Hanks, Robert Seymour

HANKS, Robert Seymour (1898-1999) trained in the office Darling & Pearson in Toronto, then entered the Department of Architecture at the Univ. of Toronto. After graduation he spent one year in the office of Walter Blackwell, then worked as assistant to A. Colpoys Wood. He later accepted the position of Director of the architectural department at Home Smith & Co., a leading residential developer largely responsible for the creation of the Kingsway neighbourhood in the west end of Toronto. As chief designer for the company from 1930 to 1939, Hanks prepared dozens of plans for residences in the popular Tudor Revival or American Colonial style which were in conformance with the vision of Robert Home Smith (1877-1935), the owner and developer of the land.

In 1941 he formed a partnership with Norman L. Irwin (1904-2002), and the firm of Hanks & Irwin continued to prepare designs for Home Smith & Co. as well undertaking commercial, ecclesiastical and civic projects in and around the Toronto region. Hanks retired in 1969 and died in Toronto on 2 March 1999 (death notice Toronto Star, 5 March 1999, E6; inf. Robert S. Hanks, personal interview, 1985). An illustrated and dated list of over 60 houses in the Kingsway neighbourhood which were designed by Hanks, and by Hanks & Irwin, between 1930 and 1947 was published in Kingsway Park: Triumph in Design, 1994 by the Toronto Region Architectural Conservancy, pp. 32-64.

R.S. HANKS (works in Toronto unless noted)

THE KINGSWAY, large residence at 69 King George’s Road at Jackson Avenue, for the R. Home Smith Co., 1937: still standing in 2024 (Toronto Daily Star, 2 July 1937, 5, descrip.)
THE KINGSWAY, a 3 storey apartment block, with 12 units, at Bloor Street West at Brûle Terrace, beside the Humber River, for the R. Home Smith Co., 1937 (Toronto Daily Star, 3 Dec. 1937, 7, illus.)
SWANSEA, apartment block for Harry Davidson, Bloor Street West near Riverside Drive, 1939 (C.R., lii, 11 Jan. 1939, 30)
SWANSEA, apartment block for Moses Spring Realty Co., Bloor Street West near Old Mill Terrace, 1939-40 (C.R., lii, 15 Jan. 1939, 36; 17 May 1939, 35)
LEASIDE, factory for L.A. Young Industries Ltd., Eglinton Avenue East near Vanderhoof Avenue, 1939-40 (C.R., lii, 8 Nov. 1939, 30)

HANKS & IRWIN (works in Toronto unless noted)

LEASIDE, Canadian Aircraft Instruments & Accessories Ltd., Vanderhoof Avenue, factory, 1941 (C.R., liv, 2 April 1941, 30)
EAST YORK, a tract of 80 houses on St. Hubert Avenue near Cosburn Avenue, for Austin A. Phenix, 1940 (C.R., liii, 6 March 1940, 22)
THE KINGSWAY, residence for Carson P. Eddy, 1940 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xviii, June 1941, 105, illus.)
METAL STAMPINGS LTD., Danforth Avenue at Eastwood Avenue, office and factory, 1940 (R.A,I.C. Journal, xviii, May 1941, 87, illus.)
ETOBICOKE, A.C. Wickman Ltd., The Queensway at Wickman Road, factory, 1941 (C.R., liv, 5 March 1941, 35)
THE KINGSWAY, ETOBICOKE, residence for M. Chamberlain, King George’s Road, 1941 (Toronto Daily Star, 28 April 1941, 30)
THE KINGSWAY, ETOBICOKE, residence for T.J. Heenan, Edgemore Drive, 1941 (Toronto Daily Star, 28 April 1941, 30)
THE KINGSWAY, ETOBICOKE, residence for Peter W. MacCallum, Brentwood Road, 1941. (Toronto Daily Star, 28 April 1941, 30, illus.)
COOKSVILLE, ONT., residence for L. Jeffries, 1942 (C.R., lv, 4 March 1q942, 30)
CLAIREVILLE, ONT., Peel County, public school, 1942 (C.R., lv, 13 May 1942, 28)
PORT CREDIT, ONT., residence for Gordon Brydson, Mississauga Road, 1945 (C.H.G., xxii, Aug. 1945, 31, illus.)
PORT CREDIT, ONT., residence for G.A. Smart, 1945 (C.H.G., xxii, Sept. 1945, 15, illus.)
CLARKSON, ONT., residence for W.A. Wise, 1946 (C.H.G., xxiii, April 1946, 39, illus.)
McDOWELL MOTORS LTD., Bloor Street West, service station and garage, 1946 (C.R., lix, Oct. 1946, 94)
LEASIDE MUNICIPAL HALL, McRae Drive near Parkhurst Boulevard, 1947 (dwgs. at OA, Dept. of Labour Coll., Series IV-2 (d), Plan 11926)
THE KINGSWAY, ETOBICOKE, residence for Clarence E. Nugent, 1946 (C.H.G., xxiv, March 1947, 23, illus.)
LAMBTON MILLS, residence for John Carroll, Edgehill Road, 1947 (C.H.G., xxiv, May 1947, 22-3, illus.)
LAMBTON MILLS, residence for Roy M. Calhoun, Edenbridge Drive, 1947 (C.H.G., xxiv, May 1947, 25, illus.)
SWANSEA, office and factory for Patterson Electric Co., Ripley Avenue, 1948 (C.R., lxi, May 1948, 176)
BARON BYNG ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION HALL, Coxwell Avenue, south of Gerrard Street East, 1948-49; still standing in 2024 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 410, File 2920)
RONSON ART METAL WORKS, Old Weston Road near Davenport Road, factory, 1949 (C.R., lxii, Feb. 1949, 154)
KINGSWAY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Dundas Street West at Montgomery Road, 1949 (C.R., lxii, Sept. 1949, 158)
OSHAWA, ONT., Simcoe Street United Church, Simcoe Street South at Bagot Street, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Feb. 1950, 126)
OSHAWA, ONT., City Hall and Police Station, Centre Street at Athol Street West, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Feb. 1950, 126; May 1950, 140)
OSHAWA, ONT., Skinner Co. Ltd., Simcoe Street South at Wolfe Street, office building and major addition to factory, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Feb. 1950, 134)
OSHAWA, ONT., Fire Hall, Simcoe Street North near Colborne Street, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, May 1950, 140)
ETOBICOKE, Venus Pencil Co., factory and office, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, March 1950, 144; Financial Post [Toronto], 20 May 1950, 13)
LANSING UNITED CHURCH, Poyntz Avenue, 1950 (Globe & Mail [Toronto], 1 April 1950, 17, illus.)
DANFORTH AVENUE, at Parkmount Road, store for Carrall Contracting Ltd., 1950; demol. 2006 (Toronto b.p. 6925, 4 April 1950)
ORIOLE PARKWAY, at Oxton Avenue, apartment block for A. Giulietti, 1950 (Toronto b.p. 10015, 19 Sept. 1950)