Frederick Bourchier Taylor was born in Ottawa on July 27, 1906 to parents Florence Magee and Plunkett Bourchier Taylor. He was preceded by an older brother E.P.Taylor, who became one of Canada's leading industrialists. Taylor's maternal grandfather, Charles Magee, founded the Bank of Ottawa while Taylor's paternal grandparents, the Bourchiers, upheld a tradition of military careers. The Taylors resided in both England and Canada while Fred Taylor was a young boy. He moved to Montreal in the late 1910s. During his years at McGill, he was highly involved in university life; he was the winner of boxing titles as well as a founding member of the Red Birds Ski Club. Taylor graduated as an architect from the McGill School of Architecture in 1930. While Taylor displayed great talent and potential as an architect, (he was awarded both a scholarship to the Sorbonne as well as the Governor General's award for highest academic standing, he also produced highly-accomplished drawings, sketches and prints while at school and after), Taylor ventured into fine arts and soon found this to be his calling.