Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Quidi Vidi - Horwood Estate - DEMOLISHED

John Charles Batstone "JCB" Horwood was born in Quidi Vidi, Newfoundland on March 19, 1864, the son of  Richard Horwood and Harriet Batstone.  When he was four, his family moved to Toronto where he grew up working in the building trade alongside his father.  In 1882 he began work with the architectural firm of Langley, Langley and Burke where he remained until 1887.  In the early 1890s he went to New York City to work for the firm of Clinton and Russell.  He travelled in Europe in 1894 to study the classical architecture of European cities.  He returned to Toronto in 1895 and entered into a partnership with Edmund Burke, and undertook their first big commission rebuilding the Robert Simpson Store at the south west corner of Yonge and Queen Street, after it burned to the ground.  JCB utilized his knowledge of fire resistent construction obtained in New York City firm of Clinton and Russell during the commission.  The construction of department stores would become a speciality of the firm though they would also be known for their residential designs for many of Toronto's elite families. 

JCB’s son Eric Compton Horwood was born in Toronto in 1900.  The Horwood family established their "Quidi Vidi" estate in Mimico Beach about 1910.  Eric Horwood was educated at the University of Toronto in 1925 and left to continue his education at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and at the Fontainbleau School of Fine Arts.  He returned to Toronto in 1927 and joined his father's architectural practice.  JCB died in 1938, leaving an estate valued at $52,365.  Eric Horwood would continue to live at the waterfront estate until 1958 when he sold it for apartment development and moved to nearby Stanley Avenue.  He continued in architectural practice until his retirement in 1974.  

In 1979, he donated a collection of over 35,000 architectural plans representing more than 1,500 structures from fifty-four architects spanning a period of 150 years to the Archives of Ontario where it remains an invaluable research collection.

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