The son of Thomas and Ruth (nee Bell), Thomas Cuthbertson was born on July 3, 1848 in Oxford County, Ontario. The family would eventually settled in Blandford Township. He worked as a carpenter and as an employer of the Grand Trunk Railway at Brantford, Ontario, while studying architecture. In 1883, he married Clara Avis Baird in St. Thomas, Ontario. That same year, he entered the office of T.H. Goff, an architect of Woodstock, and later bought out the business. In 1886, he formed a partnership with Joseph A. Fowler (b. August 19, 1850) of Toronto. However, it appears Fowler chose to remain in Toronto to pursue his own work while the commissions in the Woodstock office of Cuthbertson & Fowler were carried out under the supervision of Cuthbertson.
The Architect firm of Cuthbertson & Fowler was commissioned to design a number of churches in Woodstock including All Saints Anglican Church, First Congregational Church, and Dundas Street Methodist Church, as well as the manse for Chalmers Presbyterian Church. They designed a number of schools in Woodstock including Chapel Street School, Broadway Public school and the Manual Training Building of Woodstock College, as well as the public schools in Princeton and Drumbo. They were also responsible for designing a number of local businesses including the Woodstock Opera House, Thomas Organ Factory, and the Thomas House Hotel, in Woodstock, as well as a number of impressive residential homes in Toronto, Woodstock, Embro, and Ingersoll. They were responsible for designing the Embro Town Hall and the Oxford House of Refuge and were hired to complete the Oxford County Court House, following the dismissal of the original architect, R.T. Brooks.
Cuthbertson’s designs were eclectic and often highly mannered, incorporating Romanesque Revival features which had rarely been seen outside the large city centres of Toronto, Hamilton and London. In late March 1894, he became ill and passed away in Woodstock, Ontario on April 3, 1894 and was buried in the Presbyterian Cemetery. Following his untimely death, Joseph Fowler arranged for his son, Henry Ades, to join his Toronto office, but within a year the partnership of Fowler & Son was dissolved. He would move to Clinton, Ontario in July 1895 to supervise the completion of the Huron County House of Refuge. He would later move to Goderich, Ontario and Montreal where he passed away on March 5, 1921.