Frank Darling (architect)

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Frank Darling
Frank Darling.jpg
Born (1850-02-17)February 17, 1850
Scarborough Township, Province of Canada
Died May 19, 1923(1923-05-19) (aged 73)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater Trinity College, Toronto
Occupation Architect
Awards Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal, 1915
Practice Toronto

Frank Darling (February 17, 1850 – May 19, 1923) was an important Canadian architect, winner of the RIBA Gold medal in 1915, who designed many of Toronto's landmark institutional and financial buildings, as well as scores of bank branches throughout the country. Darling is best described as an 'Edwardian imperialist' in his outlook and architectural approach, and accordingly left a legacy of fine Edwardian Baroque buildings in Canada's major cities, representative of the period's prosperity and optimism.

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Scarborough Township in the Province of Canada, Darling was the son of the rector of Scarborough and later of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, as a boy, he received his general education at Upper Canada College before entering Trinity College, Toronto. He worked briefly as a bank teller before becoming apprenticed to architect Henry Langley from 1866-1870, he studied and trained in England under George Edmund Street between 1870-1873 and then returned to Canada.[1]


Apart from two brief solo periods in the 1870s, he practised with a series of collaborators:

  • Henry MacDougall, 1873–74;
  • Samuel George Curry (1855-1942 ), principal in Darling & Curry - 1880-90, in Darling, Curry & Co. - 1891, and in Darling, Curry, Sproatt & Pearson -1892;
  • Henry Sproatt (1866-1934), principal in Darling, Curry & Co. -1891, in Darling, Curry Sproatt & Pearson - 1892, in Darling, Sproatt & Pearson 1892-95, and later draughtsman for Darling & Pearson - 1896,-97; and finally
  • John A. Pearson (1867-1940), principal in Darling, Curry & Co. - 1891, in Darling, Curry, Sproatt & Pearson- 1892 ; in Darling, Sproatt & Pearson- 1892-95, and in Darling & Pearson - 1895-1937, after Darling' s death in 1923.

In 1897 Darling formed his most long-lasting architectural partnership with John A.Pearson, named Darling and Pearson,[1] this firm lasted beyond Darling's death in 1923. The firms in which he was a partnership influenced commercial development in Toronto during the 1910s to 1920s.

Darling was the first Honorary President of the Toronto Beaux-Arts Club, member of the Holt Commission for planning of Ottawa (1913–1915), and was the first Canadian to win the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal in 1915.

Darling died in 1923 and was buried at St. John's Cemetery Norway in Toronto.

Major Works[edit]

Building Year Completed Location Notes Image
Bank of Montreal 1886 Northwest corner of Yonge Street and Front Street, Toronto In the Renaissance Revival style by Frank Darling & S. George Curry. Now home to the Hockey Hall of Fame. Hockey Hall of Fame.JPG
The Toronto Club 1888 107-109 Wellington Street West, Toronto In the Palladian, Renaissance Revival, and Richardson Romanesque styles by Frank Darling & S. George Curry. The Toronto Club (April 2005).jpg
Victoria Hospital for Sick Children 1889-92 67 College Street, Toronto In the Romanesque Revival style by Frank Darling & S. George Curry. Old Hospital for Sick Children.jpg
University of Toronto Faculty of Law Flavelle House 1902 78 Queen's Park, University of Toronto St. George campus, Toronto Monumental Edwardian residence for industrialist Sir Joseph Flavelle by Darling and Pearson. Now used by the University of Toronto's Faculty of Law. Flavellelaw.JPG
Convocation Hall 1907 31 King's College Circle, University of Toronto St. George campus, Toronto Edwardian Baroque. Convocation Hall in UofT.jpg
University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering Sandford Fleming Building 1907 10 King's College Road, University of Toronto St. George campus, Toronto Edwardian Classicism. Sandford Fleming Building 2011 Toronto.jpg
South wing of the University of Toronto Sigmund Samuel Building 1912 7 King's College Circle, University of Toronto St. George campus, Toronto
Arts Building, University of Alberta[2] 1915 11487 89 Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta In the Neoclassical style by Percy Erskine Nobbs & Frank Darling. Convocation Hall University of Alberta Edmonton Alberta Canada 02.jpg
Toronto General Hospital College Street Wing 1919 101 College Street, Toronto Edwardian Classicism. Now part of the MaRS Discovery District. Bio-tech research centre, heritage building, Toronto General Hosp.IMG 5684.jpg

For projects after the formation of Darling, S. George Curry, Sproatt, & Pearson in 1892, see Darling and Pearson.

See also[edit]



External links[edit]