YOUNG, Thomas (c. 1805-1860) was among the first professionally trained architects to practise in Upper Canada in the early nineteenth century. Born in England, he served an apprenticeship with the London architect Charles H. Tatham (1772-1842) whose severe neo-classical taste appears to have had a direct influence on the style and form of many of Young's later designs. He also worked for Joseph Bramah & Sons, a firm of civil engineers and iron founders in London. Young emigrated to Canada in 1832 and settled at Toronto where he worked as an architect, artist and art teacher. He was recorded as operating "Mr. Young's drawing school" in an advertisement published in 1832 (Upper Canada Courier [York], 20 June 1832, 2, advert.). That same year, he was elected as an Honorary Member of the Toronto Mechanics' Institute (Metro Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Room, Toronto Mechanics Institute Papers, L1, E 1, Members 1832 - 1848). From 1834 until 1839 he served as ornamental drawing master at Upper Canada College. While few records of his architectural practise survive, compared to the many drawings, surveys and journals left by John G. Howard, his arch rival, Young was, for a time, as active and as successful in soliciting work as Howard was. In 1835, to attract attention to his talent, he prepared four refined and skillfully drawn panoramic views of Toronto that were published as lithographs by Nathaniel Currier of New York City.
Young's first major architectural commission, the Wellington Buildings of 1837 erected for the Home District Magistrates, set the standard of design for a decade along Toronto's main shopping street. That same year he was awarded the prestigious work of preparing a scheme for King's College, Toronto, but political unrest delayed the construction of this monumental Greek Revival design until 1842, and then only the East Wing was erected. Young held the position of University Architect from 1837 to 1839 and again from 1843 to 1849 for which he was paid £200 a year, but latterly was criticised for 'making all kinds of fanciful plans' at public expense that were far too ambitious to be undertaken (Examiner [Toronto], 14 June 1848). Between 1839 and 1844 he was commissioned to rebuild the fire-damaged St. James Anglican Church, King Street, and to design the district gaols in Guelph, Goderich and Barrie, Ont. as well as a court house in Guelph. This court house (1842-44) and the adjacent Wellington District Gaol (1839-40) were executed in a picturesque medieval style with castellated towers and reveal the wide range of historicist influences and sources Young employed in his work.
His career as an architect was also marked by a number of disappointments when many of his award-winning designs were never realized. In 1843 he received First Premium for his design of Brock's Monument, Queenston, but his scheme was not built. In 1851 he received First Prize for his remarkably virtuous proposal for Toronto University, Queen's Park, illustrated in a series of surviving drawings that convey a degree of dignity and presence rarely attained in Canadian architectural design in the nineteenth century, but regrettably this too was never realized. Young made one last attempt at securing a significant prize with his entry in the Parliament Building and Departmental Buildings Competition in Ottawa in 1859, but his plans were rejected in favour of those proposed by Fuller & Jones and by Stent & Laver.
In 1841 Young advertised his forthcoming publication of a 'Series of Original Designs for Cottages, Villas and other Residences.... to be followed by others on Farms, Farm Residences, Gaols, Court Houses, Churches, &c,' (Toronto Herald, 5 July 1841, 1) but these volumes never appeared. Perhaps his designs for an Anglo-Italian and a Grecian Villa, which he exhibited in the 1847 Toronto Society of Arts Exhibition, and for an Anglo-Venetian villa at the Society's 1848 exhibition, may have been prepared several years earlier for this intended publication of 1841.
Active as a city councilman in 1839 and 1840, Young served as City Surveyor from 1840 through 1842 when he was dismissed and replaced by John G. Howard. By this time he was having marital difficulties and had begun to show signs of instability that prefaced a decline in his career. In March 1842 he entered a partnership with James Cane, a civil engineer, but this was dissolved within two months (Herald [Toronto], 16 May 1842, 3). After Young's long, remunerative association with King's College and its successor, the University of Toronto, ended in 1852, he abandoned his practise and may have taught art for a living. His appointment in 1858 as Clerk of Works at the Don Jail was short-lived when the architect of that building, William Thomas, raised objections. During his last years he appears to have been addicted to alcohol; his obituary stated that he '...gave way to the seductive but destroying influence of liquor' (Daily Leader [Toronto], 4 Oct. 1860, 2).
Young died in Toronto on 3 October 1860 and was buried at St. James Cemetery in that city. His portrait can be found in the J.R. Robertson Coll., Acc. 2780, Baldwin Room, Metro Toronto Reference Library (obituary in Globe [Toronto], 4 Oct. 1860, 1; Daily Leader [Toronto], 4 Oct. 1860, 2; biography by Shirley Morriss in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, viii, 1985, 959-61; D. Jones, Toronto Star, 18 June 1988, M3; inf. from Shirley Morriss, Stephen A. Otto, Toronto)
WELLINGTON BUILDINGS, King Street East from Toronto Street to Church Street, on the Court House Block, 1837-40, a row of twelve shops and offices erected by Alexander Dixon (OA, RG22, Home District Quarter Sessions, Minutes, 188-90, 200, 215)
KING'S COLLEGE, Queen's Park, north of College Street, designs prepared in 1838 for the Southeast Building containing Student's Apartments; the Center Building, containing a Chapel, Library, Museum and Lecture Rooms; and the Southwest Building, containing Stewards Rooms, Proctor's Apartments, and Hall. Only the Southeast Building was erected in 1842-43; demol. 1886 (Patriot [Toronto], 11 Sept. 1838, 3, t.c.; British Colonist [Toronto], 5 June 1839, 2; Examiner [Toronto], 6 April 1842, 3; Toronto Herald, 20 Sept. 1842, 2, descrip.; A. Sylvester, Sketches of Toronto, 1858, 39-40, descrip.; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1978, 134-35, illus; Douglas S. Richardson, A Not Unsightly Building - University College and its History, 1990, 33-5, 38-40, illus.; dwgs. at University Archives, Univ. of Toronto)
ST. JAMES ANGLICAN CHURCH, King Street East at Church Street, 1839-40; burned 1849 (dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll., 640, 673)
MARKET BLOCK, bounded by King Street East, West Market Street, Front Street East and Church Street, 1840, a group of 21 buildings erected on City lands (Patriot [Toronto], 19 Feb. 1841, Appendix, 1, list of City Accounts; dwgs. at the City of Toronto Archives, PT 169 C2, PT 169 C3)
KING STREET EAST, south side, west of Church Street, row of three shops with apartments over, for George Monro, 1841 (dwgs. at Baldwin Room, Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, Howard Coll. 220)
LAKESHORE, at the foot of Spadina Avenue, cottage for Dr. William Rees, c. 1841 (Metro Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Room, Journal of John G. Howard, entry for 7 Jan. 1842)
PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, Front Street West at Simcoe Street, alterations to the Legislative Council Chamber to create an Anglican chapel for King's College, 1842-43; removed 1849 (W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1993, 55)
ST. ANDREW'S MARKET, Richmond Street West at Brant Street, 1849; demol. (Globe [Toronto], 29 Sept. 1849, 3, t.c.; 13 Dec. 1856, Pictorial Supplement, 2; Rowsell's City of Toronto & York County Directory, 1850-51, lxxxi, descrip.)
KING'S COLLEGE, Queen's Park, the Anatomical School (later called Moss Hall), 1850-51; demol. c. 1888 (Globe [Toronto], 9 Dec. 1851, 3; Rowsell's City of Toronto and County of York Directory, 1850-51, lxxvi, descrip.; Douglas S. Richardson, A Not Unsightly Building - University College and Its History, 1990, 41, illus.)
ST. PATRICK'S MARKET, Queen Street West near John Street, 1850-52; demol. 1912 (Rowsell's City of Toronto & County of York Directory, 1850-51, lxxxi, descrip.; Globe [Toronto], 13 Dec. 1856, Pictorial Supplement, 2; Eric Arthur, Toronto - No Mean City, 1964, 117, illus. & descrip., but lacking attribution; W. Dendy, Lost Toronto, 1978, 106-07, illus.)
ORANGE ARCH, for the Prince of Wales Tour, King Street East at Church Street, 1860 (Globe [Toronto], 8 Sept. 1860, 2, descrip.)
NORTH YORK, ONT., York Mills Presbyterian Church, Yonge Street, 1836 (Gazette [Montreal], 30 Aug. 1836, 1)
GODERICH, ONT., Huron District Jail, 1839-41 (British Colonist [Toronto], 23 March 1842, 3; 6 April 1842, 3; M. MacRae & A. Adamson, Cornerstones of Order, 1983, 110-13, illus.; Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, 80 for 80: Celebrating 80 Years of the A.C.O., 2013, 76-77, illus. & descrip.)
BARRIE, ONT., Simcoe District Jail, 1839-42 (A.F. Hunter, History of Simcoe County, 1909 , 248-49, illus. ; Minutes of the Simcoe District Municipal Council 1843-1847; M. MacRae & A. Adamson, Cornerstones of Order, 1983, 114)
GUELPH, ONT., Wellington District Jail, 1839-40; Court House, 1842-44, Woolwich Street (Weekly Mercury [Guelph], 8 March 1866, 1; M. MacRae & A. Adamson, Cornerstones of Order, 1983, 103-07, illus.)
STREETSVILLE, ONT., Trinity Anglican Church, Queen Street, 1842-43 (The Church (Toronto), 21 Oct. 1842, 2)
MARKET BLOCK, King Street East at Church Street, Toronto. 1836. At City Council's discretion Young received £10 for his entry (Courier of Upper Canada [Toronto], 19 Oct. 1836; City of Toronto Archives, CTA, RG1, A1, Council Minute No. 143, 20 March 1837). John G. Howard was awarded First Premium of £30 for his design.
HAMILTON, ONT., Gore Bank, King Street, 1839. Young submitted a design in response to a call for competitive entries, but his entry arrived too late for consideration. Nevertheless he was paid £10 for his effort (Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce Archives, Toronto: Minute Book of the Gore Bank, entries for 21 May 1839 and 3 Dec. 1839). The competition was won by John Turner of Brantford.
HOTEL, for W.B. Jarvis, Front Street East in the Market Block, 1840. John G. Howard noted in his journals that he and Young were the only competitors but Howard did not record receiving the £10 premium himself. It may be surmised that Young was the winner, but the project was not built (Toronto Patriot, 5 May 1840, 3; Metro Toronto Reference Library, Baldwin Room, Howard Journals, iii, 32, 39; City of Toronto Archives, RG1, A1, Council Minute 158, 25 June 1840)
ST. GEORGE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, King Street West at John Street, 1840 (Patriot [Toronto], 11 Aug. 1840, 3, t.c.). Young received a premium of £10 for his effort.
QUEENSTON, ONT., Brock Monument, 1842. Young submitted four entries under the pseudonym of 'Hythe', including Design No. 2, Design No. 3 'in the Palladian style', Design No. 4 'in the Grecian style', and Design No. 16. His Design No. 2 was awarded First Premium, but was not built due to a lack of funds (OA, Brock Monument Papers, MU 296; Toronto Herald, 15 June 1843, 3, illus.; British Colonist [Toronto], 3 Aug. 1847, 3, illus. & descrip.)
ST. GEORGE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH, John Street north of Queen Street West, 1844. A second competition for this church was held and plans from several Toronto architects were submitted. The design by H.B. Lane was selected (Toronto Anglican Diocesen Archives, Parish Papers of St. George The Martyr)
MONTREAL, QUE., Town Hall and Market Building, 1844. His submission, inscribed 'Rookesbury', was passed over in favour of the scheme by William Footner (Montreal Transcript, 30 April 1844, 2; Toronto Society of Arts Exhibition Catalogue, 1847, Item 147)
MARKET BUILDINGS, King Street East at Jarvis Street, 1845. Designs were solicited for a new front to the replace the 1831 City Hall and adjacent premises. Young's proposal was withdrawn before it was judged, and the First Premium of £25 given to William Thomas whose design for St. Lawrence Hall was built in 1849-50 (City of Toronto Archives, RG1, A1, Council Minute 276, 27 Jan. 1845)
KNOX PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Queen Street West at Bay Street, 1847. Young's design was given Second Prize of £10, with the commission being awarded to William Thomas (British Colonist [Toronto], 27 July 1847, 2)
TORONTO NORMAL SCHOOL, Gould Street, 1850. Young was given Fourth Prize; the design by Cumberland & Storm was declared the winner (Weekly Globe [Toronto], 4 Oct. 1850, 55)
SECOND CITY HALL, Front Street East at Jarvis Street, 1850. City Council asked for proposals for alterations to convert the front of the City Hall into shops and authorized a premium for the best plan, but records of the competition have not survived. When a scheme by William Thomas was adopted, Young protested and was successful in securing £12.10 for his effort in preparing a design (City of Toronto Archives, RG1 A1, Council Minute 899, 23 Dec. 1850)
TORONTO UNIVERSITY, Queen's Park, 1851. Young received First Premium for a design considered superior to those submitted by William Thomas and John Tully, but the proposal was never executed (British Colonist [Toronto], 9 Dec. 1851, 2; Douglas S. Richardson, A Not Unsightly Building - University College and Its History, 1990, 42-7, illus.; dwgs. at University Archives, University of Toronto; dwgs. at OA, Horwood Coll. 137, 639)
QUEENSTON, ONT., Brock Monument, 1852. Young entered an Grecian Doric design but the premium was awarded to William Thomas (OA, Brock Monument Papers, MU 296)
OTTAWA, ONT., Governor General's Residence, Ottawa, 1859. The design prepared by Young, signed 'Expertus' and presented in an Elizabethan style, was not premiated (NAC, RG11, Letter Book, Vol. 131, Letter 29188; Carolyn Young, The Glory of Ottawa: Canada's First Parliament Buildings, 1995, 118)
PARLIAMENT BUILDINGS, Front Street West near Simcoe Street, 1837. Young submittted plans for unspecified improvements and alterations (S. Morriss, Journal of John G. Howard, entry for 2 March 1837)
WEST MARKET, Richmond Street West at Brant Street, on the former Garrison Common, 1838 (Patriot [Toronto], 2 Nov. 1838, 3, t.c.). This project was revived in 1849 and built to a different design by Young (see list of works above)
ST. ANDREW'S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Church Street at Adelaide Street East, additions and new steeple, 1839 (British Colonist [Toronto], 29 May 1839, 3, t.c.)
PUBLIC SCHOOL AND MASONIC HALL, 1841 (dwgs. at Baldwin Room, Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library, Howard Coll. 408-10)
FIRST CITY HALL, King Street East at Jarvis Street, design for a Clock Turret, 1841 (City of Toronto Archives, dwg. PT 169-C-6)
'Design for a Grecian Villa', a drawing exhibited at the Toronto Society of Arts Exhibition in 1847 and described as a 'design infinitely preferable to the semi-Elizabethan villas and cottages-orne now so much in vogue' (British Colonist [Toronto], 23 April 1847, 2)
'Design for an Anglo-Italian Villa', a drawing exhibited at the Toronto Society of Arts Exhibition in 1847, and said to be 'highly creditable to the artist' (British Colonist [Toronto, 23 April 1847, 2, descrip.)
'Design for a Villa in the Anglo-Venetian Style', a drawing exhibited at the second Toronto Society of Arts Exhibition in 1848 (Toronto Society of Arts Catalogue of 1848, item 102)