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Clifford Donald Wiens, architect, designer, teacher (born 27 April 1926 in Glenn Kerr, SK; died 25 January 2020 in Vancouver, BC). Clifford Wiens’s distinguished body of work reflects both corporate modern architecture and a broader expressionist movement. Wiens was known for his superb and inventive architectural and structural details, as well as for his simple but strong forms. His distinctive approach to structure and form was shaped by his relationship with the abstract painters in the Regina Five and his background in industrial design. Wiens won two Massey Awards and the Prix du XXe siècle from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Following his death in 2020, the Globe and Mail called him Saskatchewan’s “leading architect of the postwar era.”
Ottawa Greenlights Controversial Chateau Laurier Renovations
Ottawa City Council approved the construction of a controversial addition to the storied Chateau Laurier, which had been fiercely contested by a large swath of the public. Detractors compared the seven-storey, 147-room extension, which blocks the view of the Chateau from the adjacent Majors Hill Park, to a radiator and a shipping container. But after submitting five designs in three years, the hotel’s private ownership was eager to move forward. Opponents of the addition planned to go to court to prevent construction, which was slated to begin at the end of 2019.
Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry
Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry, military engineer (born 3 October 1682 in Toulon, France; died 23 March 1756 in Quebec City, QC). Chaussegros de Léry contributed to the development of New France by fortifying the colony’s towns, namely Quebec and Montreal. His relief maps of Quebec and Montreal are still regarded as accurate models of these cities. Some consider Chaussegros de Léry the father of the first truly Canadian architecture. (See also Architectural History: The French Colonial Regime.)
Historic Sites in Canada
Historic sites are places that are recognized for their importance in Canadian history. Provincial or territorial historic sites are designated by provincial and territorial governments, while national historic sites are designated by the federal government. At the federal level, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada also designates people and events of national significance, in addition to sites. These people and events are often commemorated by a plaque at a physical place. Municipalities also often have the authority to designate historic sites of local significance, as do Indigenous organizations under self-government agreements. Finally, historic sites may be designated at more than one level (e.g., provincial and national). (See also National Historic Sites in Canada; UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada).
Architectural History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada
Before the arrival of Europeans, Indigenous peoples in Canada had their own building traditions. Dwellings and structures differed
vastly from nation to nation, depending on their purpose and function. Building traditions also reflected important aspects of Indigenous peoples’ respective cultures, societies, geographies, environments and spiritual beliefs. This article provides an overview of the main types of dwellings and structures used by Indigenous peoples in the
Northwest Coast, Plateau,
Plains and Eastern Woodlands.
Vancouver Feature: Birks Building Demolished
The sparkling white terra cotta tiles of the Birks building lit the southeast corner of Granville and Georgia from 1913. Inside, sparkling jewelry, silver and fine china attracted the most demanding, and wealthy, clientele. It was a shock to the city when the Birks family decided to tear the impressive grand dame down in 1975.
Vancouver Feature: Birks Clock Moves Downtown
“Meet me at the Birks clock” was the standard Vancouver rendezvous plan in the pre-cell phone era of 1913 to 1974. But the Birks clock itself has been a wandering timepiece. It started at Granville and Hastings, moved to Granville and Georgia, and returned to its original intersection — but across the street!
Alexander Cowper Hutchison
Alexander Cowper Hutchison, architect (born 2 April 1838 in Montreal, QC; died 1 January 1922 in Montreal). Hutchison was one of Montreal's most prolific and prestigious architects (see Architecture). He epitomized the generation of self-taught men who shaped the city during the second half of the 19th century. He is recognized for several architectural achievements including the Redpath Museum and Montreal’s City Hall, which he designed with architect Henri-Maurice Perrault.
Barton Myers, RCA, FRAIC, architect (born 6 November 1934 in Norfolk, Virginia). Barton Myers is considered one of Toronto’s most influential architects, even though he hasn’t worked in Canada for more than 30 years. His architecture is notable for its activist stance on city design. He is passionate about the health of cities and the need to balance preservation and renewal. Much of his early seminal work in Canada is focused on mixed-use prototypes, infill housing and the sensitive combination of old and new to create richly layered urban environments. His innovative approach breathed new life into neighbourhoods slated for the wrecking ball and left a lasting mark on the city of Toronto.
Descendants of Russian immigrant tobacco farmer Yechiel (Ekiel) Bronfman and his wife, Mindel, members of the Bronfman family have owned and controlled huge financial empires built from the profits of the family liquor business (see Seagram). The best-known members of the family are Samuel Bronfman, founder of Seagram and president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1939–62), and his descendants. Samuel’s wife, Saidye Rosner Bronfman, was an influential philanthropist who supported the arts in Canada and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for organizing work on the home front during the Second World War. Sons Edgar and Charles Bronfman ran Seagram for decades, while grandson Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. oversaw the sale of Seagram to Vivendi. Charles was also co-founder of the Historica Foundation of Canada and Heritage Minutes, as well as chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos. His sister Phyllis Lambert is a well-known architect who founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Their cousins, Edward and Peter Bronfman (sons of Allan Bronfman), developed a financial empire in their own right. The family has given generously to several charitable organizations and been involved in the Canadian Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress.