SIR ANDREW TAYLOR: (1850-1937)

Sir Andrew Taylor was the son of James Taylor, a publisher, and Agnes Drummond. On his mother’s side he was related to the Drummonds and the Redpaths of Montreal, both very influential families. Born and educated at Edinburgh, he was a student of the Royal Academy Schools and articled to Frederick Thomas Pilkington and John Bell of Edinburgh. He was twice an R.I.B.A. medalist. After leaving Edinburgh, he worked in the office of the Architect to the Duke of Roxburgh, Kelso, and in the office of William Smith, City Architect of Aberdeen. In 1872, he went to London where he worked in the office of Joseph Clarke for over six years. He began his own practise in London in 1879, and in 1882 entered into partnership with George William Hamilton Gordon.

In 1883 he moved to Canada, where he worked extensively in Montreal as well as in other parts of the country. Beginning in 1887, he was a lecturer at various Montreal colleges. Among his important projects in Canada are the Bank of Montreal, Montreal; the Merchants’ Bank of Canada, Montreal; and the Molsons Bank Building, Vancouver.

He designed a large number of McGill University buildings: the original Macdonald Engineering Building and its annex, the Workman Building (now both destroyed), the Macdonald Physics Building (now the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library), Redpath Library, the Medical Building (now destroyed), and the Chemistry and Mining Building (now the School of Architecture). In fact, when Sir Andrew left Montreal in 1904, McGill University had only eight buildings, of which he had designed six. Three of these stand today.

In 1904 he retired from practise and returned to England. He represented Hampstead on the London County Council from 1908 to 1926, when he was knighted. Sir Andrew was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects on March 4, 1878, and a Fellow on June 3, 1889.


Atherton, William Henry. Montreal from 1535-1914, Vol. 3. Montreal: S. J. Clarke, 1914, pp. 274-78.

Bland, John. “McGill's Late Victorian Architect.” McGill University, Typewritten Manuscript, 7 pages, May 28, 1981.

Gournay, Isabelle and France Vanlaethem. Montreal Metropole: 1880-1930. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture and Boréal, 1998.

Royal Institute of British Architects. Directory of British Architects: 1834-1900. London: Mansell Publishing Limited, 1993.