Law, Commander Frederick C.

LAW, Commander Frederick Charles (1841-1922), active in Toronto, Ont., was born in Brent, Somerset, England on 27 March 1841 and educated at Oscott College. He joined the Royal Navy in 1854, serving in the Baltic and Black Sea during the Crimean War, and rose to the post of Commander. He arrived in Canada before 1875 and received the appointment of Private Secretary to John Crawford, the Lieut. Governor of Ontario, and continued to work as Secretary to three successive holders of that office. He resigned from this post in 1905.

Law also tried his hand at the profession of architecture. He commenced his career as an architect in 1884, working in the offices of Darling & Curry, a leading firm in Toronto, and in 1885 he received a commission to design St. John's Roman Catholic Church (later renamed Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church), Sherbourne Street, TORONTO, ONT. His scheme was modelled after the landmark building in Rome called The Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, and the Toronto project may have been designed by him with the advice of his employer and mentor, Frank Darling, because Law had opened an office in the same building as Darling & Curry were located in late 1885. Both offices were gutted by the fire in The Mail Building in April 1886 (Toronto World, 2 April 1886, 1) and the records of Law's design for the church were destroyed.

Law continued to advertise himself as an architect in the Catholic Weekly Register from February to December 1887 but no references to works by him can be found until 1889 when he was commissioned to design a third floor addition to the Bishop's Palace on Church Street in Toronto. He joined the Ontario Association of Architects on 31 October 1890, and later died in Toronto on 13 December 1922. (obit. Globe [Toronto], 14 Dec. 1922, 13; Toronto Star, 14 Dec. 1922, 3; Telegram [Toronto], 14 Dec. 1922, 41; biog. H. Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1898, 569; Who's Who in Canada, 1910, 129; biog. in Debrett's Perrage [London], 1912, 329). A detailed biography and interview with Law was published in the Evening Record [Windsor], 1 April 1905, p. 11.

MUSKOKA, large summer residence on Crawford Island, Lake Muskoka, for Commander F.C. Law, 1876 (Liz Lundell, Old Muskoka: Century Cottages & Summerr Estates, 2003, 20-1, illus.)
TORONTO, ONT., Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church, Sherbourne Street at Earl Street, 1885-86; additions and remodelling in 1910 by J.P. Hynes (Toronto World, 22 June 1885, 1, descrip.; 29 Oct. 1886, 1, descrip.; Catholic Record [Toronto], 6 Nov. 1886, 1, descrip.; C.A.B., iv, July 1891, plate illus of design for the Altar; John Ross Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, 1904, iv, 328-30, illus. & descrip.)
TORONTO, ONT., addition of a third floor to the Bishop's Palace for St. Michael's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Church Street near Shuter Street, 1889 (C.A.B., ii, October 1889, 119; P. McHugh, Toronto Architecture: A City Guide, 1985, 170)