Meredith, Colborne Powell

MEREDITH, Colborne Powell (1874-1967), active in Ottawa, Ont. either under his own name, or in partnership in the following architectural firms:

Band, Burritt & Meredith (Ottawa and Sydney, N.S.) 1898-1904 (with Charles P. Band and Clarence Burritt)
The Architectural & Engineering Co. of Canada (Ottawa, Toronto & Winnipeg) 1905-06
C.P. Meredith (Ottawa and Pembroke) 1907-1912
Meredith, Findlay & Hazelgrove (Ottawa, Pembroke & Sault Ste. Marie) 1912-1916 (with Claude A. Findlay and A.J. Hazelgrove)
Meredith & Belfry, Ottawa, 1921 (with Franklin E. Belfry)
C.P. Meredith (Ottawa) 1919-1923

Born in St. Andrew’s, New Brunswick on 15 September 1874, he lived in Ottawa until 1879 when his family moved to Toronto. There, he studied architecture at the School of Practical Science at the Univ. of Toronto, and then served an apprenticeship under Frank Darling, the leading architect in the city, from 1892 to 1895, and assisted in his office as a draftsman until 1898. He then returned to Ottawa later that same year and opened a new office in partnership with Charles P. Band and Clarence Burritt (see list of works under Band, Burritt & Meredith).

Meredith was one of the first architects in Canada to exploit the idea of a “franchise” of their collective talent in their Ottawa office, opening branches in Sydney, N.S. (supervised by Charles P. Band), in Toronto, in Winnipeg, and in Pembroke (with Meredith running the local office there). They also operated an office in Sault Ste. Marie (supervised by Claude A. Findlay). His best known work was the Carling Block (also called Murphy-Gamble Department Store), Sparks Street, Ottawa (1909-10), one of the first multi-storey reinforced concrete structures built in eastern Ontario employing a remarkably open Chicago-style glazed curtain wall façade on both the Sparks Street side and the Queen Street side of the block.

Meredith took a particular interest in the City Beautiful movement, and was appointed to the Ottawa Improvement Commission in 1910 (Montreal Daily Star, 9 Aug. 1910, 7; W. Eggleston, The Queen’s Choice, 1961, 165). He also wrote two lengthy essays on the subject of city planning which were published in 1911 and 1912 (Construction [Toronto], v, Dec. 1911, 77-81; March 1912, 74-5). He was elected as President of the Ontario Assoc. of Architects in 1912. In 1922 Meredith was one of a group of 60 architects and artists who submitted a design in a national competition to design a cairn and marker for a monument to be built at nearly 300 national historic sites across Canada. He received First Prize of $250 for his proposal. A full description of his winning design appeared in Construction [Toronto], xv, Dec. 1922, 393, and in the Contract Record [Toronto], xxxvi, 13 Dec.. 1922, 1195, but it is unclear if any these markers were built.

No references to his architectural activity have been found after 1923, and he retired from the profession shortly after. He later came out of retirement to work with the Munitions Inspection Board, and with the Air Raid Precautions Service during WWII. Much of his spare time was spent photographing early houses, churches and mills in eastern Ontario built in the pioneer style. This collection of photographs is now housed at the National Archives of Canada, Ottawa. Meredith died in Ottawa on 29 January 1967 at the age of 92 years (obit. Ottawa Citizen, 31 Jan. 1967, 31; Ottawa Journal, 31 Jan. 1967, 8; Globe & Mail [Toronto], 31 Jan. 1967, 2, with port.; biog. H. Morgan, Canadian Men and Women of the Time, 1912, 796; biog. Who’s Who and Why in Canada, 1915-16, 698, with port.; inf. Ontario Association of Architects). An early photographic portrait of Meredith can be found in John A. Cooper, Men of Canada, 1901-02, 151.


(works in Ottawa unless noted)

ROCKCLIFFE PARK, residence for Miss Annie McLeod-Clark, Lisgar Road, 1908 (Const., ii, June 1909, 90-1, 94, illus. & descrip.)
WURTEMBURG STREET, residence for F.C. Trench O'Hara, 1908 (Const., ii, June 1909, 90-1, 93-4, illus. & descrip.)
WILBROD STREET, at Augusta Street, residence for John S. Ewart, 1908 (Const., ii, June 1909, 89, 93, illus. & descrip.; iv, Nov. 1911, 53, 66, illus. & descrip.)
BELLEVILLE, ONT., St. Michael's Roman Catholic Separate School, Church Street, 1908 (Catholic Register [Toronto], 21 May 1908, 8, descrip.; Const., ii, Jan. 1909, 62-4, illus. & descrip.)
ARMSTRONG STREET, Roman Catholic school, 1909 (Ottawa Journal, 13 May 1909, 6) O'MEARA AVENUE, Roman Catholic school, 1909 (Ottawa Citizen, 2 Oct. 1909, 13, list of works in advert.; inf. Robert Hamilton, of Hamilton, Ont.)
LINDSAY, ONT.,major addition and alterations to Roman Catholic school, Lindsay Street, 1909; demol. c. 1950 (Lindsay Post, 3 Dec. 1909, 15, descrip.)
PEMBROKE, ONT., rectory for Holy Trinity Anglican Church, 1909 (Const., iii, July 1910, 75, 77-8, illus. & descrip.)
PEMBROKE, ONT., Munro Block, Pembroke Street West near Albert Street, c. 1910 (NAC, MG30, B 86, Vol. 16, item 8, Catalogue of the Fenestra Steel Sash Co., 44, list of works)
PEMBROKE, ONT., Dunlop & Co. Warehouse, Pembroke Street West near Moffat Street, c. 1910 (NAC, MG30, B 86, Vol. 16, item 8, Catalogue of the Fenestra Steel Sash Co., 44, list of works)
LAURIER AVENUE WEST, near Elgin Street, residence for Dr. John Robertson, 1909-10 (C.R., xxiii, 15 Dec. 1909, 22)
THE DRIVEWAY, at Delaware Avenue, residence for Joseph A. Thibodeau, 1909-10 (C.R., xxiii, 15 Dec. 1909, 21)
FOTHERINGHAM & POPHAM CO., Queen Street, warehouse, 1909-10 (C.R., xxiii, 15 Dec. 1909, 22)
CARLING BUILDING, for the Murphy-Gamble Department Store, Sparks Street, 1909-10 (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 26 Feb. 1910, 2, illus. & descrip.; Const., iv, Sept. 1911, 74, illus. & descrip.)
CLEMOW AVENUE, residence for George A. Crain, 1910 (Const., iii, July 1910, 73, 75, 77-8, illus. & descrip.)
BLACKBURN & BRYSON, Bank Street at Sparks Street, conversion of the old Crown Hotel into four stores on Sparks Street, and a row of eight stores on the Bank Street side, 1910 (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 13 June 1910, 9, descrip.; C.R., xxiv, 10 Aug. 1910, 26)
SALISBURY AVENUE, residence for Hon. Sidney Fisher, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 21 Sept. 1910, 26, t.c.)
GOULBURN AVENUE, residence for Justice Lyman P. Duff, 1910-11 (Const., iv, Nov. 1911, 66, 70-1, illus. & descrip.)
QUEEN STREET, warehouse for the Dominion Analyst, 1910 (C.R., xxiv, 20 July 1910, 25)
RENFREW, ONT., Roman Catholic Separate School, and addition to Roman Catholic Convent, 1911(C.R., xxv, 8 Feb. 1911, 28; Ottawa Journal, 21 March 1911, 2; Renfrew Mercury, 12 May 1911, 1, descrip.)
MOREWOOD, ONT., Continuation School, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 8 Feb. 1911, 28)
HUGH M. CARSON CO., Sparks Street near Lyon Street, addition, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 15 March 1911, 55)
CARLING AVENUE, residence for Ernest M. Barrett, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 5 July 1911, 60, 66, t.c.)
MARLBOROUGH AVENUE, residence for T. D'Arcy McGee, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 18 Oct. 1911, 57)
RANGE ROAD, residence for the architect, 1911 (Const., iv, Nov. 1911, 66, 70-1, illus. & descrip.)
QUEBEC CITY, QUE., residence for Georges A. Parent, Grand Allee, 1912 (specification in Chenevert Coll., Laval University, Q.C.)
PLYMOUTH BRETHREN CHURCH, McLaren Street near Bank Street, 1912 (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 29 April 1912, 12)
ST. PATRICK'S PARISH HALL, for the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp., 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 7 Aug. 1912, 59-60, illus. & descrip.; Ottawa Journal, 20 Nov. 1913, 7, descrip.)
MARLBOROUGH AVENUE, residence for Thomas A. Beament, 1912 (C.R., xxvi, 3 April 1912, 66, t.c.)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT., Tara Hall Apartments, Pim Street, a three storey apartment block with 28 units, 1912 (Sault Star, 15 July 1912, 3, illus. & detailed descrip.)
SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT., Cochrane Hardware Ltd., commercial block, 1912 (Sault Star, 15 July 1912, 6, t.c.)
AVONMORE, ONT., a Rural Continuation School, 1912-13 (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 1 Nov. 1912, 14, t.c.)
LAURIER AVENUE EAST, residence for Dr. Frederick W.C. Mohr, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 23 April 1913, 72)
YORK STREET, warehouse for S.J. Major & Co., 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 9 July 1913, 70)
CARLING BUILDING, Bank Street, between Queen Street and Sparks Street, a 7 storey office tower for F.W. Carling, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 14 May 1913, 74, t.c.; Ottawa Journal, 25 April 1913, 1, illus.; 20 Sept. 1913, 17, illus.)
ALBERT STREET, business block for Mrs. Cowie, 1913 (C.R., xxvii, 6 Aug. 1913, 67)
UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA, Laurier Avenue at Cumberland Street, additions, 1914 (C.R., xxvii, 31 Dec. 1913, 70)
OTTAWA CANOE CLUB, a clubhouse on the Ottawa River at Rockcliffe, 1914 (Evening Citizen [Ottawa], 16 April 1914, 1 & 2, Illus. & descrip.; C.R., xxviii, 23 Sept. 1914, 62; Andrew Waldron, Exploring the Capital: An Architectural Guide to the Ottawa-Gatineau Region, 2017, 132, illus. & descrip.)
(with Richards & Abra) NORLITE BUILDING, Wellington Street, c. 1916 (Const., xi, May 1918, 142-4, illus. & descrip.)
RANGE ROAD, residence for the architect, c. 1920 (Const., xiv, March 1921, 88-9, illus. & descrip.; Oct. 1921, 309, illus.)


LAMBTON AVENUE, residence for Charles B. Topp, c. 1921 (dwgs. at Ottawa City Archives, RG1)
LAMBTON AVENUE, residence for A. Gladstone Ghent, c. 1921 (dwgs. at Ottawa City Archives, RG1)
RIDEAU TERRACE, residence for William D. Headley, c. 1921 (dwgs. at Ottawa City Archives, RG1)
ROCKCLIFFE WAY, residence for Joseph Stotesbury, c. 1921 (dwgs. at Ottawa City Archives, RG1)
ROCKCLIFFE WAY, residence for Archibald N. Fraser, c. 1921 (dwgs. at Ottawa City Archives, RG1)
HISTORIC SITES OF CANADA, a monument or cairn to mark several designated sites across Canada, 1922 (Ottawa Journal, 1 Dec. 1922, 17, descrip.; The Globe (Toronto), 1 Dec. 1922, 2, descrip.; Detroit Free Press, 8 Dec. 1922, 7, descrip.). Meredith was declared the First Prize winner of $250. in this national competition sponsored by the federal Dept. of the Interior in Ottawa. Between 55 and 60 designs were sent in by architects and artists from across Canada.


(with H. Gordon Hughes) ROCKCLIFFE PARK, large residence for H.J. McNulty, Manor Road at Hillcrest Avenue, 1934 (Ottawa Journal, 23 April 1934, 3, descrip.)
(with H.Gordon Hughes) RICHMOND ROAD, major addition and alterations to residence for Lloyd B. Rochester, 1936 (Ottawa Journal, 15 April 1936, 14)


HULL, QUE., Ottawa Golf Club, Aylmer Road, 1909. Meredith was one of 8 architects from Canada and the United States who submitted plans for the new Club House (Evening Journal [Ottawa], 11 Dec. 1909, 1). He tied in Second Place with another Ottawa architect Alan Keefer. The winner was Edgar Horwood & L. Fennings Taylor.
SAULT STE MARIE, ONT., major addition to King Edward Pubilc School, 1912. The firm of C.P. Meredith was one of 4 local offices that submitted designs for this commission (Sault Star, 18 April 1912, 6). The competition was won by Demar & Murdoch.
SAULT STE. MARIE, ONT., a new ten room school, on the site of the existing Central School, 1912 (Sault Star, 23 May 1912, 2). Meredith was one of five local firms who submitted designs for this project, but it is unclear who the winner was.