Architectural drawings, photographs and professional correspondence documenting the architectural practice of the Montreal architect Robert Findlay (1859-1951) are found in the CAC archives.

Robert Findlay was born in Inverness, Scotland in 1859. He began his architectural training at the age of 17, working in the office of the Inverness architect John Rhind for five years. Later Findlay worked at the office of John Burnet (1813-1901) in Glasgow. Upon his emigration to Montreal in 1885 Findlay found employment with Alexander Francis Dunlop (1842-1923) who at that time was working on the design of the St. James Methodist Church. Findlay also worked for the architectural firm of the Wright brothers. In 1887 Findlay gained prominence by winning a competition for the design of the Sun Life Assurance Co. head office building on Notre Dame Street. This competition established his career and enabled him to develop an extensive practice, largely based on residential projects for affluent Montreal merchants and industrialists. Among his public commissions the most noteworthy include his design for the Westmount Public Library which Findlay designed in 1898. Other public buildings include the Montreal Maternity Hospital, Victoria Hall in Westmount and the Westmount City Hall. Prominent residential projects include the Mortimer B. Davis House (now Purvis Hall of McGill University) and the Hallward House (now McGill's Martlet House), as well as many houses in Westmount. In 1913 Findlay's son, Francis Robert (1888-1977) joined his father's firm as a partner. The two Findlays practised architecture together until the elder Findlay's retirement in 1941. In 1938 Robert Findlay became the first recipient of the gold medal of merit from the Quebec Association of Architects, for outstanding contribution to architecture.

For further information, please see Donna McGee. St-Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Montreal: an architectural analysis and history of its early years. M.A. Thesis. Montreal: Concordia University, 1991.


Francis R. Findlay gave the materials to the CAC.


Architectural Drawings, 1891-1927, 204 drawings. Twenty-five projects, primarily for domestic architecture in Montreal as well as summer residences in the country surrounding Montreal, are found in the archive. Also included are designs for Calvary Church in Westmount.

Photographs, 1900-17, 86 photographs. The archive contains photographs documenting finished exteriors and interiors of eighteen projects, mainly domestic architecture. In addition, there are photographs of Calvary Church, Westmount Public Library and the Sun Life Assurance Co. building.

Professional Correspondence, 1900, 6 cm. Correspondence and specifications regarding the design and execution of the R. W. Reford house and the stables for the F. W. Molson house, both located in Montreal, are included in the archive.


Findlay and McGregor
Robert and Francis R. Findlay
Francis R. Findlay
Francis R. Findlay and Percy Roy Wilson
Alexander Francis Dunlop