Johnson, John Graham

JOHNSON, John Graham (1882-1945) practised in Nova Scotia, Alberta and in British Columbia from 1919 until his death in Victoria, B.C. He was born at London, England and served an apprenticeship there with Charles F. Hayward, F.S.A. from 1899 until 1903. He was then employed as assistant to J.E.K. & J.P. Cutts, Architects, London, until 1908 and commenced practice at Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire as partner in the firm of Johnson & Boddy. He emigrated to Canada in late 1911, but returned to England to serve with the 16th Canadian Scottish Regiment during World War I. He was wounded in action and by July 1917 Johnson was sent back to Canada to the Military Hospital at Kentville, N.S. to recover from his injuries. It was here that he was asked by the Military Hospitals Commission to undertake several institutional commissions in Nova Scotia and later decided to open an office in the town in 1919. This activity led to many other requests for designs from clients in Wolfville, Annapolis Royal and Kentville, and Johnson remained here until 1924 when he was offered the post of Resident Architect to the Canadian Pacific Railway in Banff, Alberta where he supervised the construction of the north and south wings to the Banff Springs Hotel. By 1929 he had moved to Victoria, B.C. to take a position as Supervising Site Architect for additions to the Empress Hotel there.

In November 1930 Johnson opened an office in Victoria in partnership with Karl B. Spurgin (see announcement and biographical sketch in C.R., xliv, 12 Nov. 1930, 1432). This collaboration was short-lived, and from 1932 onward he worked under his own name until December 1938 when a new partnership was formed with C. Dexter Stockdill, a graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Manitoba who had worked for Johnson in 1936 and 1937 as a summer student. Johnson's early designs were faithful interpretations of the Tudor Revival, a mannered style which pleased many of his conservative clients in the Victoria region. By 1940, however, the influence of modernism, no doubt encouraged by the presence of his young partner, was evident in their new residential work. The partnership of Johnson & Stockdill was terminated in 1941 and Johnson died in Victoria on 27 July 1945 (death notice in the Victoria Daily Times, 28 July 1945, 12; obituary by C.D. Stockdill in R.A.I.C. Journal, xxiii, May 1946, 123; D. Luxton, Building the West: The Early Architects of British Columbia, 2003, 431, 507; inf. from R.I.B.A., London; inf. C.D. Stockdill, Vancouver; inf. G. Shutlak, PANS, Halifax)

J.G. JOHNSON (works in Nova Scotia are extracted from the list submitted by Johnson in his application for membership to the Royal Inst. of British Architects, London, in January 1927)

KENTVILLE, N.S., residence for Arthur Roberts, 1919-20 (PANS, Specifications)
KENTVILLE, N.S., reconstruction of the Cornwallis Hotel, 1920
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S., Kings Theatre, 1921 (list of works in The Spectator [Annapolis Royal), 26 Jan. 1922, 1)
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S., Runciman Block, St. George Street, 1921-22 (Halifax Herald, 1 Feb. 1922, 8, illus. & descrip.)
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S., Town Hall, St. George Street, 1922 (Spectator [Annapolis Royal), 26 Jan. 1922, 1, descrip.; Halifax Herald, 24 Feb. 1922, 13, t.c.)
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S., Herbert & Beeler Block, 1922 (Spectator [Annapolis Royal), 16 Feb. 1922, 1)
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S., Copeland Block, 1922 (Spectator [Annapolis Royal), 16 Feb. 1922, 1)
ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S., Atlee Building [also called The Buxton Building], St. George Street at Victoria Street, 1921-22; still standing in 2021 (Spectator [Annapolis Royal), 30 March 1922, 1; Parks Canada, Canada's Historic Places, Designation Statement 14 Jan. 2006, but lacking attribution to the architect)
KENTVILLE, N.S., St. James Anglican Church, 1922 (Spectator [Annapolis Royal), 18 July 1922, 1)
KENTVILLE, N.S., Indoor Ice Arena, 1922 (Evening Mail [Halifax], 21 Sept. 1922, 6, descrip.)
WATERVILLE, N.S., Kings County Poor House, 1922
WATERVILLE, N.S., Public School, 1923
KENTVILLE, N.S., Capitol Theatre, 1923; and residence for Capt. Holland, c. 1923
YARMOUTH, N.S., reconstruction of the Town Hall, c. 1924
WOLFVILLE, N.S., residence C.H. Porter, Main Street, 1923
WOLFVILLE, N.S., residences for P.J. MacDonald, for C.H. Wright, and for Dr. De Wolf, c. 1923

J.G. JOHNSON (works in British Columbia)

CUMBERLAND, B.C., Dunsmuir Avenue, hotel for William Merrifield, 1933 (C.R., xlvii, 16 Aug. 1933, 33-4, t.c.)
OAK BAY, B.C., Windsor Apartments, Windsor Road at Newport Avenue, 1933 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xi, Jan. 1934, 10-11, illus.)
VICTORIA, B.C., The Little Theatre, Douglas Street at Courtney Street, 1934 (C.R., xlviii, 14 March 1934, 211, illus. & descrip.)
NANAIMO, B.C., major addition to the Windsor Hotel, Church Street, 1934 (Nanaimo Free Press, 21 March 1934, 1, descrip.)
SOOKE, B.C., Sooke Harbour House, a new hotel ' the Swiss Chalet style' on the site of the Belvedere Hotel, Whiffin Spit Road, 1934; still standing in 2022 (Daily Province [Vancouver], 22 Aug. 1934, 17; C.R., xlviii, 22 Aug. 1934, 717)
SOOKE, B.C., a new Community Hall, for the Sooke Community Association, 1935-36 (Victoria Daily Times, 7 Nov. 1935, 17, descrip.)
OAK BAY, B.C., residence for Carl Hender, Tarn Place, 1935 (S. Stark, Oak Bay's Heritage Buildings, 1986, 116, illus.)
(with C. Elwood Watkins) VICTORIA, B.C., new Marine Building, Wharf Street, for the Dept. of Public Works, Ottawa, 1935 (Victoria Daily Times, 29 March 1935, 15; and 15 June 1935, 1, descrip; C.R., xlix, 17 April, 1935, 347)
B. WILSON CO. LTD., Chatham Street at Government Street, cold storage & ice plant, 1937 (Victoria Daily Times, 21 Sept. 1937, 11)

JOHNSON & STOCKDILL (works in British Columbia)

VICTORIA, B.C., residence for Arthur Latham, Uplands Road near Cadboro Bay Road, 1939 (Larry McCann, Imagining Uplands, 2016, 289, illus.)
ESQUIMALT, B.C., residence for Dola Cavendish, off Belmont Road, near Fort Rodd Hill, 1939-40 (inf. Mr. C. D. Stockdill)
ESQUIMALT, B.C., warehouse for Sidney Roofing and Paper Co., Songhees Road, 1940 (inf. Mr. C.D. Stockdill)
OAK BAY, B.C., four unit apartment block at Oak Bay Avenue and Clive Drive, 1939 (inf. Mr. C.D. Stockdill)
SAANICH, B.C., residence for John Hodges, c. 1940 (Donald Luxton & Jennifer Barr, Saanich Heritage Structures, 2008, 29, illus. & descrip.)
VICTORIA, B.C., Wavell Apartments, Hollywood Crescent, for Ben Grossman, 1940-41, (Province [Vancouver], 20 Nov. 1942, 6, B.C. Court case; Nanaimo Free Press, 6 March 1943, 3, Court of Appeal judgement; inf. D. Luxton, Vancouver)
VICTORIA, B.C., Sandholme Apartments, Quadra Street near Empress Avenue, 1941 (inf. D. Luxton, Vancouver)
NANAIMO, B.C., a banquet hall and retail stores for T.P. Wells, on the site of the old Opera House, Church Street, 1941 (Nanaimo Free Press, 17 Oct. 1941, 1)
GANGES, SALT SPRING ISLAND, B.C., residence for Warren Hastings, c. 1941 (R.A.I.C. Journal, xix, June 1942, 138, illus.)