Memorable Manitobans: Walter Chesterton (1845-1931)
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, son-in-law of Peter B. H. Ramsay), 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:
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.
Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.
We thank Pat Thomson for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 27 December 2021