Memorable Manitobans: Walter Henderson Shillinglaw (1864-1957)
Born at Staffa, Ontario on 29 September 1864, son of James Shillinglaw (1832-1910) and Elizabeth Deans (1837-1897), he was educated at Albany, Missouri before moving with his family to Portage la Prairie in 1880 then to Brandon in March 1882. His father was a builder, and together they erected the family home in the east end of Brandon where he lived most of his life.
He attended the School of Science in Toronto for three years, after which he returned to Brandon in 1888 and began designing buildings, ranking as the city’s most important early architect as well as its longest-lived practitioner. From 1896 to 1909, he was civic engineer for the City of Brandon and designed the First and Eighteenth Street bridges. Returning to his private practice, he joined David Marshall in the architectural firm of Shillinglaw and Marshall, which was responsible for the design of many important buildings in Brandon, including the Exhibition Building for the 1913 Dominion Fair. After military service in the First World War from 1916 to 1918, in which he rose to the rank of Major, he returned to architectural practice.
On 19 September 1899, he married nurse Elizabeth Monteith (1865-1950) at Virden. They had no children. He was a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Brandon Curling Club, and Presbyterian church.
Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
“Old timer dead,” Brandon Sun, 8 September 1910, page 2.
1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.
Attestation papers, Canadian Expeditionary Force, Library and Archives Canada.
Obituary [Mrs. W. H. Shillinglaw], Brandon Sun, 13 February 1950, page 9.
“Pioneer architect dies at 93,” Brandon Sun, 21 November 1957, page 2.
Holy Ground: The Story of the Manitoba Sanatorium at Ninette by David B. Stewart, J. A. Victor David Museum, 1999.
Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950 by Robert G. Hill, Toronto.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 31 December 2018
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