Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

MONSARRAT, Charles Nicholas , b. 2 July 1871, Montreal; d. 1 March 1940, Montreal. Educated by private tuition and at the Montreal High School, he began his career as a structural draftsman with the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1890. He served as an assistant engineer in British Columbia from 1895 to 1901, and in Montreal until 1903, when he became the chief engineer of bridges, a position he held until 1911. He served as chairman and chief engineer of the Quebec Bridge Board (1911-1918), was a consulting engineer to the Canadian government (1918-1921), and the Canadian National Railways (1921-1940). In 1921, he entered into partnership with P.L. Pratley. For almost two decades, their firm served as consulting, designing and supervising engineers for the St. Lawrence River Bridge at Lachine (1913), the Ambassador Bridge, Detroit and Windsor (1928-1929), the Jacques Cartier Bridge, Montreal (1929), the First and Second Narrows Bridge in Vancouver (1933-1934), and the St. Lawrence Suspension Bridge at the Isle of Orleans near Quebec (1936). In 1898, he joined the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), and was elected vice-president in 1917. He was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. In 1910, he received the CSCE's Gzowski Medal for his paper on the construction of the Lethbridge Viaduct. Active in the militia, he joined the Royal Highlanders (the 42nd Battalion) in 1905 and saw active service during the First World War in France, taking command in July 1915 as Lieutenant-Colonel. He was a member of the St. James, Royal Montreal Golf, and Canadian clubs. An Anglican, he married Mary Alice Foster in 1898 and they had two children.

Graham Fischer