Henry Langley (architect)

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Henry Langley
Henry Langley (Architect) 1836 - 1907.jpg
Born26 November 1836
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Alma materToronto Academy
BuildingsGovernment House

Henry Langley (26 November 1836 – 1907) was a Canadian architect based in Toronto. He was active from 1854 to 1907. Among the first architects born and trained in Canada, he was a founding members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1880 and was instrumental in establishing the Ontario Association of Architects in 1889. A conservative in architectural design, he is primarily known for designing numerous churches in the Toronto area, although he designed many secular buildings as well including residential, commercial and public buildings. Langley designed 70 churches throughout Ontario.[1] He was the first chair of the Department of Architecture at the University of Toronto, where he taught during the 1880s and 1890s.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Langley's parents, William Langley and Esther Anderson, emigrated to Canada from Ireland in 1832. Born in Toronto, Langley received his general education from the Toronto Academy[3] where part of his training included studying the principles of drawing. In early 1854 he became apprenticed to Scottish architect William Hay,[3] who was a specialist in gothic architecture.[4] During his seven-year apprenticeship, he worked with Hay on some of the oldest buildings and structures in Toronto, including St. Basil's Church, Toronto (1855–1856), two of the original buildings at the University of St. Michael's College (1856), Yorkville Town Hall (1859-1860) and the Oaklands at De La Salle College (1860) among other structures.

After Hay's departure from Toronto in 1861, Langley was invited in 1862 by Hay's partner, Thomas Gundry, to become his new partner. He accepted and quickly became the firm's primary designer with Gundry shouldering most of the business side of the company. His most important project during these years was the Government House (1857–1859). In 1869 Gundry died, after which Langley spent the next four years working alone. However, he was assisted during those years by two talented apprentices who later became well known architects in Toronto: Frank Darling and his nephew Edmund Burke.[5][6]

With the success of the firm, Langley brought in Burke and his brother, the builder Edward Langley, as partners in 1873. The company was in high demand and greatly increased its staff over the next several years. His brother left a decade later and Burke departed in 1894. His son, architect Charles Edward Langley, worked with him during the last 14 years of his life. Charles was the first person to graduate from the Department of Architecture at the University of Toronto on 3 May 1892.

Langley died in Toronto in 1907 and is interred at the Toronto Necropolis. He notably designed that cemetery's chapel.

Selected works[edit]

Building Year Completed Builder Style Source Location Image
St. Peter's Anglican Church, Toronto 1864–1866 Gundry and (Henry) Langley Gothic Revival 15 188 Carlton Street at Sherborne Street, Toronto, Ontario St Peter, Toronto.jpg
St. Michael's Cathedral (Toronto) spire 1865-66 Gundry and (Henry) Langley Gothic Revival Toronto, Ontario Cathedral Sunset (II).jpg
St. Basil's Church, Toronto 1865-66 Gundry and (Henry) Langley Gothic Revival Toronto, Ontario St. Basil's Church.JPG
Government House (Ontario) 1865-6s Gundry and (Henry) Langley Gothic Revival Toronto, Ontario Chorley Park from the air circa 1930.jpg
St. Stephen-in-the-Fields Anglican Church, Parkdale Deanery 1865-6 Henry Langley Gothic Revival 15 Bathurst Street and College Avenue, Toronto, Ontario St Stephen in-the-Fields Anglican Church, Toronto.JPG
Metropolitan United Church 1872 Henry Langley French Gothic Revival W Church Street and Queen Street East, Toronto, Ontario Metropolitan United.JPG
Toronto Necropolis Chapel 1874 Henry Langley Gothic Revival 15 Winchester Street and Sumach Street, Toronto, Ontario Toronto Necropolis.JPG
St. Luke's United Church 1874 Henry Langley and Edmund Burke Romanesque Revival 15 Sherborne Street and Carlton Street, Toronto, Ontario St Luke, Toronto.jpg
St. Andrew's Evangelical Lutheran Church 1878 Henry Langley & Edmund Burke Gothic Revival 15 383 Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario St Andrew's Lutheran Toronto.JPG
Jarvis Street Baptist Church 1878 Henry Langley & Edmund Burke Gothic Revival Jarvis Street, Toronto, Ontario Jarvis street Baptist Church.jpg
St. Mark's Anglican Church, Parkdale 1881 Henry Langley, Henry Langley and Edmund Burke (Design) Gothic Revival 201 Cowan Ave, Toronto, Ontario Epiphany and St. Mark Anglican Church, Parkdale.JPG
McMaster Hall 1881 Henry Langley, Henry Langley and Edmund Burke (Design) Romanesque Revival 2 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, Ontario RoyalConservatoryofMusic.JPG
Beverley Street Baptist Church 1886 Henry Langley & Edmund Burke Gothic Revival 6 72 Beverley Street, Toronto, Ontario Toronto Chinese Baptist Church (April 2005).jpg
Trinity-St. Paul's United Church 1887–1889 Henry Langley and Edmund Burke Gothic Revival 15 Bloor Street west of Spadina Avenue, Toronto, Ontario Trinity-St Paul's.JPG

Gundry & Langley (1862-1869)[edit]

  • St. Peter’s Anglican Church, 1864–65
  • Alexander Street Baptist Church, 1866, Demolished
  • St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, 1869–70, now Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church

Langley (1869-1874)[edit]

  • McGill Square Church, 1870–72, now Metropolitan United Church
  • Parliament Street Methodist Church, 1871, Demolished
  • Toronto Necropolis Chapel, 1872

Langley, Langley & Burke (1874-1884)[edit]

Henry Langley, Edward Langley & Edmund Burke

Langley & Burke (1884-1894)[edit]

Henry Langley & Edmund Burke

Langley & Langley (1894-1907)[edit]

Henry Langley & Charles Edward Langley

  • Memorial Baptist Church, 1897


  1. ^ http://www.heritagefdn.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_7536_1.html Ontario Heritage Trust Henry Langley 1836-1907
  2. ^ "Henry Langley". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online.
  3. ^ a b Carr, Angela (1995). Toronto architect Edmund Burke: redefining Canadian architecture. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7735-1217-7.
  4. ^ "Henry Langley, 1836 -1907 RCA". Toronto Public Library.
  5. ^ Carr 6.
  6. ^ Crossman, Kelly (1987). Architecture in transition: from art to practice, 1885-1906. McGill-Queen's Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-7735-0604-6.

External links[edit]