John MacIntosh Lyle

Section 18, Lot 279
Mount Pleasant Cemetery

ohn MacIntosh Lyle was born in Connor, County Antrim, Ireland on 13 November 1872. He came to Canada as a young child in 1878 and grew up in Hamilton, Ontario, where his father, Rev. Dr. Samuel Lyle, was minister of Central Presbyterian Church. Lyle attended the Hamilton School of Art, then trained as an architect at Yale University, finally enrolling in the École des Beaux-Arts, in Paris, France, in 1894. Following graduation, he went to work in 1896 with the New York architectural firm of Howard & Cauldwell. Lyle subsequently joined the New York firm of Carrère and Hastings as an associate. While there, he was involved in the design of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street in 1897, and became a member of the Society of Beaux-arts Architects. In 1904, John Lyle designed and supervised the construction of the main building (now named Rogers House) at Pickering College, at 16945 Bayview Avenue, Newmarket, Ontario. Lyle returned to Canada in 1905 to begin work on the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. In 1906, he established his own company, Atelier Lyle. During the 1920s Lyle strove to develop a uniquely Canadian architectural style, incorporating traditional designs from the English and French colonial periods and stone, metal, plaster, fresco, glass and mosaic floral and faunal motifs inspired by the Canadian post-impressionist painters known as the Group of Seven. In 1926, the Ontario Association of Architects awarded Lyle its Gold Medal of Honour for his design of the Thornton-Smith Building (1922) on Yonge Street in Toronto. Two years later, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. From 1941 to 1944, he served as president of the Art Gallery of Ontario. Most of Lyle’s projects were in Toronto and other parts of Ontario (and mostly for banks, especially Dominion Bank), but he also completed projects in New Brunswick, Alberta, and Nova Scotia. Lyle designed the granite and Indiana limestone Memorial Arch at the Royal Military College of Canada, whose two large bronze tablets bear the names of the former cadets who gave their lives for their country in World War I. The stone was laid by Governor-General of Canada, His Excellency Viscount Byng, of Vimy, CGB KCMG MVO 25 June 1923. John Lyle died in Toronto on December 20, 1945, at the age of 73.

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