Richmond Hill Methodist Church Construction-1880
Walton, Charles Albert (1845-1908) was born at Leeds, England in January 1845 and was brought to Canada by his parents in 1856. He served an apprenticeship under William Kauffman of Toronto and was said to have possessed ‘a natural taste for the profession, and entered actively upon it on his own account, travelling extensively and practising in Toronto, Montreal, Albany, Detroit and Chicago (biography in Dominion Illustrated [Toronto], 1891-92, 122). He was a partner in the Detroit office of Knapp & Walton in 1875-76, and maintained his own office there in 1876-77; he claimed credit for the design of the Michigan Central Building in that city, but this cannot be substantiated in other source material. Upon his return to Toronto he joined in a partnership with William Storm; the relationship was short-lived however, and by 1878 he had commenced practice on his own account (see list of works under Storm & Walton).
During the next thirty years he worked in Toronto under his own name except for a brief period in late 1895 when he was joined by Luke A. Woods, an obscure figure. George M. Miller worked as an apprentice in his office from 1883 until 1885. In 1881 Walton prepared an elaborate Gothic design for Grace Church, Ellice Avenue, Winnipeg (Winnipeg Daily Times, 3 May 1881, 1, descript.;). His proposal was not built however, yet he was mistakenly credited with the design of this building erected two years later and designed by James Chisholm.
In Toronto his major work was the innovative design for the Toronto Arcade, Yonge Street, 1883-84, with its elaborate ‘Neo-Grec’ facade and arched entrance demarcating the pedestrian shopping walkway leading through to Victoria Street. Regrettably this important Canadian precedent for the urban retail shopping complex was demolished in 1955.
Walton suffered a stroke in late 1906 and died in Toronto on 23 September 1908 (obituary in the Telegram [Toronto], 24 Sept. 1908, 7; Toronto Star, 24 Sept. 1908, 1; biography in C.B. Robinson, History of Toronto and the County of York, 1885, i, 358; M. Bixby, Industries of Canada-Toronto, 1886, 121) from Dictionary of Architects in Canada
SPADINA AVENUE METHODIST CHURCH, Spadina Avenue at College Street, 1879; demol. 1887 (Globe [Toronto], 14 June 1879, 7, t.c.; Mail [Toronto], 25 June 1879, 4, descrip.)
RICHMOND HILL, ONT., Methodist Church, Yonge Street at Centre Street, 1880-81 (Globe [Toronto], 20 March 1880, 6, t.c.; Christian Guardian [Toronto], 13 April 1881, 119; Jubilee History of Richmond Hill Methodist Church, 1907, 8)
NEW RICHMOND METHODIST CHURCH, McCaul Street opposite Grange Avenue, 1887 (Christian Guardian [Toronto], 7 Sept. 1887, 565)
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