Event Guide: John M. Lyle book launches Thursday

A new book a long time in the making on Architect John M. Lyle is launching this Thursday at the Eric Arthur Gallery. Published by our friends over at Coach House Press, Glenn McArthur’s A Progressive Traditionalist looks at the life and work of a Toronto architect who, as time has passed, is less well-known and celebrated than our current and recently-current architects — yet we often pass by his work and likely couldn’t imagine Toronto without it. In his column yesterday, Christopher Hume had this to say about Lyle and the book:

Had the Group of Seven been made up of architects, not artists, John Lyle would have been a member.

Lyle, who died in 1945, practised at a time when cultural nationalism was alive and well in the Great White North. He and his cohorts took as their self-imposed mission the creation of a Canadian architecture, one that reflected the country, its values, history and culture.

In his new book, A Progressive Traditionalist: John M. Lyle, Architect, author, photographer and designer Glenn McArthur documents the career of the man who designed more than his fair share of landmarks across Canada. Locally, he is best known for Union Station, the Royal Alex, Runnymede Public Library and the former bank on the southwest corner of Yonge and Gerrard, now a pub.

From Coach House:

Join us for the launch of A Progressive Traditionalist, Glenn McArthur’s authoritative and beautifully illustrated monograph on the work of Canadian architect John M. Lyle, at the Eric Arthur Gallery (University of Toronto, 230 College Street) on Thursday, May 7. The launch features a photo exhibit of Lyle’s buildings and introductory notes from the author. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. and admission is free.

One comment

  1. Lyle gave us so many great buildings and structures. It’s too bad the Beaux-Arts and City Beautiful movement didn’t go further. We should learn from what could have been to hesitate less when opportunities for greatness present themselves.

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