Wallbridge and Imrie

Jean Wallbridge studied architecture under Cecil Burgess at the University of Alberta, graduating with a BSc in Applied Science in 1939. On 6 February 1941, she registered with the Alberta Association of Architects - only the third woman to do so.

Imrie and Wallbridge
Mary Imrie and Jean Wallbridge, architects (private collection).

Wallbridge and Imrie

Wallbridge and Imrie, architects (Jean Louise Emberly Wallbridge b at Edmonton, Alta 25 Oct 1912; d at Edmonton 30 Sept 1979 and Mary Louise Imrie b at Toronto, Ont 29 Aug 1918; d at Edmonton 11 April 1988). Wallbridge and Imrie were among the first women in Canada to form their own architectural partnership.

Jean Wallbridge studied architecture under Cecil Burgess at the University of Alberta, graduating with a BSc in Applied Science in 1939. On 6 February 1941, she registered with the Alberta Association of Architects - only the third woman to do so. Mary Imrie began the U of Alberta architecture program in 1938, but when it was cancelled transferred to the U of Toronto in 1940. She studied under Eric Arthur, graduated in 1944 and registered with the AAA on 7 December of that year. Both women worked as draftsmen in Edmonton's Department of the City Architect (Max Dewar) from 1946 until 1949.

Wallbridge and Imrie started their own architectural firm in 1950 during Edmonton's postwar construction boom. They were in business from 1950 to 1979, and worked in and around Edmonton, specializing in domestic architecture. They won the Canadian Housing Design Council award in 1957. Their designs are characterized by simple "modern" lines, ease of interior circulation and unpretentious yet elegant finishes. Most of the firm's houses have modest front elevations and are oriented toward the back yard rather than the street.

Mary Imrie retired from the profession after her partner's death in 1979. She left a large bequest to the Province of Alberta on her own death in 1988, to be used for environmental conservation.