This Week in History
Bringing the Beaux-Arts to Canada
|For the week of Monday, November 9, 2015
Architect John MacIntosh Lyle was born in Ireland on November 13, 1872 and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario. He is credited with being one of the most influential Beaux-Arts architects in Canada. Beaux-Arts buildings feature a variety of historical styles, are symmetrical in plan, and include much ornamentation. During his long and successful career, John Lyle designed numerous types of buildings across Canada including banks, theatres, and gardens. In his mature work, Lyle went on to develop a distinctly Canadian style.
Lyle was most active in the Toronto area. He was heavily involved with the "City Beautiful" movement, an effort to improve urban centres in the first half of the twentieth century. Lyle reached the height of his success in the 1920s. In 1926 he received the gold medal of merit from the Ontario Association of Architects, he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy, and was President of the Art Gallery of Toronto from 1941-1944. Lyle left his mark on Canadian architecture by influencing young architects through lectures, publications, and exhibitions.
Lyle’s work has been recognized at National Historic Sites of Canada: Toronto’s Union Station and Royal Alexandra Theatre (designated in 1975 and 1985, respectively), and the Parkwood Estate’s Formal Garden in Oshawa (designated in 1989). John Lyle retired in 1943 and passed away two years later. For his achievements and influence on Canadian architecture he was designated a National Historic Person on April 11, 2008. To find out more about his work, visit There's No Business Like Show Business and Toronto's Union Station .
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