by Susan Wagg




1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Biographical Details

Abbreviations and Notes

en français >>



Nobbs, like Pugin, Ruskin, and Morris in the Victorian period, did not view architecture in isolation, but as part of a wider spectrum. While his profession was the practice and teaching of architecture, his overriding concern during his adult life was planning - the management and improvement of man's total environment. Nineteenth- and early twentieth-century reformers on both sides of the Atlantic had called attention to the accelerating deterioration of the environment, both inhabited and wilderness, stimulating increasing interest in city and suburban planning and in conservation. Although Nobbs shared these concerns with countless contemporaries, the range and depth of his interests and proposals, and the energy and skill he devoted to a vast assortment of planning matters was highly unusual.

One of the first planning problems that drew his attention not long after his arrival in Canada was McGill's circumscribed urban campus. In November 1904, in connection with choosing a site for a new central power house, he prepared a sketch block plan (Fig. 20) showing possible locations for future build- ings on the grounds and adjoining properties. In fact, the proposal served as a convenient expedient for the architect to set forth his planning ideas for the university. "The formation of a definite scheme for the College precincts," he wrote, "has been too long delayed and if full value is to be got from what is left of the fine sites at the disposal of the University it is desirable, independently of the power question, to formulate a scheme for future extensions."1

McGill, while characterized by a "disjointed and oddly assorted crowd" of Victorian buildings, did possess an imposing tree-lined central avenue leading toward the Arts Building. Lesser thoroughfares, however, meandered; and Sir William Dawson, Principal Peterson's predecessor and a distinguished natural scientist, had dotted the campus picturesquely with botanical specimens. In his 1904 proposal Nobbs observed wryly: "Accidental groups of trees, winding paths and grassy slopes are all very well in their place; - the back of the Mountain. The precincts of a great University are worthy of a more formal and dignified treatment."2 Accordingly, Nobbs's plan called for an orderly, symmetrical layout of the grounds relating to the main axes of the existing structures with future buildings occupying the perimeter. Ultimately, this would have made the campus an enclosed and quiet precinct within Montreal's busy core. The architect's plea for the preservation of the dilapidated Arts Building, first voiced in this proposal, stemmed from his desire to keep an attractive and historic building and use it as a compositional focal point.

Nobbs continued to draw up proposals for the university, the most ambitious of which was published in the McGill News as the twenties opened - an important decade of growth for McGill.3 In this plan, an uncharacteristically splendid convocation hall to celebrate the war's conclusion was envisioned for the McTavish Street corner, a site, the architect related, that had been "spiritedly acquired in 1909 to prevent the Ritz Carlton [Hotel] scheme from exploiting the campus as a back yard."4 Flanking this impressive structure to the east along Sherbrooke Street was to be a long three- or four-storey block pierced by a towered gateway, a means of enclosure that Nobbs felt especially pressing since the erection in 1914 of a tall apartment building directly opposite the campus.

In addition to his scheme for the main university grounds, Nobbs also furnished a scale model and designs for a vast athletic and residential complex for Macdonald Park (Fig. 19), a site lying north of Pine Avenue, purchased by the far-sighted Sir William Macdonald in 1911. Although believing "every sacrifice is justifiable to maintain the McGill buildings between Sherbrooke and Pine Avenue as a group in limestone throughout,"5 Nobbs designated economical brick with limestone dressings for the Macdonald Park structures, since the site was well away from the main campus. Regrettably, this ambitious project was never realized. Nobbs's graceful and brilliantly sited Molson Stadium, designed in the manner of a Greek theatre (its lines and view now destroyed by additional seating), had been completed before the end of the war, and gate receipts paid for a field house, which was erected to his designs in 1922. Ultimately, none of the architect's planning schemes were carried out as he conceived them, yet the individual buildings and additions which he did execute for McGill were each thoughtful attempts to create harmony where none had previously existed.

In 1912 Nobbs was formally commissioned to prepare a development plan for a new Canadian university, the University of Alberta in Edmonton, a project on which he worked closely with the first president, Dr. Henry Marshall Tory, a former colleague from McGill. When the Arts Building at McGill was being erected in the early 1840s, the land that would become the province of Alberta was sparsely inhabited by tribes of Indians, buffalo, and a few fur trappers. In 1890 settlers had barely begun to arrive, but within fifteen years the new province had come into being, and in 1906 legislation was passed creating the University of Alberta. One of Dr. Tory's major tasks when he arrived in raw, muddy Edmonton in 1908 was to plan his as-yet-unbuilt university.6 He first called on Nobbs for assistance in August of the following year after the provincial public works department had produced a rough sketch for a first building and a very limited preliminary plan suggesting a location for a future group.7 The new president, however, was more farsighted; he requested Nobbs to advise on the best site for each part of the ultimate scheme he envisioned and to recommend a position for the proposed Arts Building.

The planning of this new university presented a golden opportunity to avoid problems currently plaguing many older universities in Canada and the United States. Those which had undergone rapid but unsystematic growth during the Victorian period were now faced with a lack of homogeneity and insufficient room for expansion-McGill being a perfect example with its haphazard assortment of buildings in various styles devoted to different disciplines ringing a central campus. "Then, when the circle is complete," wrote Nobbs, "the centre has to be filled up with a growth which adds to the menagerie quality of the group, and at the same time converts the whole institution into a builder's yard during the operations."8

In the case of the University of Alberta, the two men could hardly have asked for more unoccupied space in which to plan. The tract that had been purchased was two thousand feet wide and over a mile deep, with its northern rim abutting the attractive gorge of the North Saskatchewan River. On the opposite bank lay the site of the new provincial legislative building, which would be completed in 1912.

In his initial, rapid consideration of the university's layout, Nobbs supported the idea of dividing the acreage into several distinct zones, with the residence halls in the western sector separate from the teaching buildings, which would lie in the eastern half. However, he disagreed with Dr. Tory's proposal for a symmetrical disposition of these academic structures around courts or quadrangles. "Twins," he stated firmly, "are not a group architecturally." Furthermore, from his experience at McGill, he knew "that teaching buildings are things which grow and grow very unevenly. A too symmetrical scheme is marred by irregularities which only give charm to a free grouping."9 Since it was an unnecessary expense to erect buildings with fronts and backs of equal importance, Nobbs proposed arranging the teaching structures on their forty-five acre allotment according to the various disciplines but in such a manner that they would eventually enclose a central yard in which inexpensive factory-type extensions could be added unit by unit as needed and, since hidden, would not mar the public appearance of the campus. Another practical suggestion was the careful positioning of the scientific laboratories and draughting rooms so that they would be lit by north light and, whenever possible, north skylights; since in Nobbs's opinion, top-lit laboratories furnished the most comfortable year-round accommodation in climates marked by wide temperature ranges.10

Nobbs did not at this time propose any particular stylistic treatment, his primary objective being to establish the main axes and building lines. He did recommend that the exteriors and compositional groups be imposing and sufficiently varied to provide interest, urging that the buildings crowning the river bluff at the north form a particularly impressive composition. The Arts Building, he felt, would be an appropriate centre for the academic group facing south across a major avenue cutting across the campus. The architect concluded his report by saying that the university could, at present, either construct temporary buildings on unreserved sites or embark on a very careful study of future developments and then begin erecting the final scheme gradually. The latter was the policy recommended by Nobbs and followed throughout Dr. Tory's twenty-year tenure.

In September 1909 the Senate adopted a modified ground plan based on Nobbs's suggestions prepared by the provincial architect, A. M. Jeffers.11 Over the next three years two brick residences designed by Jeffers, Athabaska and Assiniboia Halls, were erected and foundations were laid for a granite and sandstone Arts Building, also by Jeffers, located on the eastern perimeter of the proposed academic group. A curtailment of provincial funding halted any further work on this structure, and by February 1912 the governors were discussing how best to proceed with the limited money available.12 To ensure the survival of his long-term scheme, Tory once again called on Nobbs - this time in collaboration with Frank Darling (1850-1923), Canada's premier architect.13 Nobbs had succeeded in interesting Darling in the project, feeling that his involvement would enhance the plan. The older man had worked in London as an improver under G. E. Street while the Law Courts were still on the draughting table, and Nobbs greatly admired his ability.14 In May 1912 the governors of the University of Alberta formally moved to invite both men to "go over the whole scheme of the buildings and grounds and report in full to the Board as to the general style of the buildings, the location of the same, and the general treatment of the grounds."15 In August the two architects travelled to Edmonton. The block plan (Fig. 22), bird's eye view (Fig. 21), and general sketches that were then drawn up by Nobbs with Darling as consulting architect did not essentially modify Nobbs's earlier ideas; rather, they developed and refined them.16 For example, various focal points were created to enhance formal dignity and provide landmarks. A great quadrangle, 300 feet wide and 1,200 feet long, grew out of Nobbs's original suggestion for a wooded park to separate the residential and teaching precincts. This great space was to be terminated at the river bluff by a monumental convocation hall that would be clearly visible from the opposite bank. Although never built, this structure was intended to act as a dominant mass linking the whole scheme together. Another unexecuted landmark was a lofty tower, originally meant to embellish the Arts Building and subsequently redesigned as an isolated monument proposed for the centre of the academic quadrangle. As in the earlier scheme, generous allotments were reserved for the development of an athletic and recreational complex south of the residences, a provincial library, a provincial hospital, affiliated religious colleges, faculty housing, and, finally, an experimental farm.

During the course of their visit, the architects advised "a little delay with the Arts Building," since it would be one of the most important elements in the final scheme; and they also strongly urged the governors not to choose fashionable Collegiate Gothic as the general style for the university buildings.17 Despite their training in the Gothic Revival tradition, Nobbs and Darling both agreed "that climate, materials and tradesmanship alike forbade the use of the mullioned styles of collegiate gothic on the prairie in the twentieth century."18 They proposed instead "an elastic free classic style in accordance with modified English traditions," which they felt was more suited to the most practical local window and roof types as well as to local materials and skills.19 Alberta was brick country, and brick had been used for the first residence halls. Accordingly, brick with buff stone dressings was the treatment recommended for all future buildings. Ultimately, Nobbs's firm was given responsibility for the final design of an enlarged Arts Building (Fig. 23); and although in the spring of 1913 the governors directed Nobbs and Hyde to prepare one drawing showing the redesigned structure in more prestigious stone, they finally acceded to the architects' wishes.20 Characteristically, Nobbs handled his brick with respect, complaining in an article on the university that black and white detail photographs could not show the rich mosaic of the colour, although they gave "some idea of the excellent texture and finely executed 'cross' or 'broken' English bond."21 When he came to design the Medical School in 1919, he was dismayed to learn that the local Tregillis brickfield had closed down and went to great pains to secure an acceptable substitute. Adherence to brick over the years would have furnished a needed homogeneity to the campus, but it was eventually abandoned in favour of more modern materials.

The "elastic free classic" stylistic treatment chosen for the Arts Building was strongly laced with Baroque forms, which complimented the Alberta Legislative Building across the river. Nobbs had, in fact, made the final revisions of the plans for the latter structure in 1907.22 The Arts Building was under construction when the First World War broke out and was completed at the end of 1915. Together with two engineering laboratories which he also designed dating from these same years, the Arts Building served for all teaching purposes until after the war, when the central portions of the Medical School, his last commission for the university, were begun. Unfortunately, the handsome stone carvings Nobbs designed for both structures were never carried out, although the blocks remain in place. Cecil Burgess, a close friend of Nobbs from his Edinburgh days and with whom he had worked in Montreal before his association with Hyde, supervised construction of all the buildings. As resident architect of the university, Burgess carried out further commissions himself.

Ultimately, the University of Alberta in Edmonton was afflicted with the same difficulties that had confronted older institutions: lack of homogeneity and overcrowding. In their 1912 development scheme, the early planners had proposed buildings which were, in effect, nuclei that could be expanded as needed. Furthermore, they agreed that overcrowding should be avoided by starting another university elsewhere in the province at such time as the generous space allotments were exhausted. For its time, their plan was farsighted and flexible and the style chosen for the buildings an extremely elastic one. These early twentieth-century planners, however, could not foresee either the massive increase in population or the radical changes in building requirements, construction techniques, materials, and styles which took place following World War II. Although it was therefore virtually impossible for the university to adhere to the letter of the original development plan in the post-war period, the real loss centred around the abandonment of its spirit: a humanistic approach that placed equal emphasis on aesthetics and practicalities.

Nobbs's planning activities were by no means restricted to university campuses. When he assumed the presidency of the Town Planning Institute of Canada in 1928, he was referred to as the "virtual leader of the Montreal movement for securing a comprehensive plan for Montreal and effective provincial town planning legislation for the province of Quebec."23 The early reform movement in Montreal, in which Nobbs played so active a role, arose in response to the myriad problems created by the city's rapid evolution into Canada's financial, industrial, and transportation centre. Nor was Montreal alone in suffering problems related to industrial expansion and the concurrent influx of migrants. Between 1881 and 1921 Canada was transformed from an agricultural to a predominantly urban economy. In the early twentieth century planning movements sprang up in various parts of the country, and because of the close ties with the United States and Britain, strong influence was felt from both the American City Beautiful Movement and the English Garden City Movement.24 Nobbs, understandably, was most strongly affected by the great English planners Ebenezer Howard and, more especially, Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin, whose work linked the Arts and Crafts movement to town planning.25 These reformers' ideas made their initial impact during the period when Nobbs was in London, the L.C.C. Architect's Department being among the notable recipients.26 Howard's seminal Tomorrow: a Peaceful Path to Real Reform first appeared in 1898, leading to the formation of the Garden City (later Garden City and Town Planning) Association the following year. Parker and Unwin's first book, The Art of Building a Home, was published in 1901 and Unwin's Fabian tract, Cottage Plans and Commonsense, aimed specifically at working class housing, in 1902, the year in which the partnership was engaged by Joseph Rowntree to lay out his model industrial village of New Earswick near York. In 1903 Parker and Unwin began preparing plans for Letchworth, the first garden city. Nobbs knew Unwin, who was a fervent admirer of Morris, consulted him on a model housing estate for Montreal, and was instrumental in arranging for the famous planner to lecture in the city in 1934 and 1937.27

In his own extensive writing and lecturing on the subject, aimed at professionals and laymen, Nobbs stressed that good planning involved both art and commonsense. "I am positive," he wrote, "that no town planners who are not artists can do any good in the world."28 Nor should it be thought, he noted elsewhere, that artists are "necessarily impractical folk with their heads in the clouds."29 He illustrated by contrasting the results effected by Adam in London and Edinburgh and by Rossi in St. Petersburg with those of the land speculators and "half-baked surveyors" who had laid out Montreal.30 Nobbs's practical side was expressed by a highly flexible approach which attempted to improve on what was given and avoid costly mistakes by drawing on the best that the past and the present had to offer. His exposure to grand classical planning abroad provided him with an urban outlook at odds with the extreme ruralization embodied in Howard's reforms, although he criticized City Beautiful enthusiasts for being too much influenced by the Grand Manner and ignoring what the Middle Ages had taught. Like his contemporaries Parker and Unwin, Nobbs sought a middle road between the formal and the naturalistic. "There is no virtue in regularity unless it assist a purpose," he observed, using Montreal's ruthless gridiron, that expedient tool of land developers, as an example.31 This arbitrary plan was defective and inept from almost any standpoint. The directions or axes had been determined by the old farm boundaries, ignoring orientation for the sun - so important in a northern climate - and disregarding the natural topography of the island, thus creating untold "wear and tear on streets, tyres, and horseflesh to reach from the low to the high level." While acknowledging the difficulties, he advised cutting up the existing grid with carefully located radials, diagonals, and belts and urged better planning of undeveloped areas. Finally, from an aesthetic point of view, the monotonous grid robbed the city's finer architectural monuments of their full effect, since no thought had been given to their position. Great buildings needed great spaces.32

Nobbs's early articles in the Canadian Architect and Builder contain numerous references to the unfortunate lack of planning in the city. He wondered, for example, in the August 1904 issue why Montreal's two chief civic buildings, the City Hall and the Palace of Justice, turn their backs on a fine urban space, the Champ de Mars. "What has Craig Street done?" he asked. "Is it Justice that should wear good cloth in front and shoddy on her back and turn it uncompromisingly upon the poor?"33 The architect used these early articles to suggest remedies, including the sensible proposal that a large scale map of each city in the province should be on the table of the Province of Quebec Association of Architects (P.Q.A.A.) (of which he became president in 1924) so that members could discuss their ideas for city improvement, not simply for amusement, but with the intention of getting things done. Architectural associations, he believed, owed it to their fellow citizens to thresh out such questions, but this was hardly possible in an organization "whose members are barely acquainted with one another and are satisfied each to work in his own little hole and corner."34 With their varied interests and specialities, architects could learn from one another; thus in 1905 Nobbs recommended weekly rather than monthly meetings of the group. To encourage and educate younger draughtsmen in the city who had not yet qualified, Nobbs proposed in April 1905 a Montreal Junior Architectural Society, which was shortly established as the Sketching Club of the P.Q. A. A. The club's first visit on 29 April, at Nobbs's invitation, was to the architectural library at McGill, where the young men were issued tickets of admission allowing them reading privileges. In the spring of the following year, the P.Q.A.A. appointed a Committee on City Improvement with Nobbs as chairman, the purpose of which was to communicate with the City Council and all associations interested in the subject. By the end of the decade, thanks to Nobbs and other public-spirited citizens, the Montreal City Improvement League was founded. One of the League's primary goals was to bring about the adoption of a comprehensive plan for Montreal, an aim that was unfortunately never realized despite years of work.

The First World War interrupted Nobbs's planning activities, but with the cessation of hostilities, he devoted an everincreasing amount of time to these matters. When he took on the presidency of the Town Planning Institute of Canada in 1928, the Institute's journal vividly described the effort this cause required:

It has involved endless public lecturing, countless committee meetings by day and by evening, organization of groups of public-spirited citizens, the collection of funds from private sources to carry on the work, periods of discouragement and depression when it seemed useless to generate public opinion in Montreal in favor of a definite planning program with so little effective official encouragement.35

This thankless, self-appointed task, which was dedicated to improving life for rich and poor alike, did not with rare exceptions add to Nobbs's income, nor, sad to say, was it ultimately successful - due to continued lack of interest on the part of the city administration, an attitude that endures to this day.

The twenties marked the apogee of the early planning movement throughout Canada with the passage of pioneer zoning bylaws and provincial planning legislation duly noted in the pages of the Journal of the Town Planning Institute of Canada, which had been founded in 1919. In Montreal the decade witnessed valient efforts by the City Improvement League to arouse public awareness of the need for a comprehensive plan. The League's program in 1926 involved Montreal's hosting of the sixth annual conference of the Town Planning Institute of Canada, two notable public lecture series in English and in French delivered respectively at McGill and the University of Montreal, and the choice of town planning as the subject of the annual exhibition organized jointly by the P.Q.A.A. and the Art Association of Montreal.36

The League continued to lobby for planning legislation until 1929, when, discouraged by lack of progress, it submitted its own model legislation to the provincial government: a draft Town Planning and Enabling Act giving broad powers to urban areas to control building heights, zoning, and the size and spacing of buildings. It had been drawn up by a special committee headed by Nobbs. In 1931, however, Nobbs reported that despite the fact that all Europe was alive with town planning and that every other province in Canada had a town act, the Province of Quebec was "singular among all modern states ... in having neglected to put anything worth serious consideration in this field of legislation upon its Statute Book."37 Montreal had finally passed its first zoning bylaw in 1929 regulating the height of buildings, but there was still no comprehensive plan.

Despite the lack of official encouragement, Nobbs himself designed several model housing schemes during the decade, each a demonstration of the value of intelligent planning, a feature most developers were reluctant to subsidize. One complete group (Fig. 25) - all in brick - still stands on the south side of the Boulevard in Westmount, Quebec, near the corner of Mt. Pleasant Avenue. Intended for professional people, or "brainworkers" as Nobbs called them, four of the five houses are semidetached. "Such houses," the architect wrote, "can be both built and heated more cheaply while preserving the essential amenities when constructed in groups of three, four or five." What was especially important to Nobbs, as to Parker and Unwin, was "the disposition of such houses so that all the rooms get sunshine some time in the day and at the best time with respect to their uses and so that all windows have pleasant outlooks, the back views being as good in their way as the front views."38 Nobbs firmly believed that sunlight and breezes were as necessary to people as to plants, and accordingly he designed his houses to maximize both. By such measures as locating a skylight over the main stairwell and placing corridors and service areas next to the party wall, he virtually eliminated any sense of attachment, while the placement, shape, and finishing of the houses in his schemes were calculated to avoid eyesores. In 1928 Nobbs was still complaining that it was not urbane to construct buildings with neat stone street-fronts and raw brick backs and flanks which spoiled the outlook for other structures in the area. He marvelled at how well-travelled Montrealers could so admire the urban amenities of Europe without simultaneously wondering how these might have come about or how they might be encouraged at home.39 A tall office building Nobbs was designing at about this time, the Drummond Medical Building in Montreal (1929), is a model of tidy flanks and back.

The Depression curtailed Nobbs and Hyde's practice as it did that of most architects, but Nobbs continued to work for a better environment for Montreal's citizens. In 1934 he drew up a plan for a system of metropolitan waterside parks while land was still available at reasonable cost. The humbler elements of our population, he wrote, "should have the beauties of the woods and waters and playgrounds, away from the bricks and mortar of their everyday surroundings, available within an hour's run from their homes. The commercial 'plages' [beaches] they have begun to patronize in such numbers in recent years are a sordid and sorry substitute for a park system, such as any civilized community of a million inhabitants may consider itself entitled to."40 This humane and far-sighted proposal also went by the board.

In addition to parks, better housing for the poor was a special concern during the Depression years. In 1934 a joint Slum Clearance and Re-housing Committee was set up by the Montreal Board of Trade and the City Improvement League with Guy Tombs and Nobbs as co-chairmen. Their report included plans by Nobbs and Hyde for low-cost housing, a project Nobbs asked Unwin to review. In this scheme the units are arranged with the living and dining room one behind the other to ensure cross ventilation and adequate sunlight, and each tenant was to have a garden.41 Although the League managed to interest a number of Montreal industrialists in the project, another world war engaged attention elsewhere. In 1945 Nobbs was still urging adoption of the plan with preference to be given to returning veterans.

Although most of Nobbs's efforts were unsuccessful, a city planning department was finally created in 1941 with Nobbs retained as a consultant. He also served as one of McGill's representatives to the reorganized Montreal City Council at this time.42 In 1946, at the age of seventy-one, he prepared a report on town planning legislation in the provinces of Canada for the department.

The mainspring of Nobbs's attitude toward planning as in architectural design was the ideal of urbanity, "the habit of mind that makes life in a large community tolerable."43 Working from this broad concern for urban courteousness, he was prepared to adopt a flexible, practical approach which sensibly took into account the work of others, past and present, as well as involving his own artistic creativity. His knowledge of the past convinced him that tyranny by any school - romantic, classic, or modernist - interfered with discovering the best solution for a given set of circumstances. Accordingly, he advocated controlling bylaws, the primary goal of which was health and well-being, but which were sufficiently elastic to allow for the solving of new problems in new ways in a changing world. His typically nineteenth-century faith in the survival of the fittest caused him to believe that the best in design would finally triumph, while his own courteous nature led him to hope that others would respond in kind. Unfortunately, the pursuit of gold rather than the Golden Rule continues as the driving force behind the still unplanned development of Montreal.


<< chapter four | contents | chapter six >>



1. Nobbs, "McGill University Disposition of Future Buildings." The sketch block plan is in the CAC.

2. Ibid.

3. Nobbs, "The Sites of the University Buildings," McGill News 1 (June 1920), pp. 2-5.

4. Ibid. p. 3. A convocation hall had also been included in the 1904 plan - tentatively situated on the south-east corner of the campus.

5. Ibid. p. 4. Unfortunately the scale model no longer exists. The athletic complex went through several changes. Both it and the residence hall were ultimately designed by other architects.

6. The site of the University of Alberta was originally in the Municipality of Strathcona, since amalgamated with Edmonton. Information on Nobbs's role was obtained from material in the University of Alberta archives and from two articles by Nobbs: "The General Scheme for the University of Alberta," and "Construction at the University of Alberta, Edmonton," Construction 14 (Jan. 1921), pp. 3-12.

7. UASMB, 10 June 1909.

8. Nobbs, "Construction at the University of Alberta," p. 3.

9. Nobbs, "Report on the General Allocation of Sites on the University Property at Strathcona, and a Recommendation as to the Position of the Proposed Arts Building." Report to Dr. Tory, 20 Aug. 1909, Tory Papers. (Typewritten).

10. Nobbs was extremely interested in the problems of lighting and wrote an article, "Daylight in Buildings," American Architect 124 (4 July 1923), pp. 1-6 and 124 (Aug. 1923), pp. 99-106.

11. UASMB, 7 Sept. 1909 and 19 Nov. 1909.

12. UABGMB, 21 Feb. 1912.

13. See E.A. Corbett, Henry Marshall Tory Beloved Canadian (Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1954), p. 117. Corbett fails to mention Nobbs's crucial role in the planning.

14. Nobbs, "The Late Frank Darling," Construction 16 June 1923), p. 205.

15. UABGMB, 3 May 1912.

16. The University of Alberta archives have the original drawings. The Canadian Architectural Archives in Calgary have the drawings for Nobbs's Arts Building in stone and for the proposed sculpture. A watercolour of Nobbs's first towered scheme in brick and stone is in the CAC.

17. UABG memorandum of meeting with Mr. Frank Darling and Mr. Percy Nobbs, 22 Aug. 1912.

18. Nobbs, "Construction at University of Alberta," p. 3.

19. UABG memorandum of meeting, 22 Aug. 1912.

20. Letter from Nobbs to the UABG Building Committee, 11 Apr. 1913.

21. Nobbs, "Construction at University of Alberta," p. 12.

22. CAB 22 (March 1908), p. 9.

23. "Our New President-Professor Percy E. Nobbs," JTPIC 7 (Dec. 1928), p. 133.

24. Godfrey L. Spragge, "Canadian Planners' Goals: Deep Roots and Fuzzy Thinking," Canadian Public Administration 18 (Summer 1975), p. 224.

25. Walter L. Creese, The Search For Environment. The Garden City: Before and After (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966).

26. See Beattie, Revolution in London Housing.

27. There is a folder in the CAC containing correspondence between Nobbs and Unwin.

28. Nobbs, "On the Control of Architecture," JRAIC 5 (Sept. 1928), p. 317.

29. Nobbs, "Montreal and Town Planning," supplement to the McGill News 10 (Dec. 1928), p. 13.

30. Nobbs was referring to Robert Adam (1728-92), the celebrated Scottish architect, who was renowned not only for his planning and architecture, but for his brilliant interiors. Karl Ivanovich Rossi (1775-1849) became the principal architect and planner in St. Petersburg after 1816.

31. Nobbs, "City Planning," Canadian Municipal Journal 1 (Apr. 1911), p. 140.

32. Nobbs, "The Official Architecture of European Capitals," p. 40.

33. Nobbs [Gargoyle II], "Montreal Notes," CAB 17 (Aug. 1904), p. 126.

34. Nobbs [Concordia Salus], "Montreal Notes," CAB 18 (Jan. 1905), p. 9.

35. "Our New President-Professor Percy E. Nobbs," p. 133.

36. Nobbs, "The Town Planning Movement in Montreal," Municipal Review of Canada 22 (May 1926), p. 162.

37. Nobbs, "Town Planning and Zoning in Quebec," Municipal Review of Canada 27 (Aug. 1931), p. 16.

38. Nobbs, "The Subdivision of Residential Suburban Property,"JTPIC 5 (Apr. 1926), p. 10.

39. Nobbs, "Montreal and Town Planning," p. 14.

40. Nobbs, "A Metropolitan System of Waterside Parks for Montreal," (Unpublished MS, Nov. 1934). CAC.

41. The plans and report are in the CAC.

42. MUS 10, p. 63 (Montreal Star, 8 Nov. 1940).

43. Nobbs, "Montreal and Town Planning," p. 14.


<< chapter four | contents | chapter six >>