Sidney Badgley: An Imaginative Canadian Architect

This article was originally written and submitted as part of a Canada 150 Project, the Innovation Storybook, to crowdsource stories of Canadian innovation with partners across Canada. The content has since been migrated to Ingenium’s Channel, a digital hub featuring curated content related to science, technology and innovation.

Sidney Badgley

1850 - 1917

BADGLEY, SIDNEY R. (28 May 1850-29 Apr. 1917), was a prominent church architect in the U.S. and Canada. He was born in Ontario, son of William Edwin and Nancy Rose Badgley. He was educated at public schools and private academies and apprenticed under R.C. Windeyer at an architectural office in Toronto. With the apprenticeship complete Badgley opened his own practice in 1886, but left for Cleveland in 1887 where he would work with one Mr.Wm. Nicklas. Badgley became well known for his church designs in both Canada and the American Midwest. One of Badgley’s finest structures was the Pilgrim Congregational Church (1894), which was the first church building in America that was to function as both a church and a community-service center. Massey Hall in Toronto was also designed by Badgley in 1893 as he had become proficient in acoustical architecture.  Badgley’s pioneering design was exhibited at the Paris Exposition of 1900. The former St.Catharines Library was also designed by Badgley in 1903.

Besides his business Badgley was a vice-president of the Equity Savings & Loan Co. In his personal life, he was married to Alma A. Clark in 1872; however this ended with her death two years later. His second marriage was to Charlotte J. Gilleland of St. Catharines, Ontario, on September 21st, 1876. They had no children. Badgley died at his home in Wickliffe but was buried in St. Catharines at the Victoria Lawn Cemetery at his request.

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