Born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1906 he graduated in architecture from McGill University in 1930. Travelling to London he furthered his art education at the University of London, Goldsmiths College of Art, London Central School of Arts & Crafts and at the Byam Shaw School of Painting. On his return to Montreal he was heavily involved in early lobbying efforts to establish an official war art program, but never employed in it himself, Taylor's personal goal was to ensure a painted record of Canada's war industry workers. He took up a position teaching at McGill University's School of Architecture from 1940 to 1943. From 1932-1963 Taylor's work was exhibited in fourteen solo exhibitions in Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. He received commissions executed for the Government of Canada and many major industrial corporations in Canada and the United States.
Taylor became a member of the Society of Canadian Painters, Etchers and Engravers in 1934 and a life member in 1959. In 1943, he became a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Arts. He joined the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, first as Associate Painter in 1938 and then as Academician Painter in 1966.
A number of works are held in public collections including the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Canada and the Beaverbrook Collection of War Art at the Canadian War Museum.
Born into a life of wealth he embraced communism and spent a life time at odds with his brother Edward or ‘EP’ a well-known Canadian businessman. Arguments over allowances ensued and in 1960 Fred moved permanently to Mexico where in 1987 he took his own life.