Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: James Chisholm (1841-1920)


Born at Paris, Ontario on 25 December 1841, he trained as an architect before coming to the Red River Settlement in the spring of 1877 to work for John Sifton as a timekeeper on construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway between Winnipeg and Whitemouth. He worked as an architect at Superior, Wisconsin and St. Paul, Minnesota for 12 years before returning to Winnipeg in 1901 where he was head of the architectural firm of James Chisholm and Son, in partnership with his son Colin C. Chisholm. It is said that he supervised construction of the Old Winnipeg City Hall after architect C. A. Barber was fired for incompetence.

On 22 February 1864, he married Elizabeth Goodfellow, at Brantford, Ontario. They had six children: Anna Alexandra Chisholm (1865-?, wife of Frank Heatly), Jeannette Campbell Chisholm (1868-1870), Gideon Goodfellow Chisholm (1870-1944, husband of Elizabeth Dundas), John James Chisholm (1874-1953, husband of Lillian Gertrude Spink), Helen Margaretta Chisholm (1878-1961, wife of Frederick Duffield Halpenny), and Colin Campbell Chisholm. He was a member of the Masons, Zion Methodist Church (where he was Superintendent of the Sunday School), and the Winnipeg School Board, one of the founders of the Strathcona Curling Club, and an honorary member of the Manitoba Curling Association.

He retired to California and died at Ocean Park on 14 October 1920.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:





Central School

110 Ellen Street, Winnipeg



Harris Block

154 Princess Street, Winnipeg



Clarendon Hotel

311 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg



Grace Methodist Church

Ellice and Notre Dame, Winnipeg


Demolished (1957)

Machray School No. 1

Charles Street, Winnipeg



Guest Block

596-598 Main Street, Winnipeg



Zion Methodist Church

335 Pacific Avenue, Winnipeg


Destroyed by fire (1970)

W. J. Simpson Residence

95 Academy Road, Winnipeg



W. J. Guest Fish Warehouse

90 Alexander Avenue, Winnipeg



Young Methodist / United Church

222 Furby Street, Winnipeg



Jardine House (renovations)

115 Middle Gate, Winnipeg



Exeter Block

76 Lily Street, Winnipeg


Demolished (?)

W. J. Guest Residence

75 Academy Road, Winnipeg



Selkirk Post Office and Customs Building

406 Main Street, Selkirk



Kipling Apartments

465 Langside Street, Winnipeg


Demolished (?)

IOOF Temple

293 Kennedy Street, Winnipeg



Sterling Bank Building

283 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg



Zion Methodist Church

Roland, RM of Roland



Sparling Methodist Church

1609 Elgin Avenue West, Winnipeg



Jackson House

15 West Gate, Winnipeg



Granite Curling Club

22 Mostyn Place, Winnipeg



Marlborough Hotel

331 Smith Street, Winnipeg



Shragge Warehouse

400 King Street



La Salle Hotel

346 Nairn Avenue, Winnipeg



Carruthers Building

124 King Street, Winnipeg




“Died at Ocean Park, California, Thursday,” Manitoba Free Press, 16 October 1920, page 5.

The Story of Manitoba by F. H. Schofield, Winnipeg: The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1913.

Winnipeg Building Index

Crescentwood, A History by R. R. Rostecki, Winnipeg: Crescentwood Home Owners Association, 1993.

We thank Matthew Chisholm, Susan Bracken, and Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 28 December 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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