The Architecture of Andrew Thomas Taylor

Montreal's Square Mile and Beyond

By (author) Susan Wagg
Categories: Individual architects and architectural firms, Architecture, The Arts
Publisher: McGill-Queen's University Press
Hardcover : 9780773541184, 272 pages, May 2013

How Andrew Thomas Taylor advanced the quality of architecture in Canada.


By the year 1900, architect Andrew Taylor had designed Bank of Montreal branches across the continent and much of McGill University, helped found the McGill School of Architecture, and played a critical role in creating the first professional organization for Quebec architects. In The Architecture of Andrew Thomas Taylor, Susan Wagg presents a groundbreaking study of the life and work of a major figure in nineteenth-century Canadian architecture. Born in Edinburgh and trained in Scotland and England, Taylor spent two decades in Canada between 1883 and 1904, designing some of Montreal's most iconic landmarks. Wagg places his career amidst the wealth of opportunities provided by Canada's high society and captains of industry. Taylor's Canadian relatives, Montreal's powerful Redpath family, brought him into contact with the small group of financiers and entrepreneurs who controlled Canada's destiny. With the support of such influential patrons as Sir William Macdonald and the Bank of Montreal, Taylor successfully confronted dramatic changes in building technology as iron and steel were increasingly used and buildings grew ever taller. He innovatively adapted English and American styles to the Canadian environment, designing structures distinctively suited to their place in history. Positioning Taylor's extensive designs within the context of his time, The Architecture of Andrew Thomas Taylor firmly establishes his work as a cornerstone of Canadian architecture.


"Anybody not yet acquainted with Andrew Thomas Taylor should pick up this book. Wagg has certainly drawn a rich portrait of Taylor, helping to ensure that 'a significant number [of buildings] survive as visual reminders of this nation’s past. '" Montreal Review of Books

"Thoroughly researched, well referenced, illustrated, and written, The Architecture of Andrew Thomas Taylor will be of great interest to historians of Montreal, Canada, and the social formation of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Susan Wagg positions Taylor's extensive and notable design in the architectural discourse of the period and her attention to matters of fact and description - both aesthetic and functional - are to be commended. " Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe, Department of Art History, Visual Art, and Theory, University of British Columbia

“Wagg’s excellent biographical study, [The Architecture of Andrew Taylor] is important for the restitution of a major Canadian architectural career. ” Andrew Saint, The Victorian