Charles MacDonald Manly was born in Englefield Green, Surrey, England in 1855. He immigrated to Canada some time in the 1860's with his family, they settled in Toronto Ontario.
Manly was the President of the Ontario Society of Artists and a long time teacher at the Ontario School of Art. He was known as a notable Canadian landscape painter.
He was a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
He died in 1924 in Toronto, Ontario.