Woolnough, John James

WOOLNOUGH, John James (1866-1965) was born in London, Engl. on 28 December 1866 and began an apprenticeship in an architectural office there at the age of fourteen. In 1887 he joined the staff of Alexander Pope, a London architect, then emigrated to Canada in early 1889. He settled in Toronto and worked briefly for Gibson & Simpson before joining David B. Dick in December 1889. He worked as his chief assistant for nearly twelve years and became a proficient draftsman and delineator; one of his perspective drawings showing the book stack wing of the University of Toronto Library and signed 'J.J.W' still survives (Univ. of Toronto Archives, Dick Coll., A65-0001, item 217). He also had an wide-ranging interest in architectural photography, and delivered a lengthy paper on the subject in 1893 (C.A.B., vi, Jan. 1893, 12-14, illus.). In May 1901 Woolnough joined his former employer C.J. Gibson as an assistant, then worked for F.R. Heakes at the Dept. of Public Works for Ontario, for Darling & Pearson, and accepted a position in the City Architect's Office in April 1904, where he remained for the duration of his career. He rose to the position of Chief Assistant City Architect in 1920, and became Acting City Architect in June 1924 after the death of G.F.W. Price. He held the post of City Architect from 1925 to 1932 and was responsible for the design of all city-owned municipal buildings during this period. Woolnough resigned from the City in July 1932 (Toronto Daily Star, 18 July 1932, 1 and 2; and 19 July 1932, 6). He was succeeded by Kenneth S. Gillies (R.A.I.C. Journal, ix, Aug. 1932, 198). He retired in 1935 and died in Toronto on 7 June 1965 (inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects). A photographic portrait of Woolnough was published in the Toronto Daily Star, 31 Dec. 1929, p. 29.

John J. WOOLNOUGH (works in Toronto)

GIBSON AVENUE, near Yonge Street, residence for James Sercombe, 1902 (Toronto b.p. 436, 30 Sept. 1902)
MacPHERSON AVENUE, pair of houses for Charles & Samuel E. Plowman, 1902 (Toronto b.p. 450, 2 Oct. 1902)
WALKER AVENUE, residence for Mrs. Louisa Gullet, 1902 (Toronto b.p. 578, 6 Nov. 1902)

John J. WOOLNOUGH (buildings as City Architect of Toronto)

CITY OF TORONTO FREIGHT WAREHOUSE, on the waterfront, at the foot of Bay Street, 400 ft. long and 80 ft. wide, 1905, a design prepared under the supervision of Robert McCallum (Toronto Daily Star, 16 Sept. 1905, 10, illus. & descrip.)
RECEPTION HOSPITAL, Surrey Place at Grenville Street, 1923-24 (C.R., xxxviii, 31 Dec. 1924, 1328-9, illus. & descrip.)
STRACHAN AVENUE SEWAGE PUMPING STATION, Strachan Avenue, north of Fleet Street, 1924 (dwgs. City of Toronto, Dept. of Public Works, drawings dated Sept. 1924; inf. Wayne Reeves, Toronto)
MEASLES HOSPITAL, near the Isolation Hospital, Gerrard Street East near the Don River, 1924 (C.R., xxxviii, 18 June 1924, 52)
WELLINGTON REFUSE DESTRUCTOR BUILDING, south of Wellington Street West, and west of Bathurst Street, begun 1924 by G.F.W. Price; completed after the death of Price by J.J. Woolnough; still standing in 2023 (Toronto Star, 15 Jan. 1925, 4, illus. & detailed descrip.; inf. EVOQ Architecture Ltd., Building Condition Assessment Report, 5 Sept. 2018, 9-10, illus.; inf. Alex Bozikovic, Toronto)
CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION, Livestock Pavilion, a major extension to the Coliseum Building, for cattle, sheep and swine, 1926-27; still standing in 2023 (dwgs. at Canadian National Exhibition, Engineering Dept.)
KENNEDY PARK PUMPING STATION, north of Bloor Street West and west of Clendenan Avenue, 1928; demol. c. 1964 (dwgs. at City of Toronto - Engineering and Construction Services; inf. Wayne Reeves, Toronto)
FIRE HALL NO. 34, Yonge Street at Wanless Avenue, 1930 (Toronto Star, 15 Aug. 1930, 26, t.c.)
CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION, Horse Palace, 1930-31; still standing in 2023 (C.R., xlv, 26 Aug. 1931, 1038-9, illus. & descrip.; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 196-98, illus. & descrip.; dwgs. at Canadian National Exhibition, Engineering Dept.)
TORONTO WATER WORKS MAINTENANCE BUILDINGS, Richmond Street West at Maud Street, 1931-32; renovated and restored 2020-21 (Const., xxvi, Sept.- October 1933, 118-22, illus. & descrip.)
POLICE STATION NO. 6, Queen Street West at Cowan Avenue, 1931-32 (inf. Toronto Historical Board)
FIRE HALL NO. 28, Montgomery Avenue at Yonge Street, 1932 (inf. Toronto Historical Board)
FIRE HALL NO. 12, Gerrard Street East at Carlaw Avenue, 1932; still standing in 2023 (Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 82-3, illus. & descrip.)