Kivas Tully

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Kivas Tully
Born 1820
Garryvacum, Queen's County (now County Laois), Ireland, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Died 24 April 1905
Toronto, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Royal Naval School
Occupation Architect
Awards Imperial Service Order.
Practice John George Howard

Kivas Tully (1820–24 April 1905) was an Irish-Canadian architect.[1]


Born in Garryvacum in County Laois, Ireland, Kivas Tully was the son of John P. Tully, a lieutenant in the Royal Navy, and Alicia Willington. He trained as an architect at the Royal Naval School in London, England, before coming to the Province of Canada in 1844, arriving in Toronto, where he began working at the firm of John George Howard, designing many important buildings throughout southern Ontario.

Following Canadian Confederation, Tully joined the Ontario Department of Public Works in 1868. He was appointed the first Ontario Provincial architect (1868–1896)[2] and engineer.[3] He was involved in the supervising of the competition leading to the design of the Ontario Legislative Building at Queen's Park. As the provincial department of public works' chief architect, Tully supervised a series of district courthouses built in northern Ontario. The courthouse at Parry Sound designed in 1871 still forms the core of the present courthouse complex.

The Ontario Archives hold drawings for virtually all provincial buildings including courthouses, registry offices, goals & lock-ups, schools and colleges, hospitals and other works executed under his supervision from 1896 until 1926.[4]

In 1903, Tully was awarded the Imperial Service Order. He had retired in 1896 and died in Toronto on 24 April 1905.


Some of his more prominent projects include:

Project Year Completed Location Notes Image
Bank of Montreal 1846 Northwest corner of Yonge Street and Front Street, Toronto Neoclassical in style with quarters on the second and third floors for the manager and his family, the three-story stone building was demolished in 1886 for a new Beaux-Arts Bank of Montreal office which now houses the Hockey Hall of Fame.[5]
St. Catharines Courthouse 1850 St. Catharines, Ontario Neoclassical in finished and rough limestone, sympathetic limestone addition in 1865 St. Catharines Courthouse
Old Trinity College 1852 Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto Gothic Revival. Demolished in 1956. Old Trinity College, Toronto
Victoria Hall 1860 Cobourg, Ontario Neoclassical Victoria Hall (City Hall), Cobourg, Ontario
Welland County Courthouse 1858 Welland, Ontario Designed in the Neoclassical style by Tully and constructed by John Hellems and William A. Bald of several courses of Queenston limestone. Addition added in 1954.
First Trenton Town hall 1860 Trenton, Ontario Neoclassical building was vacated by the police in the 1970s and now home to DBIA and Trent Port Historical Society Museum. Trenton Town Hall (1860), Trenton, Ontario
London Asylum for the Insane 1870 London, Ontario Main building demolished 1870 and only Infirmary or Exam Building remains. Site vacant but part of London Psychiatric Hospital (Regional Mental Health Care)
Parry Sound District Courthouse 1871 89 James Street, Parry Sound, Ontario Victorian court has had additions added 1920-1921 and still used as courthouse.
Hamilton Asylum for the Insane 1879 Fennell Street West, Hamilton, Ontario South cottage added 1885 and infirmary 1895; demolished 1990s; site now used by Centre for Mountain Health Services after transfer to St. Joseph's Healthcare-Hamilton
Brockville Asylum for the Insane 1892-1894 Prescott Road, Brockville, Ontario Main building and cottages, 1892–94; later renamed as Brockville Psychiatric Hospital and now Brockville Mental Health Centre
Orilla Asylum for the Insane 1886-1887 Memorial Road cottages; Main Building (Victorian) added 1889; renamed as Huronia Regional Centre since 1974
Mimico Branch Asylum 1889–1895 New Toronto, Toronto Victorian psychiatric hospital campus with Romanesque Revival and Gothic Revival influences, restored and repurposed by Humber College from 1991–2001. Side-view2-Police-Academy.jpg


Tully was married twice, first to Elizabeth Drew in 1844 (died 1847) and Maria Elizabeth Strickland in 1852 (died 1883). He had four daughters, and was survived by two, including the artist Sydney Strickland Tully (1860–1911), when he died in 1905.[6]


  • Preliminary report of the engineer, on the survey of the various routes, for the proposed ship canal, to connect the waters of lakes Huron & Ontario at Toronto, presented to the president of the Board of Trade, 1857.

See also[edit]

Other Ontario provincial architects include:


  1. ^ Otto, Stephen A. (2009). "Tully, Kivas". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. XIII. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  2. ^ Dictionary of Architects in Canada
  3. ^ Kristif, Andrea. "Kivas Tully". Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 6 December 2011. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ Arthur, Eric (2003) [1986]. Toronto: No Mean City (3 ed.). Toronto: University of Toronto Press. p. 85. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Chief Provincial Architect, Ontario
Succeeded by
Francis R. Heakes