Halton, Harry Russell

HALTON, Harry Russell (1865-c. 1931) was active in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. (in 1901-02), at the Lakehead in Fort William (1905-08), and later in Port Arthur (1909-12). Born in the Parish of St. George in the Borough of Islington, London, England on 24 May 1865, he was the son of Walter V. & Mary Halton, and he emigrated to Canada in 1891. No information has been found on his education or training in England or in Canada, but by 1901 he had opened an office under his own name in Sault St. Marie. He designed a variety of commercial, ecclesiastical and residential works there as well as in Sudbury and Blind River, but is best known for his Romanesque Revival design of three civic buildings located beside one another, including the City Hall, The Public Library, and the Fire Hall, Sault Ste. Marie, 1902-03. All three buildings were gutted by fire in March 1907, but were rebuilt within the shell of the original buildings designed by Halton. He moved to Fort William in 1905 and opened an office there, but in 1908 Halton had relocated his office to nearby Port Arthur while maintaining his residential address in Fort William.

In April 1909 he was one of five architects who submitted a design in the competition for the proposed Publicity Pagoda on the waterfront in Port Arthur. The winning design by Halton was based on an octagonal plan and crowned with a curved, umbrella-shaped roof surmounted by an open belevedere from which visitors could view the harbour. The term “pagoda” is a misnomer, and Halton’s design does not resemble a Chinese or Japanese structure. Instead, the form and shape of the building draws more on the picturesque English Regency garden pavilion as a centrepiece in an open park space. Strategically positioned between the steamship docks. the CPR Railway Station, and the Prince Arthur Hotel (designed by Warren & Wetmore of New York City), this highly visible public visitor centre by Halton still stands today after more than a century, and it was designated as a National Historic Site by the Government of Canada in 1986.

No information has been found on the activity of Halton as an architect in Thunder Bay after 1911, but his name continues to appear in City Directories there until 1930, at which time he may have returned to England. He may be the same Harry R. Halton whose death is recorded in the Borough of Islington, London in late 1931.


WINDSOR HOTEL, Queen Street at Brock Street, addition, 1901 (C.R., xii, 22 May 1901, 4)
QUEEN STREET, at Leo Avenue, residence for Joseph Morin, 1901 (C.R., xii, 29 May 1901, 3)
ST. IGNATIUS ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH, Cathcart Street at Huron Street, major addition, and extensive alterations to existing church, 1901 (Sault Star, 21 Nov. 1901, 1. detailed descrip.)
QUEEN STREET, at Spring Street, commercial block and Masonic Hall for Benjamin W. Harris, 1902 (Sault Star, 20 Feb. 1902, 8)
ALBERT STREET, row of five houses for John Dillon, 1902 (Sault Star, 20 Feb. 1902, 8)
TANCRED STREET, at Wellington Street, residence for Francis L. McNab, 1902 (Sault Star, 10 April 1902, 1, t.c.)
QUEEN STREET, south side, west of March Street, a two storey commercial block for George Woolrich, with two retail stores, 1902 (Sault Star, 8 May 1902, 1)
TAILLEFER BLOCK, Queen Street, adjacent to the Hussey Block, 1902 (Sault Star, 15 May 1902, 1)
LEO AVENUE, residence for K.H. Kehoe, or John J. Kehoe, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 9 July 1902, 8)
HUSSEY BLOCK, Queen Street near Bruce Street, 1902 (Sault Star, 3 April 1902, 1; and 25 Sept. 1902, 1, illus. & descrip.)
WOODWARD AVENUE, alterations and improvements to residence for George N. Bartlett, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 6 Aug. 1902, 2)
CITY HALL, LIBRARY & FIRE HALL, Queen Street, 1902-03; burned March 1907; rebuilt 1909; demol. 1966 (Sault Star, 14 Aug. 1902, 1, illus. & descrip.; 26 Nov. 1903, 1, illus. & descrip.)
OPERA HOUSE, also called the Canadian Theatre, Bay Street at Brock Street, for Mr. Seach, 1902 (Sault Star, 18 Sept. 1902, 1, descrip.)
ROMAN CATHOLIC SEPARATE SCHOOL, major additions, 1903 (Sault Star, 7 May 1903, 4, t.c.)
CULLIS BLOCK, Queen Street, additions and alterations, 1903 (Sault Star, 7 May 1903, 4, t.c.)


OGDEN HOTEL, Simpson Street at Ogden Street, 1905 (Daily Times-Journal [Fort William], 18 July 1905, 1, descrip.)
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH, Archibald Street South at Donald Street, 1905-06 (C.R., xvi, 16 Aug. 1905, 2, t.c.; Daily Times-Journal [Fort William], 31 March 1906, 5)
HIGH SCHOOL, Isabella Street at Marks Street, 1906 (Daily Times-Journal [Fort William], 31 March 1906, 5)
MILES STREET, at Archibald Street, apartment block for S. Frank Flatt, 1906 (Daily Times Journal [Fort William], 31 March 1906, 5)
SIMPSON STREET, hotel for Downing & Lewis of Winnipeg,, beside the Hudson's Bay Co. Store, 1906 (Daily-Times Journal [Fort William], 31 March 1906, 5)
FORT WILLIAM HARDWARE CO., Simpson Street at Victoria Street, commercial block, 1906 (C.R., xvii, 11 July 1906, 4)
ST. JOSEPH'S BOARDING SCHOOL, Franklin Street, 1908 (C.R., xix, 1 April 1908, 19, t.c.)


LYCEUM THEATRE, Cumberland Street North, 1909 (Daily News [Port Arthur], 19 Oct. 1909, 1, descrip.)
RUTTAN BUILDING, Court Street at Red River Road, 1909 (inf. from Port Arthur Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee)
HEBERT STREET, at Peter Street, residence for Robert A. Ruttan, 1909 (Daily News [Port Arthur], 30 April 1909, 6)
PUBLICITY PAGODA, Water Street, 1909-10 (Daily News [Port Arthur], 20 May 1909, 2; 28 Feb. 1910, 1, illus. & descrip.; Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Bulletin, ix, Oct. 1984, 3-6, illus. & descrip.)
ARTHUR STREET, residence for W.F. Fortune, 1911 (C.R., xxv, 9 Aug. 1911, 62)


SUDBURY, ONT., hotel for J.H. Morin, probably the Hotel White House, Elm Street, 1901 (C.R., xii, 31 July 1901, 4)
BLIND RIVER, ONT., public school, 1901-02 (Sault Star, 16 Jan. 1902, 5)
BLIND RIVER, ONT., commercial block for Matthew Scott, 1902 (Sault Star, 20 Feb. 1902, 8, descrip.)
SUDBURY, ONT., residence for Lawrence O'Connor, Front Street at O'Connor Street, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 16 April 1902, 2)
COCKBURN ISLAND, near Manitoulin Island, Roman Catholic Church, 1902 (Sault Star, 17 July 1902, 1)
SUDBURY, ONT., McCormick Block, Elm Street at Elgin Street, 1902 (C.R., xiii, 26 Nov. 1902, 2)