Ford, John

FORD, John (c. 1795-1841) was a native of Leith, Scotland who emigrated to York, Upper Canada in 1819. He was a carpenter by trade and in 1823 he formed a partnership with John Hayden, and together they offered their services as builders. They contracted to build the Home District Court House at York in 1824-26 based on designs provided by Dr. W.W. Baldwin and John Ewart. In February 1826 Ford was one of five competitors for the design of the Parliament House at YORK [now Toronto], UPPER CANADA (NAC, Upper Canada Sundries, Vol. 80, letter p. 43443-46). His scheme was passed over and First Premium was awarded to Joseph Nixon. In July 1826 the firm of Ford & Hayden submitted plans and estimates for the Gore District Court House & Jail, HAMILTON, ONT.; they succeeded in obtaining the contract for the design and construction of this landmark, but appear to have withdrawn from the job before completing their building. A plan and photographic view of the Gore District Court House, can be found in M. MacRae & A. Adamson, Cornerstones of Order, 1983, 51-2, but an attribution to Ford as architect is lacking in this source. By 1828 Ford was working alone; he contracted to do work on the Gibraltar Point lighthouse on Toronto Island in 1829, and in 1831 was hired to superintend the latter stages of construction of the Newcastle District Court House & Jail near Cobourg. He was also recorded in Cornwall in 1834-35 where he superintended completion of the Eastern District Court House & Jail. By 1841 he had returned to Toronto, and died there on 27 December 1841 (death notice British Colonist [Toronto], 29 Dec. 1841, 3). In 1844 Mary Ford, the 'widow of Mr. John Ford, Architect', died in Toronto (British Colonist [Toronto], 19 Jan. 1844, 3). In 1853 Ellen Ford, 'daughter of the late John Ford, Architect' was married in Toronto (United Empire [Toronto], 13 Oct. 1853)