GEORGE WINKS WOOD: (1863-1941)

George Winks Wood was born and educated in Montreal. He apprenticed to Hutchison & Steele in 1877. Upon the death of Steele he joined with A. C. and W. B. Hutchison to form the firm Hutchison and Wood. He became the husband of Alexander Hutchison’s daughter, Helen. In the course of 64 years in the profession, Wood was identified with the design and supervision of many buildings in Montreal and vicinity. It was under Wood's direction that one of the first fireproof buildings was constructed in Canada (RAIC 18 [December 1941]: 209).


Alexander Hutchison was born in Montreal and was the son of William Hutchison, a builder who came from Ayrshire, Scotland. At the age of 12, he began to learn stone-cutting under the direction of his father. At the age of twenty, he was placed in charge of the stone-cutting at Christ Church Cathedral in Montreal and worked on the altar. He also cut stone for the eastern block of the parliament buildings in Ottawa, continuing through the year 1862.

Hutchison was mainly self-taught, devoting much of his free time to study. He had a notable talent for drawing, and began attending classes in drawing at the Mechanics Institute, Montreal, where he later conducted classes. His classes were afterwards transferred to the Board of Arts and Manufacturers, and it was while teaching there that he began practise as an architect in 1863.

Among his projects, designed independently or in partnership, are the Redpath Museum, McGill University; Erskine Church; Strathcona house; and Macdonald College, Montreal. In 1877, he formed a partnership with A. D. Steele, a British architect who then lived in Canada. They practised together under the name of Hutchison & Steele until 1890. In 1890 Steele retired, and Hutchison formed a partnership with his eldest son, William B. Hutchison and his son-in-law, George W. Wood, to form the firm Hutchison & Wood.

He was an active volunteer fireman, and as a rifleman took part in the Fenian raids, for which he was decorated. He was one of the original members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in 1880, and was its vice-president for twenty years, until 1907. In addition, he was president of the Quebec Architects’ Association, of which he was one of the founders. He maintained an interest in ecclesiastical architecture, and lectured on the subject for several years at the Presbyterian College.


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

Bland, John. Untitled Handwritten Manuscript, n.d., 6 pages. Available throught the Canadian Architecture Collection, McGill University.

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

Hill, Robert G. Biographical Dictionary of Architecture in Canada: 1800-1950. Reference taken from typewritten letter addressed to Susan Wagg, Montreal, January 9, 1991.

“Obituary, George W. Wood.” Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. 18, no. 12 (December 1941): 209.