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Memorable Manitobans: Walter Chesterton (1845-1931)

Architect, artist.

Born at Kensington, England in 1845, he was educated at private schools before studying at the South Kensington School of Arts. He worked in London for nine years before emigrating to Canada in 1870, where he practiced as an architect at Montreal and Ottawa, designing at the latter place the post office, customs and inland revenue buildings, a church, and various businesses and homes. He moved to Winnipeg in 1881 and was soon after joined by a Mr. McNichol in the architectural firm of Chesterton and McNichol until 1890, after which he practiced alone until around 1901 when he returned to Ottawa.

He and wife Martha Sophia Ashworth (1850-1928) had three children: Cyril Ashworth Chesterton (1878-?), Copley Walter Chesterton (1879-1965), and Lillian S. Chesterton (1880-?). A noted painter, Chesterton’s work was exhibited frequently at the Art Association of Montreal.

He died at his Ottawa home on 13 November 1931.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Vaughan Street Gaol

444 York Avenue, Winnipeg

1881-1883

 

H. N. Ruttan House

Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1881

 

H. M. Drummond House

River Avenue, Winnipeg

1882

 

A. C. Killam House

St. Boniface West

1882

 

John B. McKilligan House

Donald Street, Winnipeg

1882

 

Leacock House

442 Scotia Street, Winnipeg

1882

 

Francis B. Robinson House

Edmonton Street, Winnipeg

1885

 

William Hatton House

Donald Street, Winnipeg

1887

 

Brandon Reformatory for Boys (Brandon Asylum for the Insane)

First Street, Brandon

1890

Destroyed by fire (November 1910)

Fort Rouge School

River Avenue, Winnipeg

1891

Demolished

Stonewall School No. 108

Stonewall

1891

Demolished

Glenboro School No. 512

Glenboro

1892

Demolished

St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church

Ninth Avenue South, Virden

1892

 

Virden School

Virden

1892

Demolished

W. W. McLeod House

Broadway, Winnipeg

1892

 

William A. Black House

Edmonton Street, Winnipeg

1893

 

George V. Hastings House

Donald Street, Winnipeg

1893

Demolished

Lauchlan A. Hamilton House

Assiniboine Avenue, Winnipeg

1894

 

Waghorn House / Bain House

69 East Gate, Winnipeg

1896

 

A. W. Ross House

Fort Rouge, Winnipeg

1890s

 

George L. Lindsay House

Donald Street, Winnipeg

1899

 

W. J. Tupper House

145 Middle Gate, Winnipeg

1900

 

Rockley Kaye / Wood House

86 West Gate, Winnipeg

1901

Demolished (1989)

John F. Bain House

Roslyn Road, Winnipeg

1901

 

Douglas A. Clark House

Roslyn Road, Winnipeg

1903

 

St. John the Baptist Anglican Church

252 Hamilton Street, Manitou

1903

 

Manitou Normal School

Main Street, Manitou

1903

Demolished (1990s)

Sources:

The Canadian Architect and Builder, Volume 10, Issue 1, page 4, 1897.

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Marriage registration [C. A. Chesterton], Ancestry.

Death registration [M. S. Chesterton], Ancestry.

Death registration [C. W. Chesterton], BC Archives Genealogy.

“W. Chesterton, first prairie architect, dies,” Winnipeg Tribune, 14 November 1931, page 1.

“Walter Chesterton expires at Ottawa,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 November 1931, page 18.

Buildings at the Brandon Mental Health Centre by David Butterfield and Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch, November 1988.

Winnipeg Building Index

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 26 May 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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