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Memorable Manitobans: Walter Percy Over (1874-1944)

Architect.

Born at Toronto, Ontario on 3 September 1874, son of Walter and Honoria Over, he was educated at public schools and the Toronto College Institute. He got architectural training by articling in the Toronto office of Darling, Curry, Sproatt, and Pearson. In 1890, he began working as as architect at Toronto, in the employ of the federal government.

He came to Winnipeg in 1902, taking charge of the Western Canadian office of the firm of Darling and Pearson. Known between 1902 and 1906 as Darling, Pearson and Over, before reverting to its original name in 1906, Over was involved in several major construction projects in Manitoba and Saskatchewan during this period. In 1909, he opened an architectural office in partnership with Lewis H. Jordan which continued until Jordan moved to Chicago in 1926. He then formed a partnership with Ewart Fitz Munn which continued in operation until 1940. He was the founding Secretary of the Manitoba Association of Architects, in 1906, and served a one-year term as President of the organization, in 1915.

In 1907, he married Edith Augusta Carruthers (1875-1964, daughter of George Frederick Carruthers) of Winnipeg. They had no children. He was a member of the AF & AM, Conservative Party, Anglican church, and Norwood Golf Club. He lived at 199 Colony Street (1911) and at 253 Kingsway Avenue at the time of his death.

He died at Winnipeg on 11 April 1944 and was buried in the St. John’s Cathedral Cemetery.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Steele Block

360 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1903

Demolished (1941)

Western Canada Flour Mills

440 Archibald Street, Winnipeg

1905

Demolished (?)

Canada Malting Malthouse and Grain Elevator

1051 Coulter Avenue, Winnipeg

1905

 

Castle House

65 West Gate, Winnipeg

1907

 

First Church of Christ Scientist

511 River Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Broadway Baptist Church (expansion)

706 Honeyman Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

Westmoreland Apartments

768-770 Preston Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

Nurses’ Residence (Brandon Mental Health Centre)

First Street, Brandon

1920-1923

 

Valleyview Building (Brandon Mental Health Centre)

First Street, Brandon

1924

 

Winnipeg Winter Club

51 Smith Street, Winnipeg

1924

Demolished (1998)

Heaton House

30 West Gate, Winnipeg

1926-1927

 

Elmwood School / River Elm School

500 Riverton Avenue, Winnipeg

1930

 

Bank of Nova Scotia (addition)

254 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1930-1931

 

Sources:

1901 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Classified advertisement [Jordan and Over], Winnipeg Tribune, 21 August 1909, page 6.

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.

“Fine school to replace Victoria,” Manitoba Free Press, 17 May 1930, page 27.

“New school in Glenwood to have eight large rooms,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 July 1930, page 24.

Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 12 April 1944, page 2.

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.

Obituaries and burial transcriptions, Manitoba Genealogical Society.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 13 April 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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