Memorable Manitobans: George William Northwood (1876-1959)

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George William Northwood
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Architect, war hero.

Born at Ottawa, Ontario on 12 December 1876, son of William Northwood and Margaret Wilson, he was educated the Ottawa College Institute and McGill University (Montreal). In 1900, he commenced a career as an architect with K. Arnoldi of Ottawa.

In 1905, he came to Winnipeg and practiced until early 1907 with William Wallace Blair. He was responsible for designing many fine buildings around the city. He also had a business interest in the Manitoba Linseed Oil Company and National Securities Company.

With the outbreak of the First World War, when he went overseas with the 8th Battalion. Captured by the Germans in April 1915, he was held in a prisoner of war camp with John Kidd Bell. He returned to Winnipeg in 1918 as a Major, having been awarded the Military Cross. He established the architectural firm of Northwood and Chivers in partnership with Cyril William Upton Chivers.

From 1931 to 1933, he was Dominion superintendent of unemployment and farm relief. He was a Chairman of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba (1943-1948). He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1938. He was President of the Manitoba Association of Architects (1923) and Manitoba Club (1931-1932). Later in his life he was President of the Northern Canadian Mortgage Company.

In 1906, he married Augusta Campion “Gussie” Simson (c1880-1960) of Thorold, Ontario and they had four daughters: Mary Frances Margaret Northwood (1907-1994, wife of Richard Henry Gardyne Bonnycastle), Margaret Constance Northwood (1909-?), Rosamund Campion Northwood (1911-?, wife of Charles Pritchard), and Barbara Northwood (1915-?, wife of George Blackwell).

He died at Winnipeg on 15 December 1959 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Naylor House

797 Honeyman Avenue, Winnipeg

1905

 

Boyce Block

48 Lydia Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

Northern Bank Building

139 Main Street, Melita

1906

 

Ryan Block

44 Princess Street, Winnipeg

1906

 

Crescent Court

207 Hugo Street North, Winnipeg

1908

 

Manitoba Linseed Oil Plant

14 Archibald Street, Winnipeg

1908

Demolished (2019)

Northern Crown Bank Building

654 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

Demolished (1983)

O’Grady House (John Waller de Courcy O’Grady)

175 Mayfair Avenue, Winnipeg

1908

Demolished (?)

Guest Block (expansion)

596-598 Main Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

Miller House

42 Balmoral Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

Kirkland Apartments

377 Carlton Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

Lancaster Apartments

411 Stradbrook Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

 

Vermont Court

377 Carlton Street, Winnipeg

1909

 

McDonald House (Mrs. F. M. McDonald)

555 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1909-1910

 

Wellington Apartments

264-276 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1909-1910

 

Bannatyne Apartments

545 Bannatyne Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Columbia Block

853-857 Sherbrook Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

Lilac Court

172 Lilac Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

Northern Crown Bank Building (addition)

232 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

Destroyed by fire (27 December 1955)

Phoenix Block

388 Donald Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

St. Helena Court

226 Cockburn Street North, Winnipeg

1910

Demolished (?)

Telegram Printing Building

54 Adelaide Street, Winnipeg

1910

 

Richards House

638 Wellington Crescent, Winnipeg

1911

 

Richards and Brown Warehouse

132 James Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

Ulrich House

54 Balmoral Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Finnie and Murray Block / Western Glove Works

321 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Telegram Printing Building (addition)

54 Adelaide Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Whitla House (Mrs. R. J. Whitla)

151 Yale Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Benard House

40 East Gate, Winnipeg

1912

 

Fontana Apartments

321 Stradbrook Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Ralph Connor House

54 West Gate, Winnipeg

1913

 

Pantages Theatre (supervision)

180 Market Avenue, Winnipeg

1913-1914

 

After 1919

See Northwood and Chivers

Sources:

Ontario birth registration, Ancestry.

Birth registrations [Mary Frances Margaret Northwood, Margaret Constance Northwood, Rosamund Northwood], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Building and real estate,” Manitoba Free Press, 22 February 1908, page 20.

“Linseed Oil plant Company,” Manitoba Free Press, 23 March 1908, page 10.

“Many beautiful residences,” Manitoba Free Press, 21 November 1908, page 29.

“Northern Crown’s new bank bldg.,” Winnipeg Tribune, 1 June 1910, page 9.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

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.

Marriage [Rosamund Campion Northwood], Winnipeg Tribune, 3 September 1942, page 16.

“Downtown building just mass of rubble,” Winnipeg Tribune, 27 December 1955, page 1.

“George W. Northwood dead at 83,” Winnipeg Free Press, 15 December 1959.

Obituary [Augusta C. Northwood], Winnipeg Tribune, 18 April 1960, page 12.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

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

1905 - Northern Bank, Winnipeg, Archiseek.

We thank Nathan Kramer, Christian Cassidy, Jordan Makichuk, Lyle Brennen, and Andrew Kirkpatrick for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 2 October 2023

Memorable Manitobans

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