Sutherland, William

SUTHERLAND, William (1898- c. 1945) was the Chief Architect of the Metropolitan Stores Ltd. chain from 1930 to 1940, and he can be credited with the Art Deco or moderne designs of dozens of MET retail stores in towns and cities across Canada. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland on 10 May 1898, he attended the Edinburgh College of Art from 1918 to 1922, and received his diploma in architecture and building construction. He also studied at Heriot Watt College in Edinburgh during this period, and was awarded the Henry Jarvis Travelling Scholarship there in 1921.
Sutherland emigrated to Canada in 1922, and gained valuable experience in the design of retail stores while employed as a draftsman and construction superintendent for S.S. Kresge Co. Ltd. from 1922 to 1930. In 1930 he was appointed Staff Architect for Metropolitan Stores, based in London, Ontario, and many of the MET stores still standing today, normally credited to an anonymous designer are, in fact, from the hand of Sutherland, who held his post in London until 1940. A typical example of his retail designs was the Metropolitan Store, St. Joseph Street, QUEBEC CITY, QUE., 1931 (C.R., xlv, 16 Sept. 1931, 50). In 1940 he joined the F.W. Woolworth Co. Ltd. as a staff architect, and later moved to New York City in 1945. No information on his activity after this period has been located (inf. Province of Quebec Assoc. of Architects; inf. Ontario Association of Architects)