Chapman and Oxley

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Chapman and Oxley was a Toronto based architectural firm which responsible for designing a number of prominent buildings in the city in the 1920s and 1930s. Even with the departure of Chapman, the firm's last projects appeared to be in the late 1940s.


The firm was founded by architects Alfred Hirschfelder Chapman (1875-1949) and James Morrow Oxley (1883-1957) in 1919.

A.H. Chapman was born in Toronto to the Chapman family whom owned Grenadier Ice Company at Grenadier Pond (in what is now High Park) and Belle Ewart Ice Company (later as Chapmans Limited).[1] Chapman apprenticed under architect Beaumont Jarvis (1864-1948). He then went to study architecture in Paris. From 1920 he was head of the family business Chapmans Limited, which sold ice and fuel in a Toronto. Chapman served as President of the Ontario Association of Architects for two consecutive periods, 1929 and 1930. Chapman retired in 1943 and died in 1949. He is buried at St. George's Church (Anglican) and Cemetery (Susan Sibbald Memorial Stone Church) in Sutton, Ontario.

Chapman's son Howard Dennison Chapman (1917-2014) formed his own fim Chapman and Hurst, which was also an architect and worked with Howard V. Walker on a number of buildings like Riverdale Hospital and restoration projects in the 1980s (Koffler Student Centre built by his Alfred H. Chapman as Central Reference Library). His other son Christopher Chapman (1927-2015) was a writer, director and cinematographer.

J.M. Oxley attended the University of Toronto as an engineering (applied sciences) student. He fought in World War I in the Canadian Expeditionary Force from 1915-1918.[2] Oxley was also president of the Mississauga Golf & Country Club from 1939 to 1940. He died in 1957.


A list of projects worked on by Chapman and Oxley:

Building Year Type Notes
Toronto Harbour Commission Building 1919 Office building Successor agency PortsToronto no longer is located in building
Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion 1922 Public pool Still in operation
Palais Royale 1922 Dancehall Built with Bishop; still in use as special events hall
330 Bay Street 1925 16 storey office tower Now named as Northern Ontario Building
CNE Ontario Government Building 1925-1926 Exhibition Hall Now houses Liberty Grand banquet and ballroom facility
Maple Leaf Stadium 1926 Baseball stadium Demolished 1968 and replaced with apartment buildings and gas station
National Building 1926 12 storey office building Demolished in 2009 to make way for Bay Adelaide Centre
Crosee and Blackwell Building 1927 Television station Later as CFMT Building and now simply as 545 Lakeshore Boulevard West
Princes' Gates, at Exhibition Place 1927 Arch gateway
Dominion Building (Toronto) 1927 12 storey office tower Home to National Cash Register; later as City Hall Annex (City of Toronto government) and Ryerson Polytechnic; demolished 1977 after fire damaged the structure
Runnymede Theatre, Toronto 1927 Double screen atmospheric theatre Closed 1998 and converted to Chapter's bookstore;[3] bookstore closed in 2013 and became Shoppers Drug Mart in 2014.
Capitol Theatre, Cornwall, Ontario 1928 Single screen atmospheric theatre Inner theatre designed by architect G.J. Mace; closed 1985 and demolished 1991[4]
Old Toronto Star Building 1929 Office building Demolished 1970 and now site of First Canadian Place
Sterling Tower 1929 21 storey office tower Added to Toronto Heritage site in 1976
The Bay's Queen Street location 1929 9 storey department store addition Houses the Arcadian Court) and Robert Simpson Complex at the rear
Toronto Public Library Circulating Library 1930 Library Now Koffler Student Centre, University of Toronto
Toronto Hydro Building (Carlton Street) 1931 Office building With associate Albert E. Salisbury
Royal Ontario Museum 1933 Expansion wing Mix of neo-Byzantine and Art Deco
Holy Blossom Temple 1938 Synagogue
Heaslip House 1938-1939 Office building Built as HQ for E.P. Taylor's Canadian Breweries Limited - purchased by Ryerson University as home for radio station CRJT and now home to Chang School of Continuing Education
Bank of Montreal building at King and Bay 1948 Bank building Demolished 1972 along with Old Toronto Star building for First Canadian Place

A list of work by Chapman or Oxley prior to the founding of their firm in 1919:

Building Year Type Architects Notes
Old Oakville Grammar School (291 Reynolds Street) 1908 School Chapman Later as Oakville Trafalgar High School (1946) and closed in 1993; 1942 and 1960s additions demolished after being acquired by Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital
Toronto Public Library Bloor-Gladstone Branch 1911-1913 library Alfred H. Chapman & Robert B. McGiffin; Renovated by Howard D Chapman 1975
Toronto Reference Library - St. George Street 1909 Library Wickson & Gregg and A.H. Chapman Now Koffler Student Centre, University of Toronto
Carnegie Library - Dundas, Ontario 1909 Library Chapman and McGiffin Now Carnegie Gallery
Rosedale Presbyterian Church, Toronto 1909 Church Chapman and McGiffin Christian Education building added 1955
Knox College (University of Toronto) 1912-15 University building Chapman and McGiffin
Toronto Public Library Dovercourt Branch 1913 Library Chapman and McGiffin
Carnegie Library - Barrie, Ontario 1915 Library Chapman and McGiffin Now MacLaren Arts Centre

See also[edit]

List of other and rival Toronto architectural firms:


  1. ^ Archives of Ontario. "Alfred H. Chapman fonds". Archeion. Archives Association of Ontario. Retrieved 21 May 2015.
  2. ^ [World War I Roll of Service, 1914-1918, University of Toronto, p419]
  3. ^ Runnymede Theatre
  4. ^ Capitol Theatre