Basic Biographical Details

Name: William Ralston
Born: 23 February 1886
Died: 1970s
Bio Notes: William Ralston was born on 23 February 1886, the third son of the six children of John Ralston, cabinetmaker, Dumbarton, and his wife Robina. He was the younger brother of the architect John Ralston. He studied architecture at the Glasgow & West of Scotland Technical College and served his articles with James Miller in Glasgow.

Ralston emigrated to Canada in 1911 with another architect, Robert Sinclair Frame. He sailed on the ship 'Ivernia' which docked at Boston on 11 May 1911. Frame died the following year but Ralston continued to work in Canada.

In Toronto he worked as an assistant in the office of Wickson & Gregg (in 1912) and with John M. Lyle the following year. After the First World War he joined the practice of Darling & Pearson and worked on the final scheme for Trinity College, Toronto.

In 1922 he moved to Windsor, Ontario where he formed a partnership with fellow Scot David J Cameron, who had also worked in the office of Darling & Pearson before WWI. He undertook work for the Canada Mausoleum Co. Ltd., who commissioned the firm to design more than a dozen structures in public cemeteries across Ontario.

The partnership was dissolved in 1929 and Ralston returned to Toronto where he continued working on cemeteries. In 1936 he won the Small House Competition for the federal government with a Modernist design. He was successful in various other housing competitions sponsored by the Ontario Government and the T. Eaton Department Store chain.

Ralston retired from practice after 1960 and lived until the 1970s.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 2Innalee, Alexander Street, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivate1901 * Parental home
Item 2 of 2CanadaPrivate/business19111912 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4Wickson & Gregg1912 Assistant 
Item 2 of 4John MacIntosh Lyle1913 Assistant 
Item 3 of 4Darling & Pearson19141922Assistant 
Item 4 of 4Cameron & Ralston19221929Partner 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 1   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3Census records onlineCensuses  
Item 2 of 3Courtesy of Morag CrossInformation sent to DSA Sent March 2014
Item 3 of 3Courtesy of Sara Halley Colodny, great niece of William RalstonInformation sent to Dictionary Sent October 2015