Copyright © 1998-2023  Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved 

 ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

Alexandra Biriukova

Born July 10, 1895, Vladivostok, Russia. Died February 10, 1967, Toronto, Ontario. In 1911 Alexandra studied architecture at the School of Architecture, Petrograd, Russia. She and her family left Russia during the Russian Revolution (1917-1923) and settled in Rome, Italy. While in Rome she earned a post graduate degree in architecture from the Royal Superior School of Architecture. As a student she began working for architect Armoldo Foschini and remained working there until 1929. Immigrating to Canada she settled in Toronto to live with her sister. In 1931 she became the first woman in the Ontario Association of Architects (O A A) and would be the second woman to register as an architect in Canada. She would design the Art Deco house of Group of Seven Artist, Lawren Harris (1885-1970), but the building considered radical for its time. In later years the O A A named the house one of the top ten Art Deco Buildings in Toronto. There is some controversy as to weather Harris himself may have influenced most ot he house design.  Receiving no addition work as an architect, Alexandra registered as a nurse and worked at the Free Toronto Hospital for Consumptive Poor until retirement in the 1960's.  (2023)

Evelyn Blankstein

Born March 5, 1913, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died May 13, 2001, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Daughter of architect Max Blankstein, Evelyn grew up in homes designed and built by her father. She earned her degree in Architecture at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg. She worked as an architect for nearly 40 years, at a time when there were few women in the profession. She first worked 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. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2001; Memorable Manitobans profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (accessed December 2011) (2021)

Shirley Blumberg

Born February 4, 1952, Cape Town, South Africa. In 1972 Shirley graduated from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. In 1973 she left home and went to London, England and in 1974 she immigrated to Canada. In 1976 she graduated from the School of Architecture, University of Toronto and joined Barton Myers Associates, Inc. Toronto. In 1987 she became a founding partner forming the Kuwabara Payne Mckenna Blumberg Architects (K P M B). She has directed a range of architectural projects that benefit society in Toronto, Ottawa, Saskatchewan, Princeton University, U.S.A. She is a member of the Toronto Community Housing Design Review Panel and served on the design review panel for the memorial to the Victims of Communism. In 2012 she was a winner of the RIBA International Award. In 2013 she was appointed to the Order of Canada and in 2014 she earned the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. She is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Architectural Institute of America. (2021)

Joan Burt  4079

Born 1930, Toronto, Ontario. Died March 10, 2021, Toronto, Ontario. Joan was the first woman to graduate from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1956. She worked with the architecture firm of Mathers and Haldenby from 1956 to 1958 and then with developer Irwin Burns for an additional year prior to establishing her own firm in 1958.  She too an interest in renovating 19th century roughhouses in downtown Toronto. She was a member of the Ontario Association of Architects and the Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals. In 1964 for seven years she operated an antique store specializing in furniture and artefacts. She taught part time in environmental design at the Ontario College of Art from 1965 through 1970. She became chair of the Department of design in 1970 and served in that position until 1985. During her tenure she developed programs in environmental design, ceramics, textiles, printmaking and glass. At the time of her death in 2021 she was the oldest licensed woman architect in Ontario. A Joan Burt Architectural Award was established at the Ontario College of Art and Design University (O C A D  U) in 2008 and is presented annually to an environmental design student. Source: O C A D  U mourns passing of Joan Burt, former chair of Department of Design. in The Globe and Mail. March 31, 2021

Phyllis Wilson Carlisle 4285

née  Cook. Born 1912, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1954, Toronto, Ontario. Phyllis graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto in 1935. As a university student she was the first woman to win the annual student design competition sponsored by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (R A I C) Her winning design for an Embassy in the Capital City of a Country in the Temperate Zone was published in the R A I C Journal. While still as school she also earned the Toronto Brick Company Award, the Architectural Guild Bronze Medal and the Darling and Pearson Prize. In 1935 her first article, The Modern Kitchen was published in the R A I C Journal. She worked at the Eaton's Department Store, Toronto,  in the Interior Decorating Department for two years after graduation. In 1937 she married Kenneth Carisly and the couple had three children. She continued her career designing kitchens and also worked promoting Formica materials. In 1945 she was part of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (C B C) series about home renovations. (2023)

Grace MacFarlane Craig


née Morris. Born February 20, 1891, Pembroke, Ontario. Died 1987, Toronto, Ontario. In 1912 Grace was turned down at the School of Practical Science when she applied for studies in architecture because she was a woman. During World War l (1914-1918) she volunteered at the Petawawa Military Base in Ontario. After the war she worked as an architectural draughtsperson with the firm of Craig and Madill, the 1st woman in Toronto to work as a draughtsperson. She designed and supervised construction of houses for several years. In 1923 she married one of the firm’s founders, James Henry Craig. Grace went on to study at the Ontario College of Art, Toronto and won acclaim for her work. She exhibited her works with the Ontario Society of Artists and the Royal Canadian Academy. She enjoyed sharing her knowledge to inspire younger generations. In 1981 she published her memoir, But This is Our War. Source; Canadian Women of Note , from the Canadian Women’s Press Club 1994. (2021)

Beatrice Davidson 4286

née  Centner.  Born 1909, Toronto, Ontario. Died March 5, 1986, Toronto, Ontario. Beatrice earned her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto (U of T) in 1930. As a student Beatrice earned the Architectural Guild Bronze Medal. By 1937 she had completed her Master's Degree in Architecture firm the U of T. Normally the Bronze Medal winner would be hired by a local architectural firm but Beatrice did not have much in the way of construction site experience and she was told to gain experience over the next five year and if she would agree to not marry for the next ten years she might be offered a job.  Upon graduation she married Harry Davidson. She worked for the architectural firm P. A. Deacon part time. A home and some furniture deisgns were published in 1949 in Canadian Homes and Gardens magazine. In 1959 she was an ex officio jury member for the selection of a design for the new Toronto City Hall. She was also a research assistant for the book by Eric Arthur, Toronto, No Mean City, published in 1964. (2023)

Margaret Dryer 4080

née Synge. Born 1921, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1963, Toronto, Ontario. Margaret studied for five years in Ireland prior to graduating in 1945 with a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto. Upon graduation she received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada gold medal, the Ontario Association of Architects scholarship and the Toronto Brick Prize.  for the first two years after graduation she worked for the architectural firm of Mathers and Haldenby and later with Fleury and Arthur. In 1946 she married a university of Toronto Professor, Douglas Dryer and the couple had three children. in the 1940's she worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (C B C) radio presenting a weekly broadcast on renovation, house design and community planning. From 1952 she worked ans an independent architect. She is known for her work on the Campbell Soup Building in Simcoe, Ontario, the Bell Telephone Building, and the Toronto Regent Park housing development.

Daphne Lennox Grafton 4287

Born December 3, 1919, Brooks, Alberta. Died March 24, 2017, Lacombe, Alberta. Lennox earned her Bachelor Degree from the University of Alberta in 1941. She continued her education earning a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Toronto in 1950.  After graduation she worked at various architectural firms working on sesigns for schools, churches and general commercial buildings. By 1960 she had established her own architectural company but was unable to find work for larger projects.  In 1967 she began working for the Canadian government Department of Public Works and continued to design schools including residential schools in Attawapiskat and Kashechewan in Northern Ontario providing for technical challenges of the northern soils weather and temperatures. In the 1980's and into the next decade she was active in the project 'For the Record' organized by the Ontario Women Graduates and funded by the Ontario Heritage Foundation which sought to document women architects graduating from the University of Toronto. (2023)

Jean Hall 4288

Born 1896, Toronto, Ontario. Died 1982, Toronto, Ontario. Jean studied general arts at the University of Toronto in but did not feel completed with an arts degree. In 1917 she began training in architecture with full encouragement from her father. At the end of the the First World War in 1918 Jean answered the call of university students to volunteer as teachers in the Canadian Prairies. She taught in Rearville, Alberta for two years. Returning to her studies in 1923 she was the second woman to graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture. While a student she had served as vice president of the University Architectural Club. Jean was the firs trained woman architect to design a building in Canada. Her design was for a 1925 fourplex built by her father's construction company. Sadly she was not able to launch her professional career in architecture during the time of the 1930's Great Depression which caused her father to close his construction business. She would work as a medical claims processor for the Toronto Workman's Compensation Board until her retirement in 1958. Some of her drawings  can be found in the Archives and Records Management Services, University of Toronto.(2023)

Joan Mary Harland 3466

Born December 10, 1914, Leeds, England. Died July 17, 2016, Winnipeg, Manitoba. The family came to Winnipeg in March of 1915. Joan attended St. Mary's Academy graduating in 1932. The next year she earned a degree from the Toronto Conservatory of Music. By 1938 she had earned a degree in architecture from the University of Manitoba. In 1939 she became the first instructor of interior design at the University of Manitoba and went on to become the first Chairman and Head of the Department of Interior Decorating, which was the first such school in Canada. In the mid 1940's she attended summer classes at Columbia University, New York City, U.S.A. to earn a Master of Fine arts degree. Joan stepped down as head of the department and retired from the University in 1980. In retirement she took classes in religion. She also penned the History of Interior Decoration/Design at the University of Manitoba from 1938 to 1997, a Guide to the Parish Church of St. George, Crescentwood, Winnipeg, Carvings on the Main Entrance Doors Parish Church of St. George, and St. Georges' Church Architecture published in 2008. In 2016 she was inducted into the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo Hunt. Source: Memorable Manitobans online (accessed 2021)

Esther Marjorie Hill

Born May 29,1895, Guelph, Ontario. Died January 7,1985, Victoria, British Columbia. Esther earned her Bachelor's degree at the University of Alberta in 1916. In 1920 this Canadian architect graduated from the University of Alberta the 1st woman to enter into 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. Ester would go on to become a prolific and valued member of her chosen profession. She retired in 1963. (2021)

Barbara Alice Humphreys / Humbphrys 4289

Born October 8, 1919, Kelleher, Saskatchewan. Died February 21, 2017, Manotick, Ontario. Barbara graduated with a gold medal in 1941 from the University of Manitoba with a degree in Architecture. She would relocated to Thunder Bay, Ontario and Montreal, Quebec to work for Defence Industries Ltd, Architectural Division and joined the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1944. then moved on to Malton, Ontario to work at the Plant Engineering Division of Victory Aircraft Ltd in 1954. That year she joined the Ontario Association of Architects (O A A). It was also in the the 1950's that she married Douglas Humphreys and settled in eastern Ontario. The couple had one daughter. She opened her own practice working in Ottawa and Kingston. She became involved with local heritage organizations and fought to save the local heritage site of Watson's Mill. With the Canadian Centennial celebrations in 1967 she took and interest in the  field history of Canadian architecture which was just beginning to become of interest. She worked as a consultant to the Historic Sites and Monuments Board.  In 1969 she served as Director of the survey of the Rideau Canal corridor's architectural heritage in Ottawa. She was also created a pilot project for the Canadian Inventory of Historic Buildings. She was the only woman architect in the 1970's working with the Parks Canada making this computerized record of Canadian buildings. In 1977 she received the Queen Elizabeth ll Silver Jubilee Medal. The Buildings of Canada: A Guide to Pre- 20th Century Styles in Houses, Churches, and Other Structures, was written with Meredith H. Sykes and Michael Middleton and published in 1980 by Parks Canada. She became a lecturer at universities and historical association and wrote extensively on Canadian architecture for various magazines and journals. She established a course on the History of Canadian Built Environment at Carleton University, Ottawa. In 1992 she was presented with the Gabrielle Léger Medal which is awarded to volunteers or professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the conservation of heritage in Canada over a period of 20 years.  Source: Barbara A. Humphreys, Ontario Association of Architects, October 2015 online  (accessed 2023); Obituary, online (accessed 2023)

Mary Louise Imrie 4290

Born August 29, 1918, Toronto, Ontario. Died April 11, 1988, Edmonton, Alberta. When Mary was just a toddler the family relocated to live in Edmonton, Alberta. She began studying architecture at the University and continued her studies at the University of Toronto graduating in 1944. From 1946 for three years she worked as a draftsman for the City of Edmonton. where she met her future partner Jean Louise Emberly Wallbridge (1912-1979) a fellow architect. The two young architects were sent to Europe to study post-war reconstruction by the City of Edmonton. In 1950 the two women established their joint architectural practice, the first all-female architectural firm in Canada. The became known for their elegant homes with modern lines. They also worked on schools and senior living homes. In 1957 their firms earned the Canadian Housing Design Council Award. It was a tough time for women architects to be recognized and jobs in the lucrative building markets were not easily obtained.  The two women traveled extensively submitting writings for a journal owned by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (R A I C). Both women were members of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Alberta Association of Architects. The University of Alberta established the Mary Louise Imrie Graduate Student Award in her honour. Mary donated her home, Imrie House, and six acres of land to the province of Alberta and it is maintained by the local Land Stewardship Centre. (2023)

Phyllis Barbara Lambert

née Bronfman. Born January 24, 1927, Montreal, Quebec. Phyllis showed artistic prowess at an early age. At eleven she was exhibiting her works in annual juried exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Societé des sculpteurs du Canada. Phyllis earned her Bachelor of Arts at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, U.S.A. in 1948. May 17, 1949 she married Jean Lambert but sadly they became divorced in 1954 while living in Paris, France. In 1958 she entered the Yale School of Architecture but soon switched to the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, U.S.A. by 1963 she had earned a Master's Degree and her family had her design the Saidye Bronfman Centre, Montreal, in honour of her mother.  working to revitalize the Shaughnessy Village area of Montreal. In 1975 she founded the heritage preservation group Heritage Montreal serving at the first president until 1983.In 1979 she founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture (C C A) an influential museum and research centre in Shaughnessy Village donating 750,000 shares in the family business, Seagram, to fund the Centre.  She won the National Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects for her work in Los Angeles. In 1985 she became a Knight of the National Order of Quebec and was promoted to Grand Officer in 2005. Also in 1985 she was inducted as a Member of the Order of Canada and this was promoted to the level of Officer in 1990 and promoted again to Companion in 2001. In 1992 she became an Officier of the Ordre des arts et des lettres de France. In 1997 she received the Hadrian Award from the World Monuments Fund. In 2006 she was awarded the Vincent Scully Prize by the National Building Museum, Washington D.C., U.S.A. In 2007 a documentary film was made entitled: Citizen Lambert: Joan of Architecture. In 2014 she received the Golden Lion Lifetime Achievement Award from the Venice Biennale of Architecture. She is also one of four prominent female architects profiled in the documentary, City Dreamers produced in 2018. (2021)

Janet Leys Shaw Mactavish

Born August 25, 1925, Montreal, Quebec. Died February 19, 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 she 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, Kingston, Ontario and in 1965 the McIntyre Medical Sciences Building, McGill University, Montreal, also a circular design. Her modern designs provided cost savings from reduction of exterior walls which focused on reduction of windows, indoor congestion and corridor traffic. (2021)

Marion Bell MacRae

Born April 30, 1921, Apple Hill, Ontario. Died August 11, 2008, Alexandria, Ontario. Marion attended the Ontario Collage of Art in the 1940’s and did undergraduate work at the University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 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. (2021)

Alice Charlotte Malhiot - Ross 4302

Born August 13, 1889, Ontario. Died June 10, 1968, Edmonton, Alberta. In 1019 Alice graduated with a diploma in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design in the U.S.A. Returning to Canada and settling in Calgary she worked with the architecutr firm of Lang & Major for three years. In 1911 she enrolled in Architecture at the University of Alberta. In 1914 she graduated in the field of sanitary science. Finding a job during World War l (1914-1918) was difficult and she worked as a clerk and then a stenographer. In 1917 she married a lumber dealer, Hugh Ross. The couple settled in Duffield, Alberta designing buildings for her husband's lumber business. After the death in 1944 she was in Edmonton working designing single family homes for a construction firm. She continued her education studying interior design, landscape and town planning by returning to the Rhode Island School of Design. (2023)

Eva Matsuzaki

née Pupols. Born  February 27, 1944, Riga, Latvia. 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: The Canadian Encyclopedia (2021)

Cornelia  Oberlander

Landscape Architect 

née Hahn. Born June 20, 1921, Mulhein, Germany. Died May 22, 2021, Vancouver, British Columbia. Cornelia escaped with her mother and her sister from Nazi Germany when she was just 18. They fled first to England and in 1939 immigrated to the U.S.A. and settled in New Hampshire. Cornelia graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, U.S.A. She was among the first class of women to graduated from Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., in landscape architecture in 1943. In 1953 she married Canadian, Peter Oberlander (died 2008), and the couple raised three children together. She would eventually settle in Vancouver British Columbia, where she opened her own landscape architecture firm in 1953. She has enhanced the urban landscape at Robson Square, Vancouver Public Library's central branch, rooftop gardens, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, and used logs as natural seating on Vancouver's public beaches. Across the country she has left her marks on playgrounds, notable the Canadian Government Pavilion, and Children's Creative Centre & play area at Expo '67 in Montreal. She also worked with the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Peacekeeping Monument, Ottawa, and the Canadian Chancery, Washington D C, U.S.A. She was presented with the Freedom of the City Award from Vancouver. In 1981 she was elected to the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects' College Fellows and in 1992 to the American Society of Landscape Architects' Council of Fellows. In 1992 she received the Canada 125 Anniversary of Confederation Commemorative Medal. In 2009 she became an Officer of the Order of Canada. In 2011 she was presented the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award from the International Federation of Landscape Architects followed the next year with the American Society of Landscape Architects Medal. In 2016 she was the inaugural recipient of the Governor General's Medal in Landscape Architecture as well as being inducted into the Order of British Columbia. In 2017 her order of Canada was upgraded to the level of Companion. The Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize was created by the Cultural Landscape Foundation is presented every other year. Source: Obituary. Online. (accessed May 2021)

Mother Joseph Pariseau
(Esther Pariseau)
r 11

Born April 16, 1823, Saint-Elzear, Quebec.  Died January 19, 1902, Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A. When Esther was 20 years old she entered the Sisters of Charity of Providence now known as the Sisters of Providence in Montreal. She could do all sorts of housework, read, write, and according to her father she could even do carpentering. Mother Joseph Pariseau was chosen in 1856 to lead a group of four missionaries to the Pacific Northwest. The group travelled to New York, panama and went on to Oregon in the U.S.A. Settline in Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A.,  and in a small cabin opened the first school in 1957. They also cared for orphans and the elderly. As they expanded they  opened the first Saint Joseph Hospital. There was dispute over the land  of the St. James Mission where the Sisters had operated and Mother Joseph  new land in 1859 and this sited is one of the oldest corporations and the parent corporation for Providence Health Services. By the 1870's she had designed and supervised the construction of a new home settlement for the Sisters . It was a four story structure  that housed orphans and boarders by 1874. In 1891 she supervised an new large addition. On horseback she took on fundraising tours in the mountains and wilderness. She was even held up and robbed at gun point on one stage ride. She also was involved with building several other buildings like the 1864 St. Vincent Academy in Walla Walla, Washington, U.S.A. Mother Joseph Pariseau was the first woman architect in British Columbia. Honoured by the State of Washington, U.S.A. in 1981, , she i one of the two people allowed to represent the state in the National Statuary Hall collection in Washington, D. C. , U.S.A. The State of Washington celebrates her birthday as an official state holiday. Mother Joseph Pariseau has also been inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.  In 2008, Sarah Allaback wrote The First American Woman Architect to tell her story. Her Providence Academy, which closed in 1966 with declining students and teachers is on the National Register of Historic Places and is currently part of the Vancouver (Washington) National Histori Reserve Trust. (2023)

Magda Pennington

Born 1928, Budapest, Hungary. Died December 2012, Toronto, Ontario. Magda and her parents survived the horrors for Jews in World War ll in Hungary. When her father was taken to Gestapo Headquarters, Magda simply marched in and persuaded the Germans to release her father! During the Hungarian Revolution in 1956, Magda, her husband, Gabor Kellner, and their young son, Peter, escaped at night to Austria and from there immigrated to Canada. Her first job, taken so she could learn English, was as a waitress at the Csarda 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 where she was named 'the Queen of Rosedale', and Rockcliffe Park, Ottawa. She designed and built the homes herself with her word and a handshake was her bond. Her son Peter Kellnen followed in her footsteps. In 1989 she and husband, Arthur Pennington, retired to Hungary where she found 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. (2021)

Marie Alice / Alys Charlotte Mailhot / Malhiot Ross 4200

née Mailhot. Born August 13, 1890/1891, Sault Ste Marie, Ontario. Died June 10, 1968, Edmonton, Alberta. Alice wanted to follow in her father's footsteps and become an engineer but there was not school that would accept a women for engineering courses. Instead she choose to become an architect and lived with relatives when in 1907 she attended the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. On May 10, 1901 she graduated with a diploma in architecture, the first Canadian woman to do so. She worked at first as a draftsman for her father.  In 1914, in Edmonton, she writes examinations to become registers with the Alberta Association of Architects. . Unable to find work as an architect she works for the Alberta Lumber Company and helps customers drew up plans. October 18, 1917 Alice married Hugh Vivien Ross and the couple have five children. The family moved around according to the jobs Hugh could find. Alice is a great help in Bonnyville as she is fluently bilingual. After the October 1929 stock market crash, Hugh loses his job and the family moves to Duffield, west of Edmonton, and open a business with living quarters attached. During the great depression Alice dismantles and reassembles a church and designs homes for family customers. After the death of her oldest son and the death of her husband, Alice, continued to run the family business even becoming Duffield postmistress prior to moving to Edmonton in the late 1940's. Here she designs building for George Prudham and his hardware company. In 1947 she returns to the Rhode Island School of Design to upgrade her skills. Returning to Edmonton  she established the Ross Design developing house plans for her own catalogue. In her 60's Alice suffers a stroke. Not to be held back with mobility issues she learns to drive a car for the first time. Sadly Alice scraped her leg on metal of the car and the following infection causes a blood clot that travels to her brain. Source: Alice Charlotte Malhiot Ross, Women Building Alberta. online (accessed 2023)  

Blanche Lemco van Ginkel

née Lemco. Born December 14,1923, 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 first 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 first Canadian woman to serve as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. She was one of four women architects highlighted in the film documentary City Dreamers. (2021)

Jean Louise Emberly Wallbridge r 15

Born October 25, 1912, Edmonton, Alberta. Died September 30, 1979, Edmonton, Alberta. Jean would earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Science from the University of Alberta in 1939. In February 1941 she became the thrid woman to register with the Alberta Association of Architects. She worked first in Edmonton and then relocated to Sait John, New Brunswick where she worked for the town planning commission. Returning to Alberta she worked with the Edmonton City Architect Department in Edmonton. In 1950 this office closed and she began working mainly on residential projects in the city forming a partner ship with Mary Imrie (1918-1988). Their firm was the first established by Canadian women. In 1957 the business partners won the Canadian Houseing Design Council Award. (2023)

Catherine Mary Wisnicki


née Chard. Born September 19, 1919, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died October 21, 2014, Naramata, British Columbia. Catherine graduated from McGill University, Montreal with a Bachelor of Arts in 1939. She became first woman to graduate from the prestigious Schools of Architecture at McGill University in 1943. In 1945 she married Paul Wisnicki, the couple would have three children. After World War ll she was employed at Canadian Wooden Aircraft Company, Toronto, where she studied prefabricated houses, a discipline in which she became an expert. She joined the Ontario Association of Architects in 1946 becoming the 4th woman member. Relocating to British Columbia the following year she was the second woman to register with the Architectural Institute of British Columbia.  She would leave her architectural mark with modern designs in the post World War II era on Canada’s west coast. developing the regional style known as BC Modernism.  She began to teach architecture in British Columbia in 1963. She became the second woman to be a member of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia.  She would participate in the regional style known as West Coast Modernism. She retired in 1986.  (2021)

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