Gregg, William Rufus

GREGG, William Rufus (1852-1930), a successful architect who was active in Toronto, Ont., at first under his own name, and later in partnership with his younger brother Alfred Holden Gregg. He was a member of the following firms:

W.R. Gregg, Architect, Toronto, 1882 – December 1892
Gregg & Gregg, Architects, with offices in Toronto and Ottawa, January 1893 to 1904, with Alfred H. Gregg
W.R. Gregg, Architect, Toronto, 1905 to 1922

Gregg was born in Belleville, Ont. on 13 September 1852, son of Rev. William Gregg, a well-known Presbyterian minister in Toronto. The family connection with the Presbyterian sect in Canada would prove to be a beneficial one, as William R. would later receive commissions to prepare designs for over twenty Presbyterian church buildings in Ontario and Manitoba, including those which were completed under his own name, as well as those designed in collaboration with his brother. Much of his knowledge and training was obtained when he articled in the Toronto office of Smith & Gemmell (in 1872-75), and in late 1875 he moved to Montreal where his name was recorded as an architect (Lovell’s Montreal Directory, 1876-77, 453, and 1877-78, 436) but it is unclear if he was self-employed, or whether he was working for another architect. He then moved to Chicago, likely to gain more professional experience (in 1879-80), and then to Boston, Mass. (in 1880-81). He returned to Toronto in 1882 and opened an office under his own name. One of the assistants in his office from 1887 onward was his brother Alfred H. Gregg (1868-1945), who was nearly a full generation younger than William R.

In 1893 William created a new partnership between himself and his brother, and they established two offices for Gregg & Gregg Architects, one in Toronto (operated ed by William R.), and a branch office in Ottawa (operated by Alfred H.) in 1895-96. Their collaboration was seemingly successful but, for unknown reasons, their partnership was dissolved in late 1904, and Alfred departed to join with A. Frank Wickson in a new partnership of Wickson & Gregg in Toronto. William R. continued to maintain his own office until 1914 when he retired from the profession. Gregg died at his residence, Wiecroft Farm, in Oakville, Ontario on 12 October 1930 (obituary Toronto Star, 13 Oct. 1930, 11; Telegram [Toronto], 14 Oct. 1930, 18, with port. 15 Oct. 1930, 4; obit. and painted oil portrait, R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, Nov. 1930, 426). A brief biography of W.R. Gregg was published in the Evening Journal [Ottawa], 15 Jan. 1907, 1.

W.R. GREGG (works in Toronto unless noted)

THOROLD, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Clairmont Street at Ormond Street South, 1883-84; still standing in 2022 (Presbyterian Review {Toronto], 9 Sept. 1886, 290, descrip.)
CLINTON, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Rattenbury Street East near William Street North, designed 1883; built 1884-85; church closed 2011 and converted to residential use 2014-16; still standing in 2022 (Clinton New Era, 20 July 1883, 1, descrip.; and 30 Nov. 1883, 6, t.c.; and Huron News-Record [Clinton], 11 March 1885, 3, detailed architectural description; Canada Presbyterian, 22 April 1885, 272, descrip.)
TILLSONBURG, ONT., Avondale Presbyterian Church, Harvey Street opposite Ridout Street East, 1885-86; still standing in 2022 (Tillsonburg Observer, 10 Dec. 1886, 1, descrip.)
COOKE'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Queen Street at Mutual Street, extensive alterations, 1887; demol. 1892 (Globe [Toronto], 21 July 1887, 8, descrip.; J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 234; dwgs. at Presbyterian Archives, Knox College, Toronto)
BELLEVUE AVENUE, near Oxford Street, residence for Joseph Gibson, 1888 (C.A.B., i, Jan. 1888, 10)
WILLCOCKS STREET, near St. George Street, residence for George McKibbon, 1888; demol. (C.A.B., i, Jan. 1888, 10)
COLLEGE STREET, at Howland Avenue, residence for Dr. Alexander McPhedran, 1888 (C.A.B., i, Jan. 1888, 10)
MADISON AVENUE, near Bloor Street West, residence for Prof. William Gregg, 1888 (C.A.B., i, June 1888, 7, illus.)
WOMEN'S MEDICAL COLLEGE, Sumach Street at Gerrard Street East, 1889; converted to residential use c. 1970; still standing in 2022 (Toronto World, 15 Aug. 1889, 2, descrip.)
BLOOR STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Bloor Street West at Huron Street, 1889-90; burned 1954; rebuilt (Toronto World, 4 April 1890, 8, descrip.; Dominion Illustrated, 16 May 1891, 468-9, 478, illus. & descrip.)
WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Bloor Street East opposite Park Road, 1890-91; burned January 1920; rebuilt, but later demol. in 1980 (Mail [Toronto], 29 July 1890, 5, descrip.; 25 May 1891, 6, descrip.; C.A.B., vi, Nov. 1893, illus.; J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 251-3, illus. & descrip.)
AGED WOMEN'S HOME, Belmont Street at Davenport Road, 1891 (C.A.B., iv, Aug. 1891, 80, illus.)
WICK, ONT., Presbyterian Church, Concession Road 2 near Highway 12, 1892-93; still standing in 2022 (Seventy-Five Years of History - Presbyterian Church, Wick 1849-1924, 14, illus.)
OTTAWA, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Wellington Street at Kent Street, a new Sunday School for the church, 1892-94 (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 19 Feb. 1892, 1; 18 Jan. 1894, 3, descrip.; 10 Nov. 1894, 7, descrip.; C.R., v, 15 Nov. 1894, 2)
ST. GEORGE STREET, near Bernard Avenue, pair of houses for Charles E. Lailey, 1893 (Toronto b.p. 1199, 7 Jan. 1893)

GREGG & GREGG (works in Toronto unless noted)

SPADINA ROAD, near Bloor Street, pair of houses for George McKibbon, 1893 (Toronto b.p. 1271, 14 April 1893)
STOUFFVILLE, ONT., Presbyterian Church, Main Street near Baker Street, 1894; still standing in 2022 (C.R., v, 12 April 1894, 2, t.c.)
JOHN J. McLAUGHLIN CO., Sherbourne Street near Queen St. East, factory, 1895 (Toronto b.p. 1871, 17 April 1895; Globe [Toronto], 29 June 1895, 9, list of works in advert.)
PARK ROAD, residence for James G. Thompson, 1895 (Toronto b.p. 1876, 19 April 1895)
COLLINGWOOD, ONT., First Presbyterian Church, Maple Street at Third Street, major additions and alterations, 1895; still standing in 2022 (C.R., vi, 26 Sept. 1895, 2)
PAGE BLOCK, 202-208 Yonge Street, west side, south of Albert Street, a four storey brick block for Mr. Page, 1896; demol. c. 1974 (Globe [Toronto], 28 Nov. 1896, 28, descrip.)
ST. GEORGE STREET, near Lowther Avenue, residence for Rev. Robert H. Warden, 1897 (dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll., 450a)
SPADINA AVENUE, near Washington Avenue, residence for John Wanless, 1897 (Toronto b.p. 3078, 15 April 1897)
TORONTO GENERAL HOSPITAL - Downtown Emergency Clinic Building, Bay Street, east side, north of King Street West, 1898; burned April 1904 (Globe [Toronto], 2 Sept. 1898, 12, descrip.)
OAK LAKE, MAN., Presbyterian Church, Assiniboine Street, 1898-99; still standing in 2022 (C.R., x, 8 Feb. 1899, 2; Manitoba, A Study of Church Buildings in Manitoba, 1987, 176, illus.)
ARTHUR, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Frederick Street East near Georgina Street, 1899; still standing in 2022 (Centennial History of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, n.d., 14, illus.)
TURIN, ONT., Presbyterian Church, Turin Line at Glassford Road, 1900; still standing in 2022 (J. McCrae, The Rise and Progress of Turin United Church 1860-1944, 22, illus.)
THAMESVILLE, ONT., St. James Presbyterian Church, 1900; church closed in 2014 (C.R., xi, 7 Feb. 1900, 3; cornerstone inscription "Gregg & Gregg Architects", dated 2 July 1900; inf. Ian Mason, Brigden, Ont. )
BRACONDALE PUBLIC LIBRARY, Christie Street, 1901; burned Feb. 1904; library later relocated to the Wychwood Fire Hall (C.R., xii, 29 May 1901, 2)
VENTRY, ONT., Presbyterian Church, Concession Road 10 at Southgate Sideroad 21, 1901 (C.R., xii, 3 July 1901, 1, t.c.)
WALMER ROAD, near Lowther Avenue, residence for Samuel Crane, 1901 (Toronto b.p. 267, 7 May 1901)
SPADINA ROAD, near Bernard Avenue, residence for Samuel Crowe, 1902-03 (Toronto b.p. 590, 12 Nov. 1902)
GLEN ROAD, residence for Willis S.B. Lawrie, 1901-02 (Toronto b.p. 93, 21 Nov. 1901)
COLLEGE STREET, near Yonge Street, residence for Dr. Richard G. McLaughlin, 1901-02; demol. (Toronto b.p. 142, 17 Dec. 1901)
DAIRY BUILDING, Canadian National Exhibition, 1901-02; burned 1903 (Toronto Daily Star, 30 March 1901, 5; C.R., xiii, 16 April 1902, 6; dwgs. at C.N.E. Archives, Toronto)
TELFER PAPER BOX CO., Duncan Street at Pearl Street, factory, 1902; altered 1989 (Toronto b.p. 62, 4 April 1902)
QUEEN CITY CURLING CLUB, Hayden Street near Church Street, 1902; burned August 1904, and replaced with a new indoor rink and club house by Gregg & Gregg, 1904-05 (Toronto b.p. 147, 5 May 1902; Globe [Toronto], 15 Oct. 1904, 21, illus. & descrip.)
CANADA PRINTING INK CO., Duncan Street at Pearl Street, factory, 1903; restored 1982 (Toronto b.p. 653, 15 Dec. 1902)
MANITOULIN ISLAND, White Lake Presbyterian Church, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 28 May 1902, 4)
WYCHWOOD PARK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, St. Clair Avenue West at Vaughan Road, 1903; demol. 1911 and replaced by new church called St. Columba Presbyterian Church in 1911, with major additions in 1929; church now called St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church (C.R., xiv, 25 March 1903, 3, t.c.; inf. Toronto Historical Board)
ECLIPSE WHITEWEAR CO., King Street West at John Street, a 4 storey factory, 1903-04; renovated and restored 1971; still standing in 2022 (Toronto b.p. 764, 25 Feb. 1903)
MURRAY STREET, residence for Roderick J. MacLennan, 1903 (Toronto b.p. 874, 18 March 1903)
MARKHAM, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Main Street North near Wilson Street, alterations, 1903 (C.R., xiv, 25 March 1903, 1, t.c.)
DUPONT STREET, opposite Bedford Road, residence for Frederick G. Holt, 1903 (Toronto b.p. 1689, 15 Sept. 1903)
NONSUCH MFR. CO., Duncan Street near Pearl Street, factory, 1903; altered 1989 (Toronto b.p. 1700, 16 Sept. 1903)
ST. GEORGE STREET, near Lowther Avenue, residence for James Hardy, 1904 (Toronto b.p. 388, 5 May 1904)
BURK'S FALLS, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Yonge Street at Syples Street, 1905; still standing in 2022 (C.R., xvi, 12 April 1905, 2, t.c.)

W.R. GREGG (works in Toronto unless noted)

DOVERCOURT PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Dovercourt Road at Hepbourne Street, 1905 (Toronto b.p. 2249, 13 Oct. 1905)
ORIOLE ROAD, near St. Clair Avenue West, residence for Edward Musgrave, 1905-06 (Toronto b.p. 2485, 11 Nov. 1905)
DAVENPORT ROAD PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Davenport Road at Delaware Avenue, 1905 (J.R. Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1914, vi, 42, illus. & descrip.)
ST. MARGARET'S LADIES COLLEGE, Bloor Street East at Jarvis Street, 1907; demol. (Toronto b.p. 8480, 16 July 1907)
ORIOLE ROAD, near Heath Street, residence for John F. Austin, 1907 (Toronto b.p. 8893, 26 Aug. 1907)
FOREST HILL ROAD, near Lonsdale Road, residence for the architect, c. 1908 (Toronto Society of Architects Exhibit Catalogue, 1909, 91, illus.)
WARREN ROAD, near Clarendon Avenue, residence for Mrs. Ira Standish, 1908 (Toronto b.p. 13257, 10 Nov. 1908)
WOODLAWN AVENUE EAST, residence for James A. Smith, 1909 (Toronto b.p. 16434, 16 July 1909)
CANADIAN ORDER OF FORESTERS HALL, College Street near Yonge Street, 1910; still standing in 2022 (Const., iv, June 1911, 89-90, illus.)
DUFFERIN STREET PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Dufferin Street near Armstrong Avenue, 1911; altered 2013 (C.R., xxv, 14 June 1911, 59)
DUNVEGAN ROAD, near Heath Street West, residence for Samuel R. Hanna, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 6 March 1912, 68)
FOREST HILL ROAD, near Lonsdale Road, residence for Mrs. W.R. Gregg, 1912 (Toronto b.p. 35723, 2 July 1912)
FAIRBANK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Ramsden Road near Dufferin Street, 1914; still standing in 2022 (Telegram [Toronto], 18 July 1914, illus.)


OTTAWA EAST, Town Hall, 1895. Several sets of plans were sent in by architects from Ottawa and Toronto, including those by Gregg & Gregg (Contract Record [Toronto], vi, 14 Feb. 1895, 2). The proposal by H.F. Ballantyne was later declared as the winner.
BRANDON, MAN., St. Paul's Presbyterian Church, 1900. The Toronto office of Gregg & Gregg was one of four architectural firms who submitted plans for this Manitoba project (C.R., x, 17 Jan. 1900, 2). The winner was W.H. Shillinglaw of Brandon.