Henry Denny Johnson

Partnering with many prominent architects at the turn of the 20th century, Henry Denny Johnson also made his own significant mark on local architecture with his designs of the McKay Avenue School and John A. McDougall mansion.

Edmiston & Johnson (1899-1901)

Johnson & Barnes (1905-1906)

Johnson, Calderon, & Lines (1906)

Johnson & Lines (1906-1907)


Henry Denny Johnson was born in England in 1843. He emigrated to Canada in 1880, working first in Montreal before moving to Calgary to serve as local superintending architect for the Department of Public Works in the North West Territories office. He moved to Edmonton in 1899, opening a practise with William Sommerville Edmiston. This partnership dissolved and Johnson worked on his own designing schools, buildings, and sports facilities, including the Thistle Rink just off Jasper Avenue. This large facility hosted hockey, curling, skating events as well as many large gatherings including the inauguration of Alberta as a province in 1905. “Johnson's design of McKay Avenue School was well-received and became the model for later school buildings in the city,” states the city’s statement of significant for the historic school building. “In its robust massing and dignified architecture, the school embodies the educational virtues of strength, honesty, and elegance.”


Johnson went on to partner for a short time with Robert Percy Barnes, then with Alfred Merrigon Calderon and Roland Lines. When Calderon left the firm Johnson & Lines won first prize in an American and Canadian competition to design the Royal Alexandra Hospital in 1906. Johnson, however, ended up working on his own again from 1907 until 1914. He died in Edmonton in 1933.


Full Name

Henry Denny Johnson

Character Defining Elements

Balcony, Bay window, Brackets, Brick cladding, Brick structure, Columns, Corbelling, Cornice, Cross gable roof, Dentil, Dormer, Finial, Hipped roof, Irregular footprint, Keystone, Lintel, Pilaster, Portico, Turret, Two & a half storeys, Veranda, Voussoirs, Widow's Walk, Wooden shingles


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