Smith, Harold John

SMITH, Harold John (1891-1976) of Toronto was widely acknowledged as an expert in hospital design in Canada and wrote frequently on the subject. Born in Toronto on 26 July 1891 he attended courses at Central Technical School but appears to have had no formal education in architecture. He worked as a student under J. Francis Brown (in 1907-08), and with John M. Lyle (in 1909-11). In 1912 he obtained a position as draughtsman with Frederick C. Lee, and was later appointed the Toronto office manager for Stevens & Lee, specialists in hospital planning with headquarters in Boston. This position enabled Smith to gain extensive experience in the design of medical facilities, and led to his appointment as full partner in the firm in 1931, but within a year he had left to form a partnership with B. Evan Parry of Toronto (R.A.I.C. Journal, ix, May 1932, 133). Their collaboration ended in late 1935 and Smith continued to practice under his own name until after 1960. His approach to the design of modern hospitals was outlined in 'The Small General Hospital' (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxi, Aug. 1944, 182-3) and in 'Hospital Blueprint' (Canadian Hotel Review, xxii, 15 Sept. 1944, 24, 26, illus.). Smith died in Toronto on 26 July 1976 (death notice Globe & Mail [Toronto], 28 July 1976, 48).

(works in Toronto unless noted)

WHITE CO. LTD., Alexander Street near Yonge Street, auto garage for S. Hamilton, 1912 (Toronto b.p. 36357, 27 July 1912)
WEYBOURNE CRESCENT, residence for the architect, 1921 (C.H.G., v, Jan. 1928, 28, illus.)
DAWLISH AVENUE, residence for W.W. McLaughlin, 1927 (C.H.G., iv, Aug. 1927, 23, illus.)
WANLESS CRESCENT, residence for Prof. William A. Irwin, 1929 (C.H.G., vii, Jan. 1930, 31, illus.)
WOMEN'S COLLEGE HOSPITAL, Grenville Street, 1932-35 (OA, Drawings Coll., bound album of photographs, unaccessioned)
WOODSTOCK, ONT., Nurse's Residence for Woodstock General Hospital, 1937 (Canadian Hospital, xiv, July 1937, 20, 34, illus. & descrip.)
BRANTFORD, ONT., addition of Queen Elizabeth Wing to General Hospital, Terrace Hill Street at St. Paul Street, 1938-39 (Canadian Hospital, xvi, March 1939, 66-8, illus. & descrip.; Brantford Expositor, 2 March 1940, 15, descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xxi, Aug. 1944, 184-5, illus.)
VICEROY MFR. CO. LTD., Royce Avenue, 1938 (Toronto Star, 2 Sept. 1938, 28, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xix, Nov. 1942, 224, illus.)
OSHAWA, ONT., Oshawa General Hospital, major addition for the Sykes Wing, Alma Street at Simcoe Street North, 1942 (Canadian Hospital, xix, May 1942, 14-17, illus.)
PORT CREDIT, ONT., residence for Paul Jorgenson, 1944 (C.H.G., xxii, July 1945, 30, illus.)
(with Colin Drever) KINGSTON, ONT., addition of Victory Wing to Kingston General Hospital, Stuart Street, 1945-46 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxv, Sept. 1948, 328-9, illus.)
PORT ARTHUR, ONT., General Hospital, Munro Street at Court Street, major addition, 1945-46 (C.R., lviii, Dec. 1945, 70; Canadian Hospital [Toronto], xxvi, Feb. 1949, 47, illus.)
OAKVILLE, ONT., Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, on the Chisholm Family estate, between Reynolds Street and Allan Street, 1947 (Toronto Daily Star, 23 Jan. 1947, 2; Can. Hotel Review, xxv, 15 Feb. 1947, 69)
LEAMINGTON, ONT., Memorial Hospital, Talbot Street West, 1948 (C.R., lxi, Feb. 1948, 168; Canadian Hospital [Toronto], xxv, Aug. 1948, 37-9, illus. & descrip.)
BOWMANVILLE, ONT., Memorial Hospital, Liberty Street, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Feb. 1950, 128; Canadian Hospital [Toronto], xxvii, July 1950, 38-9, illus.)
SYDNEY, N.S., Civic Hospital, Hospital Street, 1950 (C.R., lxiii, Nov. 1950, 120)


'A Small General Hospital'. In 1923 Smith was one of nearly 50 architects who submitted designs in a North American competition sponsored by The Modern Hospital magazine in Chicago. His neo-Georgian scheme was not among the finalists, but it is evidence that, by 1923, he was already a skilled and competent designer of hospital buildings (Modern Hospital [Chicago], xxi, July 1923, 43-6, illus. & descrip.)