Biographical Dictionary of Canadian Engineers

Edited by
Rod Millard

THOMPSON, William George MacNeill , b. 1833, Portsmouth, Eng.; d. 12 May 1903, St. Catharines, Ont. He learned engineering on the construction of the Grand Trunk Railway (1852-1856), and was resident engineer of surveys and construction of the Welland Railway until 1859. He worked as a contractor's engineer and agent on the Riviére du Loup section of the GTR (1859-1860), and from 1860 to 1863 occupied the same position on the reconstruction of the Northern Railway. After working in Wales and Ceylon for a year, he was a resident engineer on the Intercolonial Railway (1868-1872), and, then, was resident engineer (1872-1888) for the Department of Public Works of Canada on the southern division of the Welland Canal enlargement. From 1888 to 1892, he was in charge of construction of the Sault Ste. Marie Canal, becoming superintendent in 1892. He resigned in 1900 to act as a consultant to the canal. In 1896, he was elected vice president of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineers (renamed Engineering Institute of Canada, 1918), and became president in 1898. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers of Great Britain, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the American Institute of Electrical Engineers.

Phillip Vickerman