Ernest Ross Rolph (1871 - 1958)

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About Ernest Ross Rolph

Ernest Ross Rolph attended the 'Model School' and 'Jarvis Collegiate' in Toronto. He was trained as an 'Architect' by David Roberts from 1888 to 1892. He played a major role in the construction of the 'George Gooderman mansion on St. George Street in Toronto' [now "The York Club"]. His drawings hang in the lobby of the Club, signed "E.R.Rolph".

In 1882 he travelled to Europe for a year and then he returned to Canada to rejoin David Roberts as a "Draughtsman". There he met his future business partner and they worked at "one of the most important archictecural partnerships in Canada after 1900" ('Darling, Sproatt & Pearson'). He completed major renovations to the residence of Michael J. Haney, Elm Avenue, Toronto in 1897.

In 1897 he took a position with the 'Canadian Pacific Railway' in Alberta, Canada, supervising the architectural and engineering work on "The Crow's Nest Pass" in January 1900.

In 1898 he married his first wife 'Florence May McMichael' but she died tragically six months later from typhoid. It seems that he had been visiting his brother in Alberta and he was so ill himself that "he had to be carried off the train in Toronto". After that he chose to remain in Toronto and he remarried to Alice, the daughter of his old patron Michael J. Haney.

In 1899 he and Henry Sproat formed a partnership that lasted for 34 years. They collaborated on some of the most renowned landmarks of Canadian architecture (see under "Sproatt & Rolph" in any reference book). He was renowned as a "Connoisseur and collector of 'inset jewels and small antique Chinese vases' and for 'his keen judgement and sense of humour'.

In 1934 Sproatt died and the 'Partnership' suffered. In December 1942 Ernest Rolph resigned and he died in Toronto on 4th May 1958.

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