One of the Toronto Chapter’s most significant achievements was the organization of the Exhibition of Architecture and the Allied Arts. The Exhibition of Architecture and the Allied Arts was sponsored by the Toronto Chapter of the OAA and was held at the Art Gallery of Toronto in February every second year for thirteen years between 1927 to 1939. This was the first attempt that had been made in Canada by any association to show the work of various Allied Arts which, combined with architecture to have a strong influence on the artistic life of the country. The objective of these exhibitions was to “first, call attention to the general standard of design and craftsmanship exiting in Canada and elsewhere today; second, to develop the possibilities of co-operation between the various branches of the Allied Arts among themselves and with Architecture; and third, to increase the interest of those who support these Arts by their patronage in the development of local craftsmanship and design to the furtherance of a distinctive development of style in Canada.”11 In the Exhibitions’ most popular year 30,000 people attended. All of the seven exhibitions have roughly 23 page catalogues which are all very similar in organisational style. The catalogues list officers and members of the Toronto Chapter, and present the exhibitions under the headings of “Photographs of Buildings,” “Architectural Drawings and Sketches,” and “Models,” which all contain a few photographic images and illustrations. The Allied Arts section of the catalogues lists the firms and designers who participated and also including items of non-Canadian origin lent by companies and stores as well as private loans of furniture, pottery, book arts, carving, and fabrics made in Canada. The exhibitions also included the awarding of architectural prizes, with notable architects serving as judges including Eliel Saarinen and George Howe.History Gallery
A portrait of the Committee in charge of the Fourth Biennial Architectural Exhibition of the Toronto Chapter of the Ontario Association of Architects. (Left to Right) Burwell R. Coon, Jack Ryrie, R.W. Catto, H.F. Secord, F.H. Wilkes, D.E. Kertland, G.R. Gouinlock, Dyce C. Saunders, L.C.M. Baldwin. (Curator of Art Gallery), W.L. Somerville, A.S. Mathers (Chairman of Committee), D.M. Waters (Chairman of the Toronto Chapter of the Ontario. Association of Architects), J.M. Lyle, Murray Brown and E.R. Arthurs.
(Above and below) All exhibition catalogues from the Biennial Exhibition of Architecture and Allied Arts in chronological order.