Billings, Bradish Jr.

BILLINGS, Bradish, Jr. (1847-1891) was the son of Bradish Billings Sr. (1783-1864), one of the original settlers in the Ottawa region who arrived in 1812 and for whom the community of Billings Bridge was named. His son Bradish Jr. was born there in 1847 and was a pupil of Henry A. Sims from August 1863 to October 1866. Billings was an ambitious designer and entered his first architectural competition in 1868. He later opened his own office in Ottawa in 1870 after returning from Philadelphia where he had briefly worked as an assistant to his former mentor H.A. Sims (Times [Ottawa], 18 Aug. 1871, 4, advert.). In early 1872 he joined the civil service and in 1883 was promoted to a clerkship with the Interior Department. His career with the federal government was supplemented by freelance architectural work for a number of clients in the Ottawa area. In 1878 he moved to Saint John, N.B. to capitalise on the rebuilding of the city after the Great Fire of June 1877, and was in partnership with H.A. Gray. By 1879 he had returned to Ottawa and devoted much of his later career to military service. He served with distinction in the North West Rebellion of 1885 and was promoted to Major in 1892. Billings died in Ottawa on 16 September 1893 (obit. Evening Journal [Ottawa], 18 Sept. 1893, 1; Free Press [Ottawa], 18 Sept. 1893, 7).

OTTAWA, ONT., residence for Dr. J.A. Grant, Elgin Street at Gloucester Street, 1875 (Ottawa Citizen, 6 Dec. 1875, 4, descrip.)
OTTAWA, ONT., residence for Col. J.S. Dennis, Metcalfe Street at Cooper Street, 1875 (Ottawa Citizen, 6 Dec. 1875, 4)
RIDEAUVILLE, ONT., residence for J.R. Stitt, 'on the Bank Street Road', 1876 (Free Press [Ottawa], 22 Nov. 1876, 4)
BILLINGS BRIDGE, ONT., Trinity Anglican Church, 1879 (Free Press [Ottawa], 26 Aug. 1879, 4, descrip.)
FALLOWFIELD, ONT., Anglican Church, 1887 (Dominion Churchman [Toronto], 30 June 1887, 407; 1 Dec. 1887, 727)
OTTAWA, ONT., rectory for Trinity Anglican Church, Bank Street at Cameron Avenue, 1889 (N. Frerichs, History of Trinity Church Ottawa 1876-1956, 3)


OTTAWA, ONT., Western Central School, Hugh Street, 1868. Billings was one of nine competitors for this project (Ottawa Citizen, 13 March 1868, 3). His entry was passed over in favour of the design by William Hodgson.
OTTAWA, ONT., St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Wellington Street, 1872. The scheme by Billings was set aside by the jury and the commission awarded to William T. Thomas of Montreal.
OTTAWA, ONT., High School, 1872. Five architects from the United States and Canada submitted drawings for this project (Free Press [Ottawa], 15 June 1872, 3). Both Billings and his brother W. Ross Billings submitted separate entries, but neither were premiated. The project remained dormant for two years and the commission was then awarded to another architect.