Copyright © 1998-2020  Dawn E. Monroe. All rights reserved 

 ISBN: 0-9736246-0-4

 
Evelyn Blankstein 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. Sources: Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 17 May 2001. Memorable Manitobans profile by Gordon Goldsborough. Online (Accessed December 2011)
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 (KPMB).  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. In 2013 she was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada. Review Panel and served on the design review panel for the memorial to the Victims of Communism. In 2013 she was appointed to the Order of Canada. In 2012 she was a winner of the RIBA International Award. In 2014 she earned the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. (2019)
Grace MacFarlane Craig

Draughtsperson
née  Morris. Born February 20, 1891, Pembroke, Ontario. Died 1987. In 1912 she 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 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. She 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. Source; Canadian Women of Note , from the Canadian Women’s Press Club 1994.
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. She became the firs 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.  She 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 1938to 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.  She would go on to become a prolific and valued member of her chosen profession. She retired in 1963. (2020)
Phyllis Lambert Born January 24, 1927, Montreal, Quebec. A trained and accomplished architect she designed the Saidy Bronfman 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 April 30, 1921, Apple Hill, Ontario. 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.

Eva Matsuzaki

née Pupols. Born  February 27, 1944, 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: Eva Matsuzaki by Sherry Mckay. The Canadian Encyclopedia, Historica Foundation of Canada, 2004.

Cornelia Oberlander


Landscape Architect 
3304
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 first fled to England and in 1939 immigrated to the U.S.A. settling in New Hampshire. She 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 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. @011 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 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)
Magda Pennington Born 1928, 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 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 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 Architecture.
Catherine Mary Wisnicki


                     11
née Chard. Born September 19, 1919, Winnipeg, Manitoba. Died October 21, 2014, Naramata, British Columbia. September 19, 1919 she became first woman to graduate from the prestigious Schools of Architecture at McGill University in 1943. In 1945 she married Paul Wisnicki and the couple had 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 1963 and retired in 1986.

top of page