Orr, Roland Guerney

ORR, Roland Guerney (1888-1937) was born in Ottawa on 23 April 1888, son of William A. Orr, Chief Clerk of the Land & Timber Branch of the Dept. of Indian Affairs for the federal government. He was educated at Ottawa Collegiate and Ashbury College, a private school in Ottawa, between 1900 and 1905 and obtained a position as draftsman in the Department of Indian Affairs on 18 May 1907. He does not appear to have received any formal architectural education but instead gained much of his knowledge and training under Robert M. Ogilvie, the Chief Architect in the department, from 1907 until 1919. As early as 1913 Orr was given opportunities by the Department to design residences, schools and other structures required for sites on many Indian reservations across Canada. Upon the death of Ogilvie in 1921 Orr became his successor and remained in this position until 1936. His best work from this period includes the distinctive Collegiate Gothic designs for the Kamloops Residential School (1923), St. Paul's Residential School, Cardston, Alta. (1924), and the Shingwauk Residential School, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (1934-35). He was a competent designer and a skilled draftsman who favoured a formal symmetry in his work, always giving careful attention to the proportion, detail and silhouette of the major school buildings which the Department was anxious to build across Canada.

During this period of 1921 to 1936, Orr also appears to have been working independently on non-government commissions, and in 1926 he was credited with the modern Gothic design for St. Matthew's Anglican Church, First Avenue near Bank Street, Ottawa (Ottawa Evening Citizen, 12 Jan. 1926, 5). Orr died unexpectedly at Otty Lake, Ont. on 10 July 1937 (obituaries in the Ottawa Citizen, 10 July 1937, 1; Ottawa Journal, 10 July 1937, 8; and 12 July 1937, 5; inf. Ontario Assoc. of Architects; inf. Dana Johnson, Ottawa)


(The Technical Services Div. of the Canadian Government Dept. of Indian & Northern Affairs in Hull, Que. holds an extensive collection of drawings prepared by R. G. Orr during his tenure as draftsman and as staff architect of the department between 1913 and 1936. These sets of drawings are referred to below as INAC File Numbers)

PEGUIS RESERVE, MAN., agent's residence, 1913 (dwgs. INAC File No. 273)
BATTLEFORD, SASK., farm house and stable, 1913; agent's residence, 1913 (dwgs. INAC File No. 274, 275, 277)
SIX NATIONS RESERVE, ONT., [near Brantford], agent's residence, 1913; nurse's residence, 1913; hospital, 1927, nurse's residence, 1930 (dwgs. INAC File No. 278, 279, 280, 290; 582)
SARNIA, ONT., council house, 1913 (dwgs. INAC File No. 286A)
EEL RIVER, N.B., school, 1913 (dwgs. INAC File No. 294)
ALEXANDER, ALTA., farm house, 1913; agent's house, 1914 (dwgs. INAC File No. 287)
SKWAH RESERVE, B.C., teacherage at the Chilliwack School, 1914 (dwgs. INAC File No. 303)
THUNDERBIRD RESERVE, SASK., day school and teacherage, 1915 (dwgs. INAC File No. 346)
FISHER RIVER, MAN., office building, 1915 (dwgs. INAC File No. 370)
GARDEN RIVER, ONT., warehouse, 1916 (dwgs. INAC File No. 381)
RED BANK, N.B., day school, 1916 (dwgs. INAC File No. 382)
MOOSE POINT, ONT., Kanonsujo day school, 1917 (dwgs. INAC File No. 78)
MICHAEL RESERVE, SASK., house for Louis Callihoo, 1917 (dwgs. INAC File No. 400)
NORWAY HOUSE, MAN., mission residence, 1918 (dwgs. INAC File No. 403)
CHRISTIAN ISLAND, ONT., council house, 1918 (dwgs. INAC File No. 404)
ST. REGIS, QUE., day school, 1918 (dwgs. INAC File No. 412)
FORT SMITH, N.W.T., agent's residence, 1918 (dwgs. INAC File No. 460)
CHAPLEAU, ONT., boarding school, 1919 (dwgs. INAC File No. 428; Magdalena Milosz, "Instruments as Evidence", in Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, xli, No. 2, Autumn 2016, 4, illus.)
STUART LAKE, B.C., boarding school at Sea-as-Bunkut Reserve, 1919 (dwgs. INAC File No. 453)
LAC LA RONGE, SASK., boarding school, 1920 (dwgs. INAC File No. 337)
NANAIMO, B.C., day school, 1920 (dwgs. INAC File No. 457)
SECHELT, B.C., boarding school, 1920; residence, 1923 (dwgs. INAC File No. 458, 490)
GORDON, SASK., boarding school, 1921 (dwgs. INAC File No. 459)
SARDIS, B.C., main building for the Coqualeetza Institute, 1921-23 (Chilliwack Progress, 2 Aug. 1923, 1 & 6; 15 Nov. 1923, 8; dwgs. INAC File No. 463)
PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, MAN., principal's residence, 1922 (dwgs. INAC File No. 472)
GLEICHEN, ALTA., hospital on the Blackfoot Reserve, 1922; livestock barns, 1923; Old Sun's residential school, 1929; clerk's house, 1931; RCMP residence, 1933 (dwgs. INAC File No. 493, 499, 605, 644, 656, 658)
ST. ALBERT, ALTA., (near Edmonton), Industrial School, overlooking the Sturgeon River, 1923; agency building and barn, 1936 (Edmonton Bulletin, 5 May 1923, 2, descrip., but lacking attribution to the architect; dwgs. INAC File No. 485, 704, 705)
BERRSIMIS, QUE., day school and teacherage, 1923 (dwgs. INAC File No. 498)
NORWAY HOUSE, MAN., hospital at the residential school, 1923; doctor's residence, 1923; hospital, 1924; agent's house, 1936 (dwgs. INAC File No. 502, 504, 531, 699)
BLOOD RESERVE, ALTA., clerk's house, office building, agent's residence, labourer's and interpreter's residence, 1923; St. Paul's Residential School, 1924; hospital, 1928 (dwgs. INAC File No. 508, 509, 510, 511, 519, 599)
KAMLOOPS, B.C., residential school, 1923; girl's building, 1924; boy's building, 1928 (dwgs. INAC File No. 500)
MASSET, B.C., day school, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 528)
FILE HILLS, SASK., principal's residence, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 530)
OKA, QUE., day school and teacherage, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 532)
TOBIQUE, N.B., teacherage and church, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 503, 535)
ONEIDA, ONT., day school, 1924; teacherage, 1925 (dwgs. INAC File No. 533, 554)
DUCK LAKE, SASK., residential school, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 534)
MacINTOSH, ONT., residential school, 1924; dormitory, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 538)
ONION LAKE, SASK., residential school, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 539)
MISSION BAY, ONT., day school, 1924 (dwgs. INAC File No. 542)
STURGEON LANDING, SASK., residential school, 1925 (dwgs. INAC File No. 553A)
STONY RESERVE, ALTA., Morley residential school, 1925 (dwgs. INAC File No. 564)
SIOUX LOOKOUT, ONT., residential school, 1925 (dwgs. INAC File No. 555, 565)
RESTIGOUCHE, QUE., agent's house, doctor's house, 1925 (dwgs. INAC File No. 566)
KEESEKOOSE, SASK., residential school, 1926 (dwgs. INAC File No. 589)
LYTTON, B.C., residential school, 1927; agent's house, 1931 (dwgs. INAC File No. 577, 648)
NANAIMO, B.C., a church, 1927 (dwgs. INAC File No. 580)
OHSWEKEN, ONT. [near Brantford], Lady Willingdon Hospital, 1927-28 (Brantford Expositor, 30 May 1927, 6; and 8 Sept. 1927, 6; and 10 Jan. 1928, 6)
SHUBENACADIE, N.S., residential school, 1928 (dwgs. INAC File No. 594)
PUNNICHY, SASK., Gordon's residential school, 1929 (dwgs. INAC File No. 613)
BRANDON, MAN., residential school, 1929 (dwgs. INAC File No. 598)
LESTOCK, SASK., residential school on the Muscowegan Reserve, 1930 (dwgs. INAC File No. 615)
BIRTLE, MAN., residential school, 1930 (dwgs. INAC File No. 616)
WIKWEMIKONG, ONT., day school and teacherage, 1930 (dwgs. INAC File No. 625)
DEVON, N.B., agent's house, 1931; workshop, 1932 (dwgs. INAC File No. 640, 641, 642)
GEORGINA ISLAND, ONT., council house, 1931 (dwgs. INAC File No. 643)
LEBRET, SASK., residential school, 1933; pavilion, 1935 (dwgs. INAC File No. 664, 687)
SARNIA, ONT., St. Clair United Church, on the Sarnia Chippewa Reserve, 1932 (dwgs. INAC File No. 651)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT., Shingwauk residential school, Queen Street, 1932; built 1934-35; now Algoma College (dwgs. INAC File No. 636, 663; Sault Star, 4 Oct. 1935, descrip.; Magdalena Milosz, "Instruments as Evidence", in Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada, xli, No. 2, Autumn 2016, 7, illus.) )
FORT QU'APPELLE, SASK., hospital, 1935 (dwgs. INAC File No. 674)
SADDLE LAKE, ALTA., agent's office, 1936 (dwgs. INAC File No. 698)
LEASK, SASK., agent's house, 1936 (dwgs. INAC File No. 700)
MERRITT, B.C., agent's office, 1936 (dwgs. INAC File No. 706)
MUSKOWEKAN RESERVE, SASK., labourer's house, 1936 (dwgs. INAC File No. 708)