Scrapbook dedicated to Norman A. Armstrong

Full Text


A Peep Behind the Curtains of Time


Norman A. Armstrong was born in Queenston, Ont. He received his early education in Niagara Falls Collegiate Institute, and later in Toronto. He has been an architect in Toronto since 1902. Industrial architecture has been his particular line, although he has designed a number of private residences in Toronto. He is a member of the Kiwanis Club, the Board of Trade, the Y.M.C.A. and the new Rouge Hills Golf Club, where he has recently designed the club house. Bowling and fishing are his favorite recreations.

[with handwritten date:"May 20, 1926"]




Above is a drawing by N. A. Armstrong and Company Limited, architects and engineers, of the new Garden apartments hotel, to be erected in the immediate future on the northeast corner of Carlton and Sherbourne streets. The land has been purchased and the working plans for the building are practically completed. Tenders will be called for within the next ten days. The building will be 12 storeys high, and will contain 207 suites and its cost will be around $1,500,000. Features of the new structure will be five stores fronting on Carlton street, a lobby 40 by 60 feet cafeteria 100 by 45 feet, and a ballroom 45 by 35 feet. The Sherbourne street frontage is 207 feet and that on Carlton street 100 feet. Garden Apartments Limited, of which J. Fauver is president, are responsible for this latest structural venture in Toronto.


Twelve-Storey Structure to Be Erected at Corner of Sherbourne and Carlton—To Call for Tenders Within Next Ten Days

Garden Apartments Limited. Commonwealth building, who are sponsoring the new 12-storey apartment hotel, planned for erection at the northeast corner of Carlton and Sherbourne streets, are making application to the property committee for a lifting of the 25-foot building restriction existing on Sherbourne street, in order that the building may be built to reach to the lot line.

A previous infringement of this restriction in the case of another building, resulted in litigation and consequent expense to the promoters of the other structure before the matter could be settled, but in the case of the new structure announced to-day, this matter will be adjusted prior to the commencement of constructional work.

Little opposition is anticipated by the promoters as they state that Sherbourne street, in the Carlton street area, has altered considerably in

character of late years and can now no longer be regarded as a street of purely private homes.

The new building will be of steel construction, absolutely fireproof, and will overlook Allan Gardens. The building will be furnished with a handsome main entrance on Sherbourne street and a lounge room with express elevators for the use of the guests.

As well as cafeteria, ball room, men's smoking room, children's play room, laundry and trunk room, there will be a fine roof garden, which will be used as a skating rink during the winter months. The stores, which will front on Carlton street, will be accessible to guests through a corridor opening off the rotunda.

The 207 apartments will be of one to four rooms apiece, with tiled baths and new type fixtures. Kitchens are to be provided with electric stoves, electric refrigeration, kitchen cabinets and other conveniences.

Tenders will be called for in the next ten days.




On May 15th construction work is to begin on the twelve-storey building at the northeast corner of Bay and Front streets. The structure is to be erected by a syndicate headed by E. A. Frost, the site being purchased from Henry Bowles for $850,000. The lot is 156 feet 8 inches on Front street and 210 feet on Bay, where the building will face. Plans for the building have been prepared by N. A. Armstrong & Co., and the construction work, which is to be done by the Carswell Construction Co., and when completed the whole proposition, including the land, will involve about $2,500,000. The real estate deal for the transfer of the land to the syndicate was negotiated by VV. J. Blainey, of 83 Adelaide street west. Leases have already been obtained for space from the United Cigar Stores, the Arrow Bus Lines and Bowles Lunch, the latter to occupy 3,000 square feet at the north end of the building on the ground floor. In the centre is to be a ramp garage, six stories high, and above this will be six stories of offices. Offices will also occupy the Bay and Front street frontages.



$1,000,000 Apartment House for Avenue Road

Drawing by N.A. Armstrong Co. Ltd.





Above is a drawing by N. A. Armstrong, architect, of a new 175 suite apartment hotel, which is planned for erection on the site of the old Robert Davies' home at the northeast corner of Sherbourne and Carlton streets. The hotel is planned as a residence and for the convenience of downtown business people, and will be equipped with banquet hall, cafeteria, roof garden, bowling alleys and badminton and racquet courts. Stores are planned for the Carlton street side of the building and a garage and parking space will be a feature. The Sherbourne street frontage is 204 feet and that on Carlton street 102 feet. The building will be ten storeys and basement high.

The late Robert Davies died on March 12, 1916, and his will was the subject of extensive subsequent litigation. Mrs. Isabella Taylor, who occupied the Sherbourne-Carlton street house, to be pulled down for the new hotel, appeared in the role of plaintiff in the action. The old home was part of estate involved in the litigation.




Proposition under way for the erection of a fine structure at southwest corner of Bay and Albert streets. It is to be built on a lot 51 x 150 feet, and including the cost of the land will cost over $1,000,000. It is to be known as the Lawyers' Building, and the proposition involves a suggestion of the city renting three floors to relieve congestion in the City Hall. The promoters are ready to tunnel under Bay street to provide convenient access between the two buildings. The plans of the buildings were prepared by N. A. Armstrong & Co., and the proposition is being promoted by E. A. Frost, while W. J. Blainey, realtor, is handling the real estate end of the proposition.






N.A. Armstrong Co., Ltd.

General contractors

W. H. Yates Construction Company



August 5, 1936


N. A. ARMSTRONG, of 19 Melinda street, Toronto, with a 48-inch maskinonge caught in Pigeon Lake. The fish weighed a little over 25 pounds.




Above is a perspective drawing by N. A. Armstrong and company, the architects, of the fine new $200,000 building to be erected by Traymore Limited, in the space between Northern Ontario building and the new Atlas building, on Bay street. The Bay street frontage [...] is feet and the depth 100 feet. The design is Spanish and will provide a new note in this rapidly changing area.

Media Type:
Item Types:
This scrapbook is a collection of various articles about Toronto architect Norman Alexander Armstrong and his architectural projects in Toronto, most of them with black and white photographs or architect's drawings.
9 scrapbook pages with newspaper clippings mounted on paper. Unknown publications.
From Armstrong family collection.
ARMSTRONG, Norman Alexander (1882-1957) was a prolific designer of residential and commercial buildings in the Toronto area. Born in Queenston, Ont. on 2 September 1882 he attended public and high schools in Niagara Falls and gained his knowledge of architecture with the Toronto architect J.W. Siddall.
Upon his return from United States to Toronto in 1919 he opened his own office called the N.A. Armstrong Company Ltd., specializing in engineering and architectural projects. Throughout the 1920's and 1930's Armstrong adapted to changing tastes in design as he offered his residential clients a variety of schemes in Tudor, Colonial or Georgian Revival styles.
An exceptional yet underrated work from this period is the International Harvester Co. Showroom, Bathurst Street, Toronto (1939), with its refined detailing executed in brick, art stone and plate glass.
Active until the early 1950's Armstrong turned over much of the work in his office to his son William G., and died at Toronto on 4 May 1957.
SOURCE (and more on his projects):
Date of Original:
May 20, 1926
Personal Name(s):
Norman Alexander Armstrong
Local identifier:
Language of Item:
Geographic Coverage:
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.16682 Longitude: -79.04957
  • Ontario, Canada
    Latitude: 43.60012 Longitude: -79.66632
Copyright Statement:
Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
Niagara-on-the-Lake Public Library
Agency street/mail address
10 Anderson Lane P.O. Box 430
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
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Scrapbook dedicated to Norman A. Armstrong

This scrapbook is a collection of various articles about Toronto architect Norman Alexander Armstrong and his architectural projects in Toronto, most of them with black and white photographs or architect's drawings.
9 scrapbook pages with newspaper clippings mounted on paper. Unknown publications.
From Armstrong family collection.