Findlay, Claude Alexander

FINDLAY, Claude Alexander(1874-1965) was born in Glasgow, Scotland and was educated at the Kelvinside Academy and the Atheneaum School of Art where he graduated in 1897. He served an apprenticeship under his father J.G. Findlay for whom he worked for ten years and then emigrated to Canada in early 1908. He settled in Ottawa and was employed as draftsman for C.P. Meredith until 1912 when he was offered a partnership in the new firm of Meredith, Findlay & Hazelgrove. In 1916 he chose to move to Sault Ste. Marie and opened an office under his own name. By 1919 he was joined by James Foulis, a fellow Scotsman who he may have met when the latter worked in Ottawa as a staff architect for the Department of Public Works from 1906 to 1919. In 1925 their firm received the First Prize of $1,000 for their entry in the competition for Table Rock House, Niagara Falls, a public reception hall, restaurant and observation building,. Both partners then decided to move their office to that city to carry out this commission. It was here that Findlay met the wealthy mining industrialist Sir Harry Oakes for whom the firm designed a lavish mansion in the Collegiate Gothic style in 1928. This same style had been employed by the firm for buildings on the campus of Loretto Abbey in North York which was begun in 1927, and is perhaps the most convincing work executed by the partnership. It is likely that Findlay also had a hand in the design of the Oakes Chateau in Kirkland Lake, Ont. in 1929. After the death of Foulis in 1932 the new firm of Findlay & Mann was established and Findlay continued to practice as an architect while becoming active as president of Welland Securities Ltd. which managed the properties acquired by Sir Harry Oakes. He also served on the Niagara Falls Town Planning Commission and was a member of the Niagara Falls Library Board for thirty-one years. Findlay retired from architectural practice in 1960 and died in Niagara Falls on 4 April 1965 (obituary in the Niagara Falls Evening Review, 5 April 1965, 13; Globe & Mail [Toronto], 5 April 1965, 4; biography in R. Hamilton, Prominent Men of Canada, 1931-32, 496; Who's Who in Canada, 1936-37, 364)


(works in Sault St. Marie)

ALGOMA STEEL CO., club house and golf course, 1916 (inf. W.A.H. Lowe, Niagara Falls)
ESPANOLA, ONT., new buildings for the Spanish River Pulp & Paper Co. including hockey and curling rinks, and extension to hotel, 1916; Hospital, school, library, and office block, 1917 (inf. W.A.H. Lowe, Niagara Falls)


(works in Sault Ste. Marie)

WINDSOR HOTEL, Queen Street East at Brock Street, 1919 (C.R., xxxiii, 6 Aug. 1919, 44)
TECHNICAL & COMMERCIAL HIGH SCHOOL, Wellington Street East, 1921 (C.R., xxxv, 17 Aug. 1921, 21, illus. in advert.)
WESTMINSTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, Albert Street East at Brock Street, 1926 (Sault Daily Star, 25 May 1926, 14)

(works in Niagara Falls unless noted)

TABLE ROCK HOUSE, Queen Victoria Park, 1925-26 (Const., xviii, May 1925, 166-8, illus. & descrip.; xix, July 1926, 226-32, 234, illus. & descrip.; C.R., xl, 22 Sept. 1926, 890-2, illus. & descrip.)
REFECTORY, Queen Victoria Park, 1926 (Const., xix, Sept. 1926, 297-300, illus. & descrip.)
ADMINISTRATION BUILDING, Queen Victoria Park, 1927 (Const., xx, July 1927, 225-8, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, v, March 1928, xxviii, illus. in advert.)
ST. PATRICK'S ROMAN CATHOLIC SCHOOL, Victoria Avenue at Maple Street, 1927 (Daily Commercial News [Toronto], 16 July 1927, 5)
NORTH YORK, ONT., Loretto Abbey Convent and School, Mason Boulevard near Wilson Avenue, 1927-28 (Toronto Star, 22 Jan. 1927, 3, descrip.; C.R., xli, 13 July 1927, 52; Const., xxi, Oct. 1928, 341-6, 349-53, illus. & descrip.; R.A.I.C. Journal, v, Dec. 1928, xxxi, illus. in advert.)
INTERNATIONAL BRIDGE, buildings for Canadian Customs & Immigration Departments, 1928 (C.R., xlii, 14 March 1928, 62)
GENERAL BROCK HOTEL, Falls Avenue at Clifton Hill, 1927-29 (C.R., xli, 12 Oct. 1927, 1042, illus. & descrip.; Niagara Falls Evening Review, 29 June 1929, 1-2, illus. & descrip.; Const., xxii, Sept. 1929, 287-90, 295-9, illus. & descrip.)
PORTAGE ROAD, 'Oak Hall', a mansion for Sir Harry Oakes, 1929; gatehouse and stables, 1931 (R.A.I.C. Journal, vii, Oct. 1930, 357, 359, illus.; C.H.G., vii, Sept. 1930, 18-24, illus.)
RIVER ROAD, commercial block with stores and apartments for Arthur Garzo, 1930 (C.R., xliv, 10 Sept. 1930, 62)


FORT ERIE, ONT., pavilion for the Queen Victoria Park Commission, 1933 (C.R., xlvii, 11 Oct. 1933, 32)
CANADIAN OHIO BRASS CO., Thorold Road, factory and office building, 1933 (C.R., xlvii, 18 Oct. 1933, 36)
LORETTO ACADEMY, Stanley Avenue, reconstruction of a large portion of the college after a fire in January 1938 (Globe & Mail [Toronto], 17 Feb. 1938, 7, descrip.; C.R., li, 22 June 1938, 47)
NORTH AMERICAN CYANAMID LTD., Fourth Avenue, industrial plant, 1940 (C.R., liii, 4 Sept. 1940, 21)
BRIGHT'S WINES CO., Dorchester Road, major addition to factory, 1946 (C.R., lix, March 1946, 133)