Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

BOSWELL, St. George James , b. 19 Dec. 1853, Quebec City, Lower Canada; d. 5 March 1927, Quebec City. A McGill Arts and Science graduate, he worked from 1875 to 1877 as an assistant engineer on sewers and a contour survey of Mont Royal Park for the Montreal city engineer's office. In April 1877, he became assistant engineer of the Quebec Harbour Commission, and, in 1881, was appointed general assistant engineer, then resident engineer (1887). In 1889, he oversaw harbour improvements at Saint John N.B. as a consultant, and was a federal government inspecting engineer during the construction of Halifax's graving dock. In 1891, he became chief engineer of the Quebec Harbour Commission. He improved the harbour, correcting the mistakes of British engineers who had originally constructed it, but were unfamiliar with Canadian conditions. This was his greatest engineering contribution. From 1913 until his death, he was consulting engineer to the Harbour Commission. He also worked as a Quebec land surveyor and did consulting work for the Quebec Electric Light Company and the Quebec Cold Storage Company. A charter member of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (1887), he served on its council for many years after 1889. He was an associate member of the Literary and Historical Society of Quebec, and served as church warden and synod member at the Quebec Cathedral.

Stephanie Potter