Born March 5, 1913 Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died May 13, 2001 Winnipeg, Manitoba.
daughter of architect Max
Blankstein, she grew up in homes designed and built by her
father. She earned her degree in Architecture University
of Manitoba. She worked as an architect for nearly 40
years, at a time when there were few women in the profession, first in her
brother Cecil’s office and then for Hobbs Glass (later Canadian Pittsburgh
Industries). She was the first of few women with a full membership in
Glendale Golf Club.
Winnipeg Free Press,
17 May 2001. Memorable Manitobans profile by Gordon Goldsborough.
Online (Accessed December 2011)
Esther Marjorie Hill.
Guelph, Ontario May 28, 1895. Died 1985. This Canadian architect was the
first woman to enter into and graduate (1920) in 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. She survived the depression years with her own resourceful
talents by selling handmade gloves and handmade greeting cards. She would go
on to become a prolific and valued member of her chosen profession.
Suggested Source: The Canadian Encyclopedia
online (Accessed February 7, 2004.
Born Montreal, Quebec January
24, 1927. A trained and accomplished architect she designed the Saidy
Bromfman Center in Montreal and served as consultant for the Toronto
Dominion Center. She won the National Honor Award from the American
Institute of Architects for her work in Los Angeles. She is the founder and
director of the Canadian Center for Architecture, a world-class museum and
study center in Montreal. She is an officer in the order of Canada.
Janet Leys Shaw Mactavish
Born 1925. Died 1972. Janet earned her degree in architecture at McGill
University School of Architecture in 1947. While working for Marshall and
Merritt Architectural firm in the 1950’s and 1960’s he provided plans in
1958 for Beaconsfield High School, Montreal and for Valois Park High School.
In 1962 she designed Stirling hall, the circular physics building at Queen’s
University and in 1965 the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, also a
circular design, at McGill University. Her modern designs provided cost
savings from reduction of exterior walls which focused on reduction of
windows, indoor congestion and corridor traffic.
Marion Bell Macrae
Born Apple Hill, Ontario April 30, 1921. She attended the Ontario Collage of
Art in the 1940’s and did undergraduate work at the University of Illinois
from 1951-1954. She became a lecturer of history of design at the Ontario
College of Art from 1969-1986. She went on to lecture at the university of
Toronto. She has written several books about details of historic
architecture. She was involved with the historic restoration of Dundurn
Castle, Hamilton, Ontario. In 1975 her writing won the Governor General’s
non fiction award. Her works in the profession received additional
recognition in 1982 when she was made a member of the Order of Canada.
Suggested Sources: Canadian Who’s Who (Toronto: University of Toronto Press,
(née Pupols). Born Latvia February 27, 1944. As a youngster, Eva
immigrated with her family to the U.S.A. Young Eva would attend Cornell
University earning a Bachelor of Architecture in 1966. After working in the
U.S.A. for a few years, she found herself working in Vancouver, British
Columbia in 1972. She was project architect for several government buildings
and in 1984 she established the architectural firm of Matsuzaki Wright. This
group was responsible for numerous structures including the award winning C.K. Choi Building at the University of British Columbia. Her designs pay
attention to the environment along with an additional commitment to the
community in its entirety. The Choi building won the Lieutenant-Governor
Innovation Award of Excellence and is a benchmark in “green design”. In 1998
she founded Matsuzaki Architects. She has been on contributing member to
several Boards and Committees including the Vancouver Library Board. A
tutorial leader and mentor at the University of British Columbia she is a
founding member of Women in Architecture. She was the first woman elected
president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1998.
Source: Eva Matsuzaki by Sherry Mckay. The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica
Foundation of Canada, 2004.
Budapest, Hungary. Died December 2012. She and her parents survived the
horrors of World War ll in Hungary. During the Hungarian Revolution in 1956,
Magda, her husband and their infant son , Peter, escaped at night to Austria
and from there immigrated to Canada. Her 1st job, taken so she
could learn English, was as a waitress at a Hungarian restaurant. Artistic
and industrious she rose to become one of the most famous builders. She
built and renovated homes in the illustrious area of Roseate, Toronto and
Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa. She designed and built the homes herself with her
word and a handshake as her bond. Her son Peter Kellnen followed in her
footsteps. In 1989 she and husband Arthur Pennington returned to Hungary
where she found the use for her North American skills. She soon established
her reputation and was building spectacular homes well into her 70’s. After
a debilitating stroke in 2010 Magda and her husband returned to Canada.
Source: Magda Pennington. The Globe and Mail December 18, 2012
Suggestion submitted by June Coxon , Ottawa.
Blanche van Ginkel .
London, England December 14, 1923. Blanche and her husband are architects
and urban planners. In 1957 they established their own firm which is known
for “Modernist” design. They have worked on plans for old city of Montreal,
new Montreal, New York City, Calgary, and even development sites for the
Canadian Arctic. Blanche was the first woman elected as an officer and
“fellow” of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. She was also the
first woman and the first Canadian to be president of the Association of
Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She was Dean of Architecture at the
University of Toronto, 1977-1982, the first woman to hold such a position in
any Canadian school of architecture.
Catherine Mary Wisnicki.
Chard). 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.