Craig, James Henry

CRAIG, James Henry (1888-1954), active in Toronto, Ont. where he was in partnership with H. Harrison Madill. Their successful architectural practise was active for nearly 40 years, and they produced innovative designs for educational, institutional, commercial and residential buildings in southern Ontario. Born in Owen Sound, Ont. on 24 October 1888, Craig was educated at Parkdale Collegiate in Toronto, and later attended classes at the School of Practical Science at the University of Toronto where he graduated in 1912. It was during this period that Craig received training in the office of John M. Lyle, and with J. Wilson Gray, both prominent architects in Toronto. One of his classmates in the Department of Architecture there was H. Harrison Madill, and together they opened an office in 1912 (Const., v, Aug. 1912, 63). Their office continued uninterrupted for the next four decades except for a hiatus of 4 years during WW1, and another 4 years during WWII, when both partners served overseas with the Canadian Army. Craig was promoted to the rank of Major while serving in Europe.

Their early residential and commercial commissions were invariably designed in a refined and genteel neo-Georgian style, but by 1930 they began to embrace the Art Deco and moderne style in their institutional works, best seen in the outstanding Deco design for the Palace Pier Dance Pavilion near Sunnyside Park in Toronto (designed 1930, but not completed until 1941), and their Deco styling of the outdoor Bandshell at the Canadian National Exhibition (1936, still standing as of 2023). Their most important commission was not for an educational building, but rather for a privately funded mausoleum erected for Thomas Foster (1852-1945), who served as Mayor of Toronto from 1925 to 1927. Located on Regional Road No. 1, just north of Uxbridge, Ont., this lavish family tomb was initially inspired by temples in India which Foster had viewed on his trips to that country in the early 1930's. He instructed his architects Craig & Madill to design a unique landmark in the Byzantine style that resembled the Church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Their fastidious design, costing an astonishing $250,000 at the time of construction in 1936-38, is perhaps the most elaborate private family tomb erected anywhere in Canada. An illustrated essay and analysis of this building was published in the Ontario Assoc. of Architects journal called Perspectives [Toronto], Summer 1994, 18-19, illus., and the structure still stands today in its original, unaltered condition.

Craig was elected as President of the Ontario Association of Architects in 1931-32, and was later nominated as a Fellow of the R.A.I.C. in Ottawa in 1938. In 1952 the office of Craig & Madill was awarded a silver Massey Medal in Architecture for their modernist design of the High School in Marmora, Ontario. Later that same year, their firm merged with Abram & Ingleson of Toronto, and they were joined by Robert J. Horwood of St. John's, Newfoundland who operated a branch office there after 1954. James H. Craig should not be confused with another Ontario architect James S. Craig (1912-1995), an architect from Peterborough and partner in the post-war firm of Craig, Zeidler & Strong. J.H. Craig died in Toronto on 4 June 1954 (obituary and port. Globe & Mail [Toronto], 5 June 1954, 8; obit. and port. Toronto Star, 5 June 1954, 8; obit. R.A.I.C. Journal, xxxi, August 1954, 287-88; biog. Who's Who in Canada, 1936-37; 246; inf. Ontario Association of Architects; inf. University of Toronto Archives). His son, James Basil Craig (1926-2011), later succeeded his father in the firm of Craig & Madill which remained active until after 1960 as Craig, Madill, Abram & Ingleson, Architects of Toronto and Ottawa.

CRAIG & MADILL (works in Toronto)

FARMER BROS. PHOTOGRAPHERS, Spadina Avenue near College Street, store, 1912 (Toronto b.p. 35980, 12 July 1912)
FAIRVIEW BOULEVARD, near Broadview Avenue, residence for Dr. H. Armstrong, 1912 (Toronto b.p. 36503, 8 Aug. 1912)
CARHARTT-HAMILTON COTTON MILLS, Queen Street East near Sumach Street, factory, 1916 (Const., ix, March 1916, 98)
ASTLEY AVENUE, residence for Charles Fell, 1916 (inf. Toronto Chapter, Architectural Conservancy of Ontario)
ST. CLAIR AVENUE WEST, at Glenholme Avenue, block of stores and apartments, 1923 (Const., xvii, April 1924, 131, illus. & descrip.)
LYTTON BOULEVARD, at Heather Street, residence for David O. Roblin, 1923 (Const., xvii, April 1924, 121, illus.)
PLAYTER BOULEVARD, residence for George P. Price, 1924 (dwgs. at Univ. of Toronto, Fisher Library, Miller Coll., 578)
GLEN GROVE AVENUE, at Yonge Street, residence for Dr. Frank S. Park, 1924 (Const., xviii, May 1925, 163-4, illus. & descrip.)
INGLEWOOD DRIVE, residence for an unidentified client, 1924 (Const., xviii, May 1925, 162-63, illus. & descrip.)
GLEBE ROAD UNITED CHURCH, Glebe Road at Tullis Drive, 1925; still standing in 2022 (Centenary Anniversary of Glebe Road United Church 1850-1950, 4)
THE ST. CLAIR APARTMENTS, St. Clair Avenue West at Avenue Road, 1925 (The Globe [Toronto], 30 Sept. 1925, 17, illus. & descrip.; Const., xix, May 1926, 156-9, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, iii, May-June 1926, xvii, illus. in advert.; inf. Stuart Rogers, Toronto)
THE 400 AVENUE ROAD APARTMENTS, Avenue Road at Edmund Avenue, 1926; still standing in 2022 (C.R., xl, 23 June 1926, 606-7, illus. & descrip.,; 17 Nov. 1926, 1101, illus.; The Globe [Toronto], 2 Oct. 1926, 9, illus. in advert.; R.A.I.C. Journal, May 1927, xvi, illus. in advert.; inf. Stuart Rogers, Toronto)
INGLEWOOD DRIVE, residence for Maxwell C. Purvis, 1928 (C.H.G., v, Aug. 1928, 27, illus.)
YORK COUNTY MUNICIPAL BUILDING, Adelaide Street East at Church Street. major alterations and remodelling, 1929; still standing in 2024 (Weston Times & Guide, 13 March 1929, 3, t.c.)
NORTH YORK, Earl Haig High School, Princess Avenue at Kenneth Avenue, 1929-30; addition 1947 (Toronto Daily Star, 21 Dec. 1928, 8, illus. & descrip.; and 26 Aug. 1930, 8, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, March 1931, 80, 94, illus.; xxiv, Oct. 1947, 366, illus.; Daily Building Reporter & Real Estate Review [Toronto], vii, 23 May 1931, 1, illus. & descrip.; inf. Robert Hamilton)
SCARBOROUGH, Agincourt High School, Church Street, 1929 (Toronto Daily Star, 6 July 1929, 22 and 17 July 1929, 11, illus. & descrip.)
PALACE PIER DANCE HALL, in Sunnyside Park, Lakeshore Boulevard West at the Humber River, begun 1930; but construction halted during the Depression; opened June 1941; burned 7 January 1963 and demol. (Telegram [Toronto], 12 March 1930, 11, illus.)
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, Varsity Stadium, Bloor Street West at Devonshire Place, 1929-30; demol. 2002 and replaced with new Stadium and Entrance Pavilion, 2005-06 (Toronto Daily Star, 8 Nov. 1929, 8, and 12, illus. & descrip.)
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, major addition and new facade for the Mill Building, for the Faculty of Applied Science, 1930 (Telegram [Toronto], 13 Sept. 1930, 10, illus.; Toronto Daily Star, 19 Sept. 1930, 33, descrip.)
STRACHAN AVENUE, at Ordnance Street, City of Toronto Police and Fire Department Garage, 1932 (C.R., xlvi, 13 April 1932, 412; R.A.I.C. Journal, x, March 1933, 55)
NORTH YORK, Willowdale United Church, Kenneth Avenue near Church Avenue, 1932; church closed 1951 and replaced with a new church on the site in 1954 (C.R., xlvi, 20 April 1932, 54, t.c.)
GLEN MANOR DRIVE EAST, near Pine Crescent, residence for W.J. McCoy, 1933; still standing in 2024 (dwgs. at City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 410, File 148)
DOMINION PUBLIC BUILDING, WEST TORONTO, Keele Street at Annette Street, 1935-36; still standing in 2022 (The Globe (Toronto), 20 Feb. 1935, 9, perspective drawing & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xiii, Nov. 1936, 207-9, illus. & descrip.; xiv, Feb. 1937, 22, 24; Tim Morawetz, Art Deco Architecture Across Canada, 2017, 52, illus. & descrip.)
CANADIAN NATIONAL EXHIBITION, Outdoor Bandshell, 1936; restored 1983; still standing in 2022 (C.R., Vol. 50, 2 Sept. 1936, 775-77, illus. & descrip.; Toronto Daily Star, 13 April 1983, illus. & descrip.; inf. Mr. H. Madill)
ST. PAUL'S PRIVATE SCHOOL FOR BOYS, Deloraine Avenue near Yonge Street, 1938 (Toronto Daily Star, 17 June 1938, 30, descrip.)
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, Drill Hall, St. George Street, south of Bloor Street West, for the Canadian Officers Training Corps, 1939; renovated and restored 1992, and now part of Woodsworth College (Globe & Mail [Toronto], 4 Aug. 1939, 5, descrip., but lacking attribution to the architect; inf. Loryssa Quattrociocchi, Heritage Preservation Services, City of Toronto)
NORTH YORK, Lansing United Church, Bogert Avenue near Yonge Street, 1949-50 (inf. United Church Archives, Toronto)

CRAIG & MADILL (works outside Toronto)

PEMBROKE, ONT., Collegiate Institute, 1925-26 (Pembroke Standard, 30 April 1925, 1, descrip.; C.R., xl, 8 Dec. 1926, 1158-59, illus. & descrip.)
NEWMARKET, ONT., York County Hospital, 1926-27 (Toronto Daily Star, 12 Oct. 1927, 20; R.A.I.C. Journal, viii, June 1931, 28, 32-3, illus. & descrip.)
WINDSOR, ONT., Windsor Court Apartments, Ouellette Avenue at Hanna Street, 1926-27 (R.A.I.C. Journal, vi, Feb. 1929, 68; and March 1929, 101, illus.; dwgs. at Windsor City Archives, RG4-18)
WINNIPEG, MAN., The Willingdon Apartments, Kennedy Street south of Broadway, a seven storey apartment block, 1927 (Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 8 March 1927, 19, descrip.)
NEWMARKET, ONT., residence for Frank Denison, 1927 (C.H.G., v, Jan. 1928, 30, illus.)
BEAVERTON, ONT., Public School, c. 1929 (Year Book of the Toronto Chapter-Ontario Association of Architects, 1933, 81, illus.)
KINGSTON, ONT., residence for Rev. John D. Ellis, Frontenac Street, 1929 (C.H.G., vii, March 1930, 32, illus.)
UXBRIDGE, ONT., Thomas Foster Memorial Temple, in Scott Township, 1935-36; still standing in 2022 (Toronto Daily Star, 26 Oct. 1936, 2, illus. & detailed architectural descrip.; Daily Commercial News [Toronto], 28 Oct. 1936, 8, illus.; R.A.I.C. Journal, xiii, Dec. 1936, 225-9, illus. & descrip.; and xiv, Feb. 1937, 22; Toronto Daily Star, 6 Aug. 1988, illus. & descrip.)
STREETSVILLE, ONT., Public & High School, 1937 (C.R., vol. 50, 16 June 1937, 33)
BRAMPTON, ONT., Ontario Mental Hospital, Administration Building, 1938; Nurses' Home, 1937-39 (C.R., li, 4 Jan. 1938, 28; dwgs. at OA, RG 15-13-2)
OWEN SOUND, ONT., major addition to the General & Marine Hospital, and new Nurses' Home, 1945 (Owen Sound Daily Sun Times, 13 April 1945, 1)
RED ROCK, ONT., school for the Nipigon School Board, 1946 (C.R., lix, Aug. 1946, 157)
OWEN SOUND, ONT., major addition to Alexandra Public School, 1950; demol. 2010 (Owen Sound Daily Sun Times, 13 Dec. 1950, 17)
OWEN SOUND, ONT., major addition to the General & Marine Hospital, 1950-51 (Owen Sound Daily Sun Times, 22 Dec. 1950, 14)
BELLEVILLE, ONT., Hastings County Home for the Aged, 1950 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxix, Dec. 1952, 362, illus.)
MARMORA, ONT., High School, 1950-51 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xxx, Jan. 1953, 20, illus.)


AN IDEAL ONTARIO HOME, 1930. Craig & Madill were one of 239 architects, draftsmen and architectural students from across Canada who submitted an entry in this competition sponsored by the T. Eaton Department Store Co. in Toronto. They received 4th Prize of $500 for their effort (Sault Daily Star [Sault Ste. Marie], 22 March 1930, 2). The overall winner was Harold Savage of Toronto.