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Display results for Fonds Acc4458

Displaying detail for fonds Acc4458



Name of Repository

Title/Stmnt of Responsibility

    James F. Toombs architectural fonds

Dates of Creation


Physical Description

    15 m. textual records and other material

Administrative History

    James F. "Jim" Toombs was born on 19 August 1917, the son of Harvey Wilmot Toombs, a Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, pharmacist, and Margaret Robison. The family home was at the corner of Grafton and Rochford Street. Jim attended Prince of Wales College and worked for a time in the furniture department at Holman's Store before enlisting in the armed services in 1939. After the war he returned to Prince of Wales and Mt. Allison to upgrade his educational qualifications in preparation for attending McGill University. At the latter institution he studied architecture, working in the summer months for architectural firms including the office of E.S. Blanchard on Richmond Street in Charlottetown. This office was one previously occupied by the well-known Island architect William Critchlow Harris.

    After graduating in May of 1951 with his architectural degree from McGill, he returned to the office of E. Stirling Blanchard to practice his profession. When Blanchard died in 1953, Toombs took over the practice and the projects which were then in progress. For the next four decades Jim Toombs designed and supervised numerous commercial, residential, religious, and public buildings in Charlottetown and the province.

    With the exception of residential dwellings for which the split was more even, approximately 25% of these were for new structures while the other 75% were for alterations, renovations, or additions to existing buildings. The former included major projects such as the Active Treatment Centre and Nurses Residence at Falconwood Hospital (a project initially begun by Blanchard), Sunset Lodge Nursing Home, the Royal Canadian Legion Hall, buildings for the Commissioners of Sewers and Water Supply and the Workmens Compensation Board, St. Pius X and St. Marks Presbyterian churches in Sherwood, and homes for several prominent Charlottetown residents.

    Renovation projects, as well as those to his own buildings, included some for buildings such as the Polyclinic, St. Stanislaus Convent in Kinkora, and St. Peter's Cathedral which had been designed by Blanchard or Harris as well as numerous conversions of residences to apartment dwellings and commercial offices.

    Occasionally Toombs did work in neighbouring provinces such as the Bethel Presbyterian Church in Riverview, N.B. and the supervision of St. Joseph's Hospital in Glace Bay, N.S. He also supervised projects in Charlottetown for off-Island firms such as the new store in Charlottetown for Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and provided services of inspection and evaluation of buildings and properties.

    Jim Toombs died on 30 April 1995 at the age of 77.

Custodial History

    (No custodial history available)

Scope and Content

    The fonds consists of several series of documents kept primarily in the order in which they were received. These include working files and specifications, rolled plans, inspections, and a few survey plans of Charlottetown. Some of the plans are the work of E.S. Blanchard and a few are those of the firm of Harris and Horton including some preliminary structural drawings for churches designed by W.C. Harris.

    The format of the first two series requires that they be housed separately until they can be flattened but the file listing incorporates the two series in order to present a more representative picture of each project. It is anticipated that eventually the folded plans (now housed in the working files) will form one series with the rolled plans and what remains in the working files will form the second series.

    As well, the fonds contains six bound volumes of the Daily Examiner newspaper, 1885-1899, a volume of Goad Insurance Plans for Prince Edward Island, 1881 updated to 1910, and a collection of miscellaneous documents, photographs, and watercolours which belonged to E.S. Blanchard, including a cased daguerrotype of an Island military group, ca. 1855 and a family photograph of the Toombs family.

    The series are as follows:

    Series 1: Working files & specifications
    Series 2: Rolled plans
    Series 3: Inspections & evaluations
    Series 4: Survey plans
    Series 5: Daily Examiner
    Series 6: Goad Insurance plans of Prince Edward Island
    Series 7: E.S. Blanchard papers
    Series 8: Toombs family photograph

Restrictions on Access


Access Points


Other Author:

    (No Other Author access points found)


Online Exhibit Link

    (No online exhibit links available)

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