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Memorable Manitobans: William Wallace Blair (1852-1916)

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William Wallace Blair
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Architect.

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William Wallace Blair
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Born at Anktelle Lodge, Stewartstown, Tyrone County, Ireland on 14 December 1852, son of McCrea Parker and Eliza Blair, he was educated at the Academical Institute of Belfast, Ireland, later serving as a pupil under Charles Sherry of Belfast. He commenced a professional career at Middlesborough-on-Tees, England in 1874. He came to Canada in 1876 and resided in Hamilton and Toronto until 1884, then returned to Ireland as resident engineer in Londonderry and Ballymena waterworks system until 1889. He then moved to Chicago and practiced his profession there for fifteen years. He came to Winnipeg in 1905.

In 1879, he married Margaret Maria Bastedo of Toronto. They had a son and a daughter: M. P. Blair and Marguerite Marie Blair (wife of William Whyte). He was a member of the St. Charles Country Club, Adanac Club, Hamilton Club (Chicago) and the AF & AM. He was a Fellow of the Royal Architect Institute of Canada, and a member of the Manitoba Association of Architects and the Royal Society of Arts of London. He enjoyed golf and fishing.

He retired to Victoria, British Columbia in 1911 where he died on 17 July 1916.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Adelaide Block

103-111 Osborne Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

Ryan Block

44 Princess Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

Princeton Apartments

312 Broadway Avenue, Winnipeg

1907-1909

 

William Whyte Residence

66 Kingsway Avenue, Winnipeg

1907

 

Minnedosa High School No. 232

Minnedosa

1908

Demolished

Morris School No. 29

Morris

1908

Demolished

Warwick Apartments

366 Qu’Appelle Avenue, Winnipeg

1908-1909

 

Roslyn Court Apartments

40 Osborne Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

Great West Saddlery Building

113 Market Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Farmer Block

333 Main Street, Winnipeg

1910-1911

Demolished (1980)

Justice School No. 696

Justice, RM of Elton

1911

 

Mark Fortune House

393 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1911

 

Moore Park School No. 1008

Moore Park, RM of Odanah

1911

Demolished

Grey School No. 1356

Clanwilliam, RM of Minto

1912

Demolished

Sources:

Who’s Who in Western Canada: A Biographical Dictionary of Notable Living Men and Women of Western Canada, Volume 1, edited by C. W. Parker, Vancouver: Canadian Press Association, 1911.

Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.

“Former resident dead,” Manitoba Free Press, 20 July 1916, page 4.

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 April 2015

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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