Nicholas Kavakonis, M.A.A.T.O.
1923 - 1979
Nicholas Kavakonis came to Canada in the mid-fifties, having studied sculpture for three years at the Ecole de Beaux Art, Athens, Greece. He first settled in Quebec, where he had a small sculpture studio, and then moved to Toronto, where he worked as an Architectural Technologist
for a number of reputable architecture firms, including Marani, Morris & Allan;
Marani, Rounthwaite & Dick, Architects; and MacIntosh and Clarke,
through the 1960's and 70's.
As a part of the 1960's renovation and refurbishing of St. Anne's Anglican
Church on Gladstone Ave., Toronto, spearheaded by Rector
George Victor Young, Mr. Kavakonis received the commission
for the four Nativity scenes comprising St. Anne's new 300-pound bronze doors. Donated by
parish members Richard Winfield and his sister Mrs. Edward Osborne, and known as the
Winfield Gates, the four Nativity scenes included Mary and Joseph on their way to Bethlehem,
the Shepherds journeying to the manger, the Nativity, and the Adoration of the Magi.
Founded in 1862, St. Anne's is equally renowned as an active parish and as an historic
art and architecture site. Reputedly the only Anglican church built in the Byzantine Greek-
Cross style, in 1923 members of the Group of Seven J.E.H. Macdonald, F.H. Varley and
Frank Carmichael were commissioned to decorate the church's apse, pendentive and
transept areas. The dome was decorated with the Symbols of the Four Evangelists by
sculptors Frances Loring and Florence Wyle, as well as with paintings by F.H. Varley.
Other public commissions by Mr. Kavakonis include the plaque of Justice Weighing the
Scales, above the south elevator to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, beside New
City Hall, Toronto.
Materials of choice included a green modelling plasticine, for sketches and
and clay for final compositions.
In the fall of 1964 Mr. Kavakonis met his wife Ulla Kavakonis and had a daughter,
Niki Kavakonis. He continued working in the architectural field, including such contracts as
the Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto, and the hotel Le Meridien in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 1976-1978,
all the while maintaining a sculpture studio in his home.
Mr. Kavakonis planned to start an architectural firm with his colleague, architect
George Malion, with his daughter being
junior partner. Upon retirement he
intended to pursue sculpture on a full-time basis.