Ferguson, William Moncrieff

FERGUSON, William Moncrieff (1882-1956), son of a Glasgow architect of the same name, was born in Cambuslang, a suburb of Glasgow, on 5 February 1882 and studied architectural design and building construction at the Glasgow School of Art in 1902-05. His classmates there included James Govan, and Thomas Pomphrey, with whom he was to later form partnerships in Toronto. He articled under his father in Glasgow (in 1897-1903), then joined the office of Sir John J. Burnet & Son, a leading architect in that city, and assisted with major projects in this office from 1904 to 1910. He was invited to come to Canada by John M. Lyle in 1911, likely on the recommendation of Thomas Pomphrey who was already working for Lyle in his Toronto office.
Ferguson assisted Lyle in 1911-12, then took a position as a staff architect with Darling & Pearson, the leading firm in Toronto, where he was employed in 1912-14, and from 1919 to 1931. He gained valuable professional experience under Darling, who placed him in charge of the commission for the Sun Life Building in Montreal (1914-18; with addition 1923-25). Ferguson served with the 14th and 35th Battalions during WWI, then returned to Toronto in 1919. In 1924 both he and Pomphrey submitted an entry in the competition for the War Memorial Cenotaph in Toronto. From the fifty designs submitted, their scheme was awarded First Premium, accompanied by a generous fee and award of $2,500 for architectural services. A watercolour perspective of their design appeared in the R.A.I.C. Journal, ii, Jan.-Feb. 1925, 4. In 1928 Ferguson was assigned by Darling & Pearson to design and carry out the commission for Glenview Presbyterian Church, a convincing interpetation of the modern Gothic executed in local stonework.
In 1931 Ferguson accepted the invitation of his Glasgow classmate James Govan to become a partner in the new firm of Govan & Ferguson, which was renamed Govan Ferguson & Lindsay in 1932. Their firm specialized in the design and construction of hospital buildings, and by 1947 it had grown to include additional partners with a new firm name of Govan, Ferguson, Lindsay, Kaminker, Maw, Langley & Keenleyside. Their designs for hospital buildings can be found in eight of the ten provinces, and the firm remained active until after 1960. Ferguson died in Toronto on 15 April 1956 (obit. Globe & Mail, 18 April 1956, 7; Toronto Star, 17 April 1956, 8; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxxiii, June 1956, 241; inf. Royal Inst. of British Architects, London; Ontario Association of Architects, Toronto)


TORONTO, ONT., row of four attached stores and apartments for William H. Snell, Gerrard Street East near Main Street, 1914 (Toronto b.p. 14260, 15 Sept. 1914)


TORONTO, ONT., WW I War Memorial Cenotaph, Queen Street West at Bay Street, 1925-26 (Const., xvii, Nov. 1924, 344; R.A.I.C. Journal, ii, Jan-Feb. 1925, 4, illus. & descrip.)
TORONTO, ONT., residence for Alex E. Dawson, Teddington Park Boulevard at Hilda Avenue, 1927 (C.R., xli, 4 May 1927, 57)


(with Darling & Pearson) TORONTO, ONT., Glenview Presbyterian Church, Yonge Street at Glenview Avenue, 1928-29 (R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, March 1931, 80, award and descrip.; History of Glenview Presbyterian Church Fiftieth Anniversary, 1975, 3, illus.)