The firm Ross & Macdonald was originally Ross & Macfarlane. Among other buildings, Ross & Macfarlane were designers for the Chateau Laurier Hotel, Ottawa.

Ross & Macdonald were architects for the Royal Bank Building, Toronto; the Royal York Hotel, Toronto; the Chateau Apartments, Montreal; and the Bank of Toronto at Guy and St. Catherine Streets, Montreal. The firm was also responsible for the Neurological Institute of McGill University, the Homeopathic Hospital, Montreal; Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, and played a leading part in the rebuilding of Halifax after the harbour explosion disaster of 1917.

Ross & Macdonald was for a time the largest firm in the Dominion of Canada.

GEORGE ALLEN ROSS: (1879-1946)

George A. Ross was born in Montreal where he received his early education. He began his professional studies at MIT in Boston and also studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He worked in the offices of Parker & Thomas, Boston, and Carrere & Hastings in New York, after which he returned to Montreal where he entered into partnership with D. H. Macfarlane. This partnership lasted seven or eight years, until the retirement of Mr. Macfarlane.

Ross then formed a new partnership with Robert H. Macdonald. It was this partnership, under the name of Ross & Macdonald, that most of the firm’s important projects were produced.

He was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Royal Institute of British Architects.


Robert H. Macdonald was born in Melbourne, Australia. He articled to Richard B. Whitaker, M. S. A. of Melbourne, and went to Canada in 1895. He worked as a junior draughtsman for Robert Findlay of Montreal from 1895-1900, and again from 1900-1902. He held the position of draughtsman for George B. Post & Sons, New York from 1903-1905, and of senior draughtsman for Crichton & McKay, Wellington, N.Z. from 1905-1906. Returning to New York, he worked for W. W. Bosworth from 1906-1907 before joining Ross & Macfarlane from 1907-1912. In 1913 he and George A. Ross formed the partnership Ross & Macdonald.

MacDonald was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He was elected president of the Quebec Association of Architects in 1939, and was awarded its medal of merit at its 50th anniversary.


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

“Obituary, Robert H. Macdonald.” Journal of the Royal Institute of British Architects. (April, 1943): 141.