-3, illus.; dwgs. at United Church Archives, Toronto)
PETERBOROUGH, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Rubidge Street, 1885-86 (E.B. Fowler, History of St. Andrew's United Church Peterborough 1833-1933, 12, illus.)
OWEN SOUND, ONT., Division Street Presbyterian Church, 1885-86 (Centenary of Division Street Church, Owen Sound 1852-1952, 9-10, illus.)
PARKDALE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Dunn Avenue near Queen Street West, 1886-88 (J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 268-71, illus. & descrip.)
CHALMER'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Dundas Street West at Dovercourt Road, 1887-89; Sunday School 1906 (Globe [Toronto], 11 April 1889, 3, descrip.; J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 278-80, illus. & descrip.)
BATHURST STREET METHODIST CHURCH, Bathurst Street at Lennox Street, 1887-88 (Globe [Toronto], 31 Aug. 1887, 3, t.c.)
AYR, ONT., Knox Presbyterian Church, 1887-88 (Anniversary Services of Knox United Church, Ayr, Ont., 1962)
EAST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Oak Street near Sackville Street, 1888-89; demol. (Telegram [Toronto], 19 April 1888, 3, t.c.; The Globe [Toronto], 6 April 1889, 13, descrip.; Toronto World, 8 April 1889, 2, descrip.)
WESTERN CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, Spadina Avenue near Cecil Street, 1888; demol. (Toronto World, 3 Nov. 1888, 2)
WESTPORT, ONT., Knox Presbyterian Church, Concession Street at George Street, built 1888-89; corner bell tower removed c. 1940 (Daily Whig [Kingston], 6 Feb. 1889, 1, detailed architectural descrip.)
ORILLIA, ONT., Orillia Presbyterian Church, Neywash Street, 1888-89; Sunday School 1912-13 (First Hundred Years of Orillia Presbyterian Church 1851-1951, 32, illus.)
ZION METHODIST CHURCH, St. Clair Avenue West near Christie Street, 1889-90 (T. Champion, Methodist Churches in Toronto, 1899, 269-70, descrip.; J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 408-11, descrip.)
ST. PETER'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, Bleeker Street at Carlton Street, addition to the church, 1890; and new rectory, Carlton Street, 1905; and addition to the school house, 1921 (Toronto Daily Star, 16 April 1921, 23, t.c., inf. from Toronto Historical Board)
MISSION AVENUE, near College Street, a Mission Hall, 1890; demol. (C.R., i, 26 April 1890, 3, t.c.)
CHURCH OF THE MESSIAH, Avenue Road at Dupont Street, 1891-92; Parish Hall, 1922 (Globe [Toronto], 21 Sept. 1891, 8, descrip.; Toronto Mail, 22 Oct. 1892, 12, descrip. & illus.; C.A.B., v, March 1892, illus.; Canadian Churchman [Toronto], 29 Oct. 1891, 663, descrip.; and 3 Nov. 1892, 662, descrip.)
EPWORTH METHODIST CHURCH, Christie Street at Yarmouth Road, 1890; demol. c. 2008 (Telegram [Toronto], 2 Aug. 1890, 6, t.c.)
ST. ENOCH'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Winchester Street at Metcalfe Street, 1890-91 (C.R., i, 25 Oct. 1890, 1; Toronto World, 27 March 1891, 1, descrip.; and 9 July 1891, illus.)
WOODLANDS, MAN., Anglican Church, 1896 (C.A.B., x, Feb. 1897, 37)
CHURCH OF THE COVENANT, Avenue Road at Roxborough Street West, 1897-99 (C.A.B., x, Sept. 1897, illus.; J.R.Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 290-91, illus. & descrip.)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT., new Manse for Melville Presbyterian Church, West Hill, 1899 (C.R., x, 26 April 1899, 3, t.c.)
BONAR PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Lansdowne Avenue near College Street, additions and alterations, 1901 (C.R., xii, 27 Feb. 1901, 1, t.c.)
GRAFTON, ONT., St. George's Anglican Church, 1908-09 (Canadian Churchman [Toronto], 25 March 1909, 186-7, descrip.)
COLBORNE, ONT., parish hall for Trinity Anglican Church, 1909 (Canadian Churchman [Toronto], 13 Jan. 1910, 26)
CHURCH OF THE EPIPHANY (Anglican), Queen Street West at Beatty Avenue, 1910; Parish Hall, 1922 (C.R., xxiv, 9 Feb. 1910, 24, t.c.; and xxxvi, 12 April 1922, 53; Toronto Daily Star, 18 Oct. 1929, 10, descrip.)
ST. ANNE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, Dufferin Street at Dundas Street West, new Parish Hall and Rectory, 1911 (Toronto b.p. 27338, 19 May 1911)
WEST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, College Street at Montrose Avenue, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 23 Aug. 1911, 61)
PRINCE RUPERT, B.C., St. Andrew's Anglican Church, 1912; completed 1925 (J. Gibson, History of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Prince Rupert, 1947, 9)
SCARBOROUGH, ONT., Church of the Epiphany (Anglican), St. Clair Avenue East at Danforth Road, 1914 (Telegram [Toronto], 18 July 1914, 14)
ST. JOHN’S ANGLICAN CHURCH, Humberside Avenue at Quebec Avenue, 1923; still standing in 2024 (Toronto Daily Star, 27 Jan. 1923, 6) CHRIST CHURCH (Reformed Episcopal), Shaw Street near College Street, 1923 (C.R., xxxvii, 18 July 1923, 50)
SMITHS FALLS, ONT., Westminster Presbyterian Church, Beckwith Street North at Church Street West, 1926-27 (Ottawa Journal, 25 May 1926, 17, t.c.)
ST. JOHN'S EVANGELICAL CHURCH, Pape Avenue opposite Gertrude Place, 1929, and later called Calvary Church (dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll., 414a; inf. Ian Mason, Sarnia)

GORDON & HELLIWELL (Institutional works in Toronto unless noted)

JOHN STREET PUBLIC SCHOOL, addition, 1878; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 6 May 1878, 2, t.c.)
KINGSTON, ONT., Arts Building, Queen's University, north of Stuart Street and east of University Avenue, a commission won in an architectural competition, 1879-80 (Daily British Whig [Kingston], 21 Dec. 1878, 3, detailed descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 28 Dec. 1878, 4, descrip.; Canada Presbyterian [Toronto], 10 Jan. 1879, 162, descrip.; Canadian Illustrated News, xix, 14 June 1879, 374, 377, illus. & descrip.;, Mail [Toronto], 15 Oct. 1880, 2, descrip.; dwgs. at Queen's University Archives, Kingston; biog. Jennifer McKendry, Architects Working in the Kingston Region 1820-1920, 2019, 55, illus.)
BRANT STREET SCHOOL, Adelaide Street West at Brant Street, 1882 (Annual Report of the Inspector of the Public Schools, City of Toronto, 1882, Appendix, 2-3)
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, The University College Young Men's Christian Association, located south-west of the Biological Building, 1884-86; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 6 Dec. 1886, 1). Gordon & Helliwell were paid $300. for plans of the building.
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, Yonge Street at McGill Street, 1886; Gymnasium 1911 (Telegram [Toronto], 30 June 1886, 6, descrip. & illus.; dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll. 416)
UPPER CANADA BIBLE & TRACT SOCIETY, Yonge Street near King Street, 1886; altered 1910 (Toronto World, 13 May 1886, 1)
EAST YORK, Todmorden School House, Broadview Avenue near Pottery Road, 1887-88 (Globe [Toronto], 14 Sept. 1887, 6, t.c.)
WEST END YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, Queen Street West at Dovercourt Road, 1889-90 (Toronto World, 23 Nov. 1889, 4, illus. & descrip.; and 10 Oct. 1890, 1, descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 13 Dec. 1890, 2, illus. & descrip.)
YOUNG WOMEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION, Elm Street, 1890-91 (C.R., i, 8 March 1890, 3, t.c.; Toronto World, 25 March 1890, 1, descrip.; and 10 May 1890, 2, descrip.)
EAST YORK, Chester Public School, Broadview Avenue near Chester Hill Road, 1890 (Telegram [Toronto], 25 Aug. 1890, 2, t.c.)
MIMICO, ONT., Public School, Church Street at Mimico Avenue, 1892 (C.R., iii, 26 March 1892, 1, t.c.; Toronto Daily Mail, Saturday Supplement, 18 Feb. 1893, 14, illus. & descrip.)
ORILLIA, ONT., Town Hall & Market Building, West Street, 1894-95; burned 1915; rebuilt by Burke, Horwood & White (C.A.B., vii, July 1894, illus.; Orillia Times, 12 Dec. 1895, Supplement, 1-2, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll. 415; Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, 80 for 80: Celebrating 80 Years of the A.C.O., 2013, 16-17, illus. & descrip.)
SEOUL, KOREA, Mission School, for the Presbyterian Church of Korea, 1901 (Daily British Whig [Kingston], 13 April 1901, 4)
PARIS, ONT., Young Men's Christian Association, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 27 May 1903, 1, t.c.)
WYCLIFFE COLLEGE, University of Toronto, Hoskin Avenue, new Dining Hall and Dormitory Wing, 1907; Principal's Residence and new Chapel, 1911 (Canadian Churchman [Toronto], 27 Feb. 1908, 144; Toronto b.p. 26121, 3 April 1911; and b.p. 26209, 6 April 1911)
UPPER CANADA BIBLE SOCIETY, College Street near Yonge Street, office building, 1910-11 (Const., v, March 1912, 57-60, illus.)
BARACA CLUB, Bancroft Avenue near Huron Street, 1910-11 (Toronto b.p. 24192, 2 Nov. 1910; Larry W. Richards, University of Toronto - The Campus Guide, 2009, 149-50, illus. & descrip.)
WOMEN'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL & DISPENSARY, Rusholme Road near College Street, designed 1916; built 1917 (C.R., xxx, 17 May 1916, 47; and 13 Dec. 1916, 42; inf. Scott Edwards)
YORK TOWNSHIP, Public School for S.S. 30, 1923 (C.R., xxxvii, 31 Jan. 1923, 47, t.c.)

GORDON & HELLIWELL (Commercial & Industrial works in Toronto unless noted)

KING STREET WEST, near York Street, retail store for John Fisken, 1880-81; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 26 Nov. 1880, 6)
KING STREET EAST, at Jarvis Street, major alterations to store block for Thomas Lailey, with new facade, new rear wall, and new roof, 1880-81 (Globe [Toronto], 13 Dec. 1880, 6)
BARBER & ELLIS CO., Bay Street near Wellington Street, 1886; burned 1904 (Globe [Toronto], 6 Sept. 1886, 2, t.c.)
ALEXANDER A. ALLAN & CO., Bay Street near Front Street, warehouse, 1886-87; burned 1904; rebuilt in 1911; demol. 1986 (Globe [Toronto], 4 Nov. 1886, 6, t.c.; C.R., xxv, 6 Sept. 1911, 66, t.c.; Const., v, Nov. 1912, 25, illus. in advert.)
JOHN MACDONALD & CO., Queen Street West at Northcote Avenue, store, 1892 (Toronto b.p. 1144, 31 Oct. 1892)
BOND LAKE, ONT., Hydro Power House for the Metropolitan Electric Radial Railway Co., 1898 (C.R., ix, 2 Nov. 1898, 3; Canadian Electrical News [Toronto], ix, Dec. 1899, 258-60, illus. & descrip.)
NORTH YORK, York Mills Hydro Power House for the Metropolitan Electric Radial Railway, 1899 (C.R., x, 8 March 1899, 3)
BOARD OF TRADE HOTEL, for Elizabeth Black, Yonge Street near Front Street East, 1899; demol. (Toronto b.p. 292, 11 April 1899)
W.R. JOHNSTON & CO., Front Street West at York Street, warehouse, 1900; addition 1913; demol. (C.A.B., xiii, Oct. 1900, illus.)
YONGE STREET, near Roxborough Street West, stores and dwellings for John Lonsdale, 1901 (inf. from Toronto Historical Board)
TORONTO JUNCTION, Dundas Street West at Soho Street, factory for Charles A. Brink, of Cyclone Wire Fence Co., 1905 (Toronto b.p. 2336, 24 Oct. 1905)
DARLING BUILDING, Spadina Avenue at Adelaide Street West, 1907 (Const., i, Feb. 1908, 24, illus.; Ian Panabaker, "The Darling Building", in Perspectives: The Journal of the Ontario Association of Architects, Winter 1996, 30, descrip.)
MINISTER & MYLES SHOE CO., Simcoe Street at Pearl Street, warehouse, 1907-08; demol. (Toronto b.p. 9597, 19 Nov. 1907)
BOUVIER & HUTCHINSON CO., Lombard Street near Church Street, factory, 1909-10; demol. (Toronto b.p. 18615, 11 Dec. 1909)
J.A. SIMMERS SEED CO., King Street East near Jarvis Street, office and warehouse, 1910 (Toronto b.p. 22200, 20 July 1910)
A.A. ALLAN & CO., Bay Street near Wellington Street West, warehouse for Alexander A. Allan, 1911 (Const., v, Nov. 1912, 25, illus. in advert.)
JOHN UNDERWOOD CO., Richmond Street East near Church Street, factory, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 31 Jan. 1912, 66)

GORDON & HELLIWELL (Residential (works in Toronto unless noted)

QUEEN'S PARK CRESCENT, at Wellesley Street West, mansion for William Christie, 1880-81; demol. 1910 and replaced by a mansion for Robert Christie, as designed by Darling & Pearson (dwgs. Univ. of Toronto Archives, A 1973 0008/010 (03) A )
PETERBOROUGH, ONT., for Dr. James T.I. Halliday, Water Street, 1883 (Peterborough Examiner, 8 Nov. 1883, 1, descrip.)
ST. GEORGE STREET, opposite Wilcox Street, for William Goulding, 1890; demol. c. 1930 (C.A.B., iv, Jan. 1891, illus.)
WOODLAWN AVENUE WEST, residence for the architect Henry B. Gordon, 1890 (J. Kinsella, Historical Walking Tour of Deer Park, 1996, 20, illus.)
ROSEDALE ROAD, for Capt. Samuel Crangle, 1891 (C.A.B., v, Jan. 1892, illus.)
SHERBOURNE STREET, near Wellesley Street East, fence and gates [and the residence] for Alexander A. Allan, 1894; demol. (C.A.B., vii, Nov. 1894, illus.)
YONGE STREET, near Summerhill Avenue, for Herman Simmers, 1896 (C.A.B., x, Feb. 1897, 37)
GODERICH, ONT., for Dr. W.J.R. Holmes, 1896 (C.A.B., x, Feb. 1897, 37)
RUSHOLME ROAD, for Henry N. Williams, 1897 (C.R., viii, 15 April 1897, 1, t.c.)
RUSHOLME ROAD, near Hepbourne Street, residence for Mrs. Elizabeth H. Gordon, 1897 (Toronto b.p. 56, 11 June 1897)
MAPLE AVENUE, for Harrison H. Fudger, 1897 (dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll. 417a)
ST. GEORGE STREET, near Lowther Avenue, for Victor Cawthra, 1897 (Toronto b.p. 98, 13 Oct. 1897)
GLEN ROAD, near South Drive, for F.G. Clarke, 1898 (Toronto b.p. 103, 21 Oct. 1898)
WOODLAWN AVENUE, for Duncan A. Coulson, 1899 (Toronto b.p. 120, 9 June 1899)
ROSS STREET, near College Street, row of three houses for Thomas Alison, 1899-1900 (Toronto b.p. 50, 10 Nov. 1899)
EUCLID AVENUE, at Ulster Street, pair of houses for James D. Allen, 1900-01 (Toronto b.p. 2, 20 Nov. 1900)
CRESCENT ROAD, near Lamport Avenue, for T. Albert Brown, 1901 (Toronto b.p. 213, 30 Aug. 1901; C.A.B., xvi, Feb. 1903, illus.)
CRESCENT ROAD, near South Drive, for Silas R. Parsons, 1902 (Toronto b.p. 267, 28 April 1902; inf. Chris Bateman, Toronto)
ELM AVENUE, for Charles H. Francis, 1901 (inf. from Toronto Historical Board)
BALMORAL AVENUE, at Poplar Plains Road, for Robert Wightman, 1903 (C.A.B., xix, Sept. 1906, 133, descrip. & illus.)
CHESTNUT PARK ROAD, near Cluny Drive, for George D. Chestnut, 1905 (Toronto b.p. 404, 23 March 1905)
PARK ROAD, for Percival L. Mason, 1905 (Toronto b.p. 786, 5 May 1905)
MCMASTER AVENUE, for John Peace, 1905 (Toronto b.p. 848, 12 May 1905)
NANTON CRESCENT, near Dale Avenue, for Arthur W. Blachford, 1905 (Toronto b.p. 1064, 7 June 1905)
MARKHAM STREET, near Lennox Street, for Agnes Mather, 1906 (Toronto b.p. 3256, 28 March 1906)
CHESTNUT PARK ROAD, near Roxborough Street East, for James B. Fitzsimmons, 1906 (Toronto b.p. 4061, 4 June 1906)
BLOOR STREET WEST, near Robert Street, for Robert Y. Mabee, 1909 (Toronto b.p. 14504, 1 April 1909)


STRATFORD, ONT., High School, 1877. H.B. Gordon was one of thirty-four competitors from the United States and Canada who submitted designs for the High School (Stratford Beacon, 5 Oct. 1877, 2). He was not among the finalists and the commission was later awarded to McCaw & Lennox of Toronto.
WESTERN ASSURANCE CO., Wellington Street East at Scott Street, office block, 1878. The young firm of Gordon & Helliwell were one of at least six architects who submitted a design in this competition. They exhibited their design at the annual exhibition of the Royal Canadian Academy in 1880. The competition was won by Richard A. Waite of Buffalo, N.Y.
ONTARIO PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, Queen's Park, Toronto, 1880-81. Sixteen entries were received during the first stage of this important competition in October 1880. The scheme by Gordon & Helliwell, signed 'Datur Digniori', was awarded the First Premium of $2,000 (OA, RG15, Box E1, Vol. 27, Envelope 1, Report of the Jury). Designed 'in the collegiate manner', their proposal for a quadrangle of buildings was inspired by Gothic precedent and was said to be 'commendable in its common sense plainness' (Mail [Toronto], 4 Dec. 1880, 2, descrip.). Two weeks later, they were asked to revise their plans and resubmit their scheme along with those of five other competitors (Globe [Toronto], 13 Dec. 1880, 5). After much debate and bickering the provincial government rejected all the schemes, and later awarded the commission to one of the jury members in the competition Richard Waite (E. Arthur, From Front Street to Queen's Park, 1979, 49, 52, 55)
TORONTO CITY HALL & COURTHOUSE, 1886. The firm of Gordon & Helliwell were one of nearly 50 architectural firms from the United States and Canada who submitted plans for this important civic complex in a two-stage competition. They were excluded from the seven finalists, and they publicly complained that their scheme "...met all the requirements, and [we] are entitled to a proper investigation by three professional experts" (Globe [Toronto], 2 March 1886, 8). The eventual winner of the second stage was Edward J. Lennox.
VICTORIA COLLEGE, Toronto, Ont., 1886. Four Toronto firms were invited to submit designs for new college buildings on the northern edge of Queen's Park (Toronto World, 8 Oct. 1886, 2). The commission was eventually awarded to William Storm
BOARD OF TRADE BUILDING, Yonge Street at Front Street, Toronto, 1889. Under the pseudonym 'Ten Per Cent' the firm of Gordon & Helliwell were awarded Second Prize for their Romanesque Revival design (C.A.B., ii, March 1889, 28, descrip.; June 1889, illus. plate). The first prize and the commission were awarded to James & James of New York City.
VICTORIA, B.C., British Columbia Parliament Buildings, 1892. Among the sixty-five competitors from the United States and Canada were Gordon & Helliwell. Their design, labeled 'St. James', was not among the six finalists (M. Segger, The British Columbia Parliament Buildings, 1979, 84). The winner was F.M. Rattenbury of Victoria.
MILWAUKEE, WISC., U.S.A., Public Library & Museum, 1894. More than seventy architects entered this competition including the Toronto firm of Gordon & Helliwell (C.A.B., vii, Feb. 1894, 34). Henry G. Koch of Milwaukee was declared the winner.
KINGSTON, ONT., Queen's University, a group of new buildings on the east side of University Avenue, 1900-01. Nearly 15 architects submitted plans in this competition, but 10 sets were rejected by the Selection Committee, and 5 sets were advanced to the second stage. The drawings prepared by "...architect Gordon of Toronto" were among the two finalists (Daily British Whig [Kingston], 26 Dec. 1900, 6), but were set aside and the design by ""Power & Son** of Kingston was selected. This decision was then overturned within a week, and the commission awarded to Symons & Rae of Toronto.
OTTAWA, ONT., Departmental and Justice Buildings, 1907. Thirty designs were submitted in this national competition, but the scheme by Gordon & Helliwell placed 17th with a low score of 50 out of 100 points. The chief juror, Edmund Burke, thought their design was 'lacking in the dignity required, resembling a college or school building' (OA, Horwood Coll., miscell. papers). The Montreal firm of E. & W.S. Maxwell received First Premium, but the project was never realised.
CHENGTU, CHINA, West China Union University, 1912. Gordon & Helliwell were one of four firms from Europe and North America invited to submit designs for this project in Szechwan province (Building News [London], civ, 10 Jan. 1913, 54). Their entry was set aside and Fred Rowntree & Son of London, England were declared the winners.
OTTAWA, ONT., Departmental Buildings, 1914. Another major competition for a different site was staged in 1914 and elicited more than 60 entries from Commonwealth countries. Six finalists were chosen, but again the project was never built. The design by Gordon & Helliwell was not among the finalists (NAC, RG11, Vol. 2952, File 5370 1B)
HAMILTON, ONT., North West Entrance to the City, 1927-28. Twelve firms submitted designs in this competition for a series of parks, gardens and a high level bridge on lands adjacent to Dundurn Castle. The scheme by Gordon & Helliwell was not premiated (R.A.I.C. Journal, v, April 1928, 131). Earle Sheppard of Toronto won First Prize of $2,000.