Memorable Manitobans: Gilbert C. Parfitt (1886-1966)
Born in England on 22 December 1886, son of James Parfitt, he studied architecture there. He remained in Winnipeg after a visit in 1912, and worked with various local architectural firms. He became noted for his medieval churches, stately monuments, and buildings at the University of Manitoba. He sometimes worked in partnership with Edgar Prain. By 1924, he had been appointed Provincial Architect, replacing Victor Horwood, and held the position until retirement in 1957. He then served as head of Manitoba’s Office of Planning and Development until retirement in 1961. He was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and, in 1927, he was President of the Manitoba Association of Architects. On 22 March 1913, he married Edith Mary Voile (1887-1978) at Winnipeg and they had three children: Basil Parfitt (1915-?), Valerie Parfitt (1919-2000, wife of Ron Sukloff), and Maurice Parfitt (1924-2011). An amateur painter, he studied at the Winnipeg School of Art (1927-1928), serving on the Art Committee thereafter. He was also an ardent fly fisherman. He moved to British Columbia in 1963 and died at his home at Vancouver on 24 May 1966.
Some of his architectural works in Manitoba included:
Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.
1916 Canada census, Ancestry.
“Sealed Tenders,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 March 1924, page 18.
“Builders of Greater Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Tribune, 18 June 1931, page 35.
“’Britisher,’ but her since ’12, re-retires,” Winnipeg Free Press, 1 April 1961, page 11.
Obituary, Winnipeg Free Press, 25 May 1966, page 30.
Death registration, British Columbia Vital Statistics.
Obituary [Valerie Sukloff], The Globe and Mail, 10 June 2000.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 4 June 2020
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