Speight, Van Nostrand & Gibson Limited
Ontario Land Surveyors
David Gibson, born in 1804
in Scotland, immigrated to
Lower Canada, where he became actively involved in the survey to establish the
limit between Lower Canada and United
In 1825 he came to Upper Canada where he
was appointed Deputy Land Surveyor.
In 1834, under the mayoral
leadership of William Lyon MacKenzie, Gibson
was appointed the first City Surveyor of Toronto. During these years he was twice elected to
the Parliament of Upper Canada. After
his involvement in the unsuccessful Rebellion of 1837 he escaped to the United States, where he was appointed an
Engineer for the Erie Canal. Gibson was granted a pardon in 1848 and
returned to Upper Canada
to resume his survey practice in Willowdale, and reside at the brick dwelling
that he had constructed to replace the home burned by government forces and now
widely known as “The Gibson House”.
David Gibson passed away in
1864, leaving behind seven children two of whom would become Land Surveyors,
James Alexander 1831-1908 and Peter Silas 1837-1916.
In his lifetime he was instrumental
in the development of Upper Canada
and responsible for a Survey Heritage which exists to this day.
Peter Silas Gibson,
having graduated with a Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Michigan
at Ann Arbor,
would remain in Willowdale to continue the practice his father started.
Commissioned in 1858, he became the Engineer for the Township of York, and numerous other Municipalities.
Peter became very involved
Association of Provincial
Land Surveyors, being appointed to the Board of Examiners in 1873, serving for
Peter was involved in the
incorporation of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors in 1892 and became
President in 1898. He was also noted for
his commitment to education articling many noteworthy Surveyors, including A.J.
Van Nostrand. When Peter died he left 10
children, 3 of whom became Ontario Land Surveyors, Harold H. Gibson, Wilbert
Silas Gibson and Morton Milne Gibson.
Wilbert Silas Gibson was
born in 1878, Commissioned in 1898 and also continued to practice in Willowdale
until he moved his practice to Davisville in North Toronto and there with is
sons, S. Eldon Gibson 1906-1987 and Charles W. Gibson 1916, now retired, the
firm W.S. Gibson & Sons was ultimately established.