Fisher, Richard Alexander

FISHER, Richard Alexander (1904-1967) was active in Toronto in partnership with F. Hilton Wilkes from 1934 to 1939 (see list of works under Wilkes & Fisher). Born in Brockville, Ont. on 4 June 1904 he attended St. Andrew's College in Toronto and studied architecture at the Univ. of Toronto where he graduated in 1926 with the Silver Medal for Design. He possessed considerable talent as a designer and delineator, and his final year thesis for "A Hotel" was published in the R.A.I.C. Journal, iii, May/June 1926, 123, illus. Fisher moved to New York to train with York & Sawyer (1928-28), and in June 1928 he went to London, England to join Adams, Holden & Pearson, a leading firm credited with introducing a progressive, modernist style to public and commercial architecture in that city. He returned to Toronto in late 1928 and worked briefly for Darling & Pearson (1928-29), and for Mathers & Haldenby (1929-30) before accepting an invitation from F. Hilton Wilkes to become a junior partner in his office in February 1930. In 1934 he was made a full partner in the new firm of Waters & Wilkes (R.A.I.C. Journal, xi, Oct. 1934, 152). It was likely Fisher who played a part in developing their prize-winning modernist plans for a 'Design for a Small House' submitted in the national competition sponsored by the T. Eaton Co. in 1936 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xiii, July 1936, 129, 131, 138, illus.).
When Wilkes was called up for duty by the Canadian Army in September 1939, their partnership was dissolved, and Fisher joined the Royal Canadian Engineers, later retiring with the rank of Major in 1946. On his return to Toronto in 1946 he joined the firm of Allward & Gouinlock, and played a major influence in the preparation of contemporary designs for the MacLean Hunter Printing Plant on Yonge Street in North York (1947-48), and for the Mechanical Engineering Building on King's College Road at the Univ. of Toronto (1947-48). His own essay on this significant post-war modernist landmark appeared in the R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvi, June 1949, 185-88, 199, illus.
Fisher opened his own office in 1949, and invited Blake H.M. Tedman to form a partnership in 1952. They were joined by his son R. Alson Fisher in 1956, in the new firm of Fisher, Tedman & Fisher (active 1956-64), later renamed Fisher, Tedman Fisher & Glaister in 1964. Fisher Sr. died in Toronto on 4 March 1967 (obituary Toronto Star, 6 March 1967, 10; Globe & Mail [Toronto], 7 March 1967, 41; biog. R.A.I.C. Journal, xxvi, June 1949, 199; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects; inf. Mr. Richard Alson Fisher, Toronto). His son Richard Alson Fisher (1926-2002) continued the work of his father's offiice after 1967.


FIRST UNITARIAN CHURCH, St. Clair Avenue West, near Avenue Road, 1950 (Globe & Mail [Toronto], 1 April 1950, 17, illus.)