William Thomas (architect)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
William Thomas
William Thomas portrait.jpg
William Thomas, 183-
Died26 December 1860
NationalityEnglish, Canadian
DesignBrock's Monument

William Thomas (c.1799 – 26 December 1860) was an Anglo-Canadian architect. His son William Tutin Thomas (1829–1892) was also an architect, working mostly in Montreal, Quebec.


Thomas was born in Suffolk, England. He was apprenticed to a local builder after his family moved to Gloucestershire. His two older brothers became master glaziers and younger brother was the sculptor John Thomas, apprenticed under Charles Barry and A.W. Pugin (born 1813).

On completion of his apprenticeship, William moved to Birmingham to work for Richard Tutin a builder and surveyor. He became a member of the Tutin family by marrying Martha, a member of the Tutin family. During this time he revised his title to architect, however, a depression in the city forced the closure of the firm and he moved to Leamington.

Thomas began his own practice at Leamington Spa in 1831 where he designed many buildings, but in 1837 went bankrupt. In 1843, during a depression in the British building industry, he emigrated to Canada with his wife and 10 children to Toronto, where his career flourished. He designed some of the finest Decorated Gothic Revival architecture in Ontario.

He was also Toronto's city engineer when John George Howard made a trip to England in 1853.[1] He died in Toronto, aged about sixty. Two of his sons, William Tutin Thomas and Cyrus Pole Thomas, also became architects.

Thomas is sometimes inaccurately credited with the architectural design and the elaborate stone carvings on Victoria Hall in Cobourg, Ontario. In fact, Kivas Tully designed the building and the fine sandstone carvings are the work of master stonecarver Charles Thomas Thomas (1820–1867).


Project Location Dates Notes Source Image
Lansdowne Circus Royal Leamington Spa, England 1832-1835 Horseshoe-shaped project of eight pairs of Georgian semi-detached houses and two end-villas in English spa town. [1][2] Lansdowne Circus, Royal Leamington Spa - geograph.org.uk - 29415.jpg
St. Paul's Cathedral London, Ontario, Canada 1844-1846 Anglican cathedral in the Gothic Revival style. [3] London-OntarioChurch2.jpg
St. Michael's Cathedral Episcopal Palace Toronto 1845 Gothic and Tudor Revival episcopal residence, cathedral rectory, and chancery office. [1] St. Michael's Cathedral Episcopal Palace.jpg
6 Dublin Street South Guelph, Ontario 1847 Limestone commercial building in the Georgian style. Home to the Guelph Civic Museum between 1980 and 2011. [4] Guelph civic museum 6 dublin.jpg
St. Michael's Cathedral Toronto 1845-1848 Designed in the English Gothic Revival style, it was Toronto's largest church upon completion. [1] St-michaels-toronto.jpg
Toronto House of Industry 110 Edward Street, Toronto 1848 Tudor-Gothic workhouse now used as the Laughlen Lodge seniors residence. [1] Toronto House of Industry.JPG
Oakham House 322 Church Street, Ryerson University, Toronto 1848 Thomas' Gothic Revival residence and office. Later additions replaced the office wing. [1] Oakham House.JPG
Niagara District Court House and Town Hall Niagara, Ontario 1846-1848 Neoclassical building used to house courts, the town hall, and a market in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Now used as a theatre. [1] Court House N-O-T-L.jpg
Kent County Courthouse and Jail 81 Stanley Avenue, Chatham, Ontario 1848-1850 The Neoclassical limestone building was completed in 1850, and features a balustraded balcony, a prominent pediment, and a crowning cupola. [5]
St. Lawrence Hall Toronto 1850-1851 Designed in the Renaissance Revival style, it was Toronto's first public meeting hall. [6] St Lawrence Hall123.jpg
Brock's Monument Queenston Heights, Queenston, Ontario 1853-1856 Monument with 56-metre (185 ft) column dedicated to Major General Sir Isaac Brock, one of Canada's heroes of the War of 1812. [7] Brock's Monument, Queenston, Ontario
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church Hamilton, Ontario 1854-1857 Originally St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church. Gothic Revival in style. [1] St Pauls Presbyterian Church Hamilton Ontario 2009.jpg
Old City Hall Guelph, Ontario 1856-1857 Renaissance Revival town hall and market. [1] Guelph City Hall cropped.jpg
New Quebec Customs House Quebec City, Quebec 1856-1860 Neoclassical customs house. [8] New Quebec Custome House.jpg
St. Matthew's United Church Halifax, Nova Scotia 1857-1860 Originally St. Matthew's Presbyterian Church. Gothic Revival in style. [1] St Matthews, Halifax.JPG
Halifax Old County Court House Halifax, Nova Scotia 1858-1862 Renaissance Revival courthouse. [1] Halifax Old County Court House
Don Jail Toronto 1859-1864 Italianate jail. [1] Historic Don Jail.jpg
Lansdowne Crescent Royal Leamington Spa, England 1835–1838, 1866 Curving terrace of Neoclassical rowhouses. [2] SP3266 Lansdowne Crescent, Leamington Spa.jpg
Duncan McIntyre House (Craguie) Montreal 1880s Romanesque Scottish Baronial residence of Duncan McIntyre. [9] Duncan McIntyre House (Craguie).jpg
Ballinahinch Hamilton, Ontario 1848-50 Mid-Victorian mansion commissioned by merchant Æneas Kennedy. [10] Ballinahinch pos 1909s BK - Copy.jpg

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Neil, Einarson (2000). "Thomas, William". Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online. VIII. Retrieved 2012-02-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ a b "Thomas, William". Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950. Retrieved 2012-02-07. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Archdiocese of Toronto Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "DESIGNATED PROPERTIES: Properties protected under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act in The City of Guelph" (PDF). City of Guelph. 2004-12-17. Retrieved 2012-02-06. One of the largest and earliest limestone commercial buildings in Guelph. Built by William and Thomas Day circa 1860. Fine ashlar facade. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ Historical Plaques of Chatham-Kent
  6. ^ "Toronto National Historic Sites Urban Walks". Parks Canada. Retrieved 2012-02-06. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "The Saga of Brock's Monument". Archives of Ontario. Retrieved 2012-02-06. William Thomas of Toronto was the successful architect and received a prize of £25, in addition to the fees for the design and construction of the project. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ "New Québec Custom House National Historic Site of Canada". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved 2012-02-07. One of many public buildings designed by prominent Toronto architect William Thomas during the mid 19th century, it features his signature decorative touches: heavily vermiculated stonework, and sculptured, anthropomorphic keystones. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "Duncan McIntyre House "Craguie"". Virtual McGill. McGill University. Retrieved 22 August 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ "Ballinahinch". toronto.com. 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2021-04-02.

External links[edit]