Basic Biographical Details

Name: David Brash Dick
Designation: Architect
Born: 17 January 1846
Died: 9 September 1925
Bio Notes: David Brash Dick was born in 1846, the second son of Robert Dick, merchant, of 23 Archibald Place, Edinburgh and Margaret Brash who died in childbirth or soon after. David was named after her father and was baptised on 1 February 1846 by Rev George Johnston, minister of the United Associate Secession Congregation, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. He studied at the Edinburgh School of Design and was articled to William Lambie Moffatt in Edinburgh. From there he became a draughtsman in the office of Peddie & Kinnear where Dick Peddie may have been a distant relative.

In 1873 Dick emigrated, first to Chicago where he participated in the rebuilding that followed the Great Fire of 1871. Later the same year he settled in Toronto where he joined the office of fellow Scottish expatriate Robert Grant (born 1840). After about a year as an assistant he was taken into partnership, but this was short-lived, being dissolved in 1876. Dick continued to practise in that city on his own account, occasionally still working in collaboration with Grant, who focused thereafter on property development, engaging other contractors to construct his projects.

Dick's Toronto warehouse buildings were in a Romanesque style which was related both to that of Peddie & Kinnear's United Presbyterian churches of the 1860s and contemporary Romanesque. His backward-sloping calligraphy is very similar to that of many of the drawings in the Peddie & Kinnear archive in the 1860s and early 1870s, but come of the capital letters are formed differently.

Dick was a founding member of The Toronto Architectural Guild and President of The Ontario Association of Architects in 1893. He retired to England in 1902. He died in September 1925 and was buried at Woking. He was married but it is not known if he had any children.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate 1873 
Item 2 of 3Toronto, CanadaBusiness18731902 
Item 3 of 3EnglandPrivate19021925 

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4William Lambie Moffatt (originally William Lambie Moffat)c. 1862(?)c. 1867(?)Apprentice 
Item 2 of 4Peddie & Kinnearc. 1867(?)c. 1873Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 4Robert Grant18731874Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Grant & Dick18741876Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 61876Consumers' Gas Offices  TorontoCanada 
Item 2 of 6188244-50 Wellington Street East  TorontoCanada 
Item 3 of 61886Quebec Bank Buildings  TorontoCanada 
Item 4 of 61890University College, Toronto  TorontoCanadaRebuilding after fire
Item 5 of 61891University of Toronto Library  TorontoCanada 
Item 6 of 61899Consumers' Gas Offices  TorontoCanadaAddition


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2Arthur, Eric and Otto, Stephen A Toronto: No Mean CityVariousToronto, Buffalo & London: University of Toronto Press (1964, 1974, 1986, 1994, 2003) 
Item 2 of 2Carson, Lynne1991The Harland Building Unpublished essay 17 April 1991 and cover letter to John Gerrard 14 September 1991 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder18 September 1925   
Item 2 of 2The Times10 September 1925   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2City of Toronto Clerk's OfficeCity of Toronto Council and Committee Documents Bye-law No 85 - 1999, re: 540 Dovercourt Road, Toronto (available on the website of Toronto City Council)
Item 2 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Information per Stephen Otto, Canada