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The names appearing below are just a fraction of the Canadian
women of accomplishment. Check out The Famous Canadian Women 's
section ON THE JOB which contains mini profiles of 2000
Canadian Women of Achievement.
Born May 29,1895 Guelph, Ontario. Died January 7,1985. Esther earned
her BA at the University of Alberta in 1916.
In 1920 this Canadian architect was
the 1st woman to enter into and graduate from this profession.
This was the era of women's suffrage and it was a tough time for women
in male dominated professions. She encountered considerable discrimination
both during her studies and while attempting to work as a professional
architect. She had problems finding a job and her application to be
a registered architect was denied and only accepted after legislative
changes forced acceptance. In 1922 she took classes in Urban
Planning at the University of Toronto and then studied at Columbia
University, New York City, U.S.A.
In 1925 she was accepted into the
Alberta Association of Architects becoming the 1st Canadian woman to be
a registered architect. She survived the depression years
with her own resourceful talents by selling handmade gloves and handmade
greeting cards. In 1936 she relocated to Victoria, British
Columbia. In 1942 she won 1st prize for her weaving at the
Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto. After World War ll she opened
her own architectural firm. In 1953 she joined the Architectural
Institute of British Columbia and worked on city planning until to 1958. She would go on to become a prolific and valued
member of her chosen profession. She retired in 1963.
Born Winnipeg, Manitoba September 19, 1919. She was the
first woman to graduate from the prestigious
Schools of Architecture at McGill University in 1943. She
would leave her architectural mark with modern designs in the post World
War II era on Canada’s west coast. She began to teach architecture in 1963
and retired in 1986.
Blanche Lemco van
Lemco van Ginkel née Lemco. Born
London, England. Blanche
studied architecture at McGill University, Montreal and graduated in
1945. In 1950 she studied city planning at Harvard University,
Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She was a professor at the
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Harvard University, the
Université de Montreal and McGill University. Blanche
and her husband, Sandy Van Ginkel (1920-2009) are Architects and urban planners. The
couple founded their own firm in 1957 in Toronto. .
They have worked on plans for old city of Montreal, new Montreal,
New York City, Calgary, and even development sites for the Canadian
Arctic. They were also involved in the planning of Expo 67. She was
the 1st woman to hold a leading position at a
Canadian School of architecture when she served as Dean of Architecture, University of Toronto,
1980-1982. She was elected as an officer and a fellow of the Royal
Architectural Institute of Canada and was the 1st Canadian woman to
serve as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of
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