Speight, Van Nostrand & Gibson Limited
Ontario Land Surveyors
Established 1825


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 States.


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 with the

Association of Provincial Land Surveyors, being appointed to the Board of Examiners in 1873, serving for twenty years.


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.