Cauchon, Joseph Eusebe Noulan

CAUCHON, Joseph Eusebe Noulan (1872-1935), a highly respected engineer, town planner and, at various stages during his career, an architect who later became an Honorary Member of the Royal Architectural Inst. of Canada. Born in Quebec City on 4 March 1872, he was educated at St. Boniface College, Manitoba, at Pointe Levis College, Quebec City, and in private schools. He began his career as an engineer and draftsman with Lake St. John Railway, but stayed there only a few months before joining the staff of the Canadian Pacific Railway in Montreal in 1887. During the next twenty years, he rose to the position of Assistant to the Chief Construction Engineer, and ended his term there in 1907. By 1909 he had developed an interest in town planning, and devoted the next 25 years of his career to the profession, becoming an internationally recognized authority on the subject. He took an early interest in the hexagonal theory and system of town planning, which did not rely merely on concepts advocated by the City Beautiful movement, but rather on the scientific and social implications of early 20th C. town planning theory.

In 1924-25 Cauchon helped to draft a new zoning by-law for Ottawa, and in 1926 he was appointed advisor to the Montreal Town Planning Commission, working with Percy Nobbs to prepare a new town-planning and zoning act for Quebec. He was later appointed President of the Town Planning Institute of Canada. He was elected Chairman of the Town Planning Commission in Ottawa in 1921 and was the driving force behind a visionary scheme to create Confederation Place (1928), a new square and driveway system in Major’s Hill Park extending southward to Wellington Street. This scheme, one of two proposals submitted, was illustrated and described in detail in The Contract Record & Engineering Review [Toronto], xlii, 26 September 1928, 1041. The Federal Government then called in Henry Sproatt to act as an independent judge to assess the two schemes, but his report was never published by the government.

Cauchon toured Europe in 1929-31 lecturing on town planning and housing in England, France, Germany, Austria and Hungary, and in 1934 was appointed advisor to the Canadian Parliamentary Housing Committee. He died at Ottawa, Ont. on 28 October 1935 from a prolonged bout of pneumonia (obit. and extensive biography in Ottawa Citizen, 28 Oct. 1935, 1, 2 and 13; obit. Ottawa Journal, 28 Oct. 1935, 5; Editorial tribute 29 Oct. 1935, 4; funeral 31 Oct. 1935, 16; R.A.I.C. Journal, xii, Nov. 1935, 1935, 193; obit. and port. Engineering Journal of Canada [Montreal], xviii, Nov. 1935, 504; Canadian Engineer, lxix, 5 Nov. 1935, 16). He was buried at the Lemoine family vault at Chateau Richer, Que. in November 1935. A lengthy tribute and appreciation of the career and work of Cauchon, written by Percy Nobbs of Montreal, was published in the RAIC Journal, xiii, June 1936, 122.

HAMILTON, ONT., proposal for a joint Railway Entrance & Union Station for the Grand Trunk Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway, c. 1918 (Canadian Engineer [Toronto], xxxvii, 4 Dec. 1919, 512-13; Mark Osbaldeston, Unbuilt Hamilton, 2016, 22-24, illus. & descrip.)
HAMILTON, ONT., proposal for a War Memorial Stadium, c. 1918 (Canadian Engineer [Toronto], xxxvii, 4 Dec. 1919, 512-13; R.A.I.C. Journal, iii, July-Aug. 1926, 171, illus.; Mark Osbaldeston, Unbuilt Hamilton, 2016, 25-27, illus. & descrip.)
SOUTHERN ONTARIO, proposal for an irrigation and cultivation scheme from the Grand River to the Niagara River, as part of a plan for self-contained garden cities, soldier settlement communities, and industrial decentralization, 1917 (list of works in Engineering Journal of Canada [Montreal], xviii, Nov. 1935, 504)
OTTAWA, ONT., proposal for Confederation Park, Elgin Street at Wellington Street, with a new entrance to Parliament Hill, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 26 Sept. 1928, 1041, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, v, Sept. 1929, 346, illus. & descrip.; vi, Jan. 1930, 5, descrip.; Ottawa Citizen, 23 Dec. 1929, Editorial on “Civic Architecture”)