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John George Howard


Charles Perry Howard
John C. Howard Stable
John George Howard
John Purple Howard

John George Howard
(born John Corby)
(b. July 27, 1803 in Bengeo, Hertfordshire, England d. February 3, 1890 in Toronto, Canada)

John George Howard was a Canadian architect. He attended school at Hertford until his fourteenth year, and at fifteen years of age was sent to sea before the mast.

After passing two years at sea he studied engineering, land-surveying, and architecture in London, and in 1827 became engineer on Chromford Canal, near Matlock, Derbyshire.

In September, 1832, Mr. Howard removed to York, now Toronto, Canada, where he has resided ever since. He has been engaged in important city surveys, and has designed many of the principal buildings in Toronto.

From 1833 till 1856 he was drawing master of Upper Canada college.

In 1834 the first artists' society was formed in Toronto, and Mr. Howard was its vice president and treasurer in 1847-'8.

In 1883 the Marquis of Lorne conferred upon him the title of royal Canadian academician.

In 1873 Mr. Howard conveyed 120 acres of hind at High Park to the corporation of Toronto as a public park, and at his death, Colborne Lodge, where he resides, and forty-five acres more, are to become part of the new park.

He also conveyed to the city of Toronto, in May, 1881, 127 paintings and sketches, by himself and his wife, in the gallery at Colborne Lodge, and afterward added his library to the gift.


John Howard and his wife Jemima moved to Toronto in 1833, and John was the first professional architect to settle there.

Trained in England, he worked in a late Regency idiom, and liked to express the comparatively new Picturesque theory of his day, although much of his work resonated with the Neoclassical style of the Georgians. He brought a new level of refinement to the province's buildings, whether they were jails or houses, mills or shops, churches or courthouses. He also undertook surveys and built sewers, bridges, and the other services needed in the rapidly growing town and province.

John Howard married Jemima Frances Meikle in 1827. Jemima (1802-77) sometimes prepared copies of specifications in John's architectural and engineering practice. She also was an amateur watercolorist, but did not document the city's life, focusing instead on romantic images.

The Howards' relationship seems to have been incomplete: John engaged in a long-term clandestine relationship with another woman, Mary Williams, with whom he had three children, whereas he and Jemima had none. Yet during Jemima's final illness - with cancer - John did his utmost to find a cure and to care for her, and seems to have grieved her loss with deep sincerity.



born as John Corby in Hertfordshire, England

spent time at sea, became a carpenter and joiner
studied and worked in architecture
adopted 'Howard' as a surname for unknown reasons
immigrated to York, Upper Canada
worked as one of Canada's busiest architects, surveyors, and engineers
taught 'geometrical drawing' (draughting) at Upper Canada College
speculated in land for himself and worked as a land agent for others
held City post as first surveyor (part-time and on commission)
purchased High Park for a sheep farm
built Colborne Lodge in High Park
served as a militia officer in suppressing the Mackenzie Rebellion
held the post of City engineer (part-time and on commission)
served as justice of the peace and associate judge
conveyed the nucleus of High Park to the City of Toronto
died at Colborne Lodge
his remaining High Park property transferred to the City


I Remember Sunnyside (The Toronto Sketches Series)
Click the link for more information:
I Remember Sunnyside (The Toronto Sketches Series
by Mike Filey

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