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Memorable Manitobans: Gilbert C. Parfitt (1886-1966)

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Gilbert C. Parfitt
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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 final retirement in 1961. He was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and he served two terms as President of the Manitoba Association of Architects (1927-1928, 1939-1940).

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:





Stonewall War Memorial




St. Martin in the Field Anglican Church

160 Smithfield Avenue, Winnipeg



Brookdale Consolidated School

Brookdale, RM of North Cypress


Destroyed by fire (?)

A. P. Paget Residence

229 Park Boulevard North, Winnipeg



Cathedral Church of St. John

135 Anderson Avenue, Winnipeg



Ninette School No. 1028

Ninette, RM of Riverside



Shoal Lake School No. 458

Shoal Lake


Demolished (1990s)

St. John’s Presbyterian Church

251 Bannerman Avenue, Winnipeg



Winnipeg Cenotaph

Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg



Deloraine Consolidated School No. 490



Demolished (early 1980s)

Lac du Bonnet School No. 1235

Lac du Bonnet


Destroyed by fire (1945)

Arts Building

173 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg



Science Building

45 Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg



Brandon Hospital for Mental Diseases (Women’s Pavilion)

First Street, Brandon



Manitoba School for Mental Defectives (addition)

3rd Street NE, Portage la Prairie



CKX Radio Building

220 Eighth Street, Brandon



Vermette School No. 970

St. Anne’s Road, Winnipeg


Demolished (?)


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.

Buildings at the Brandon Mental Health Centre by David Butterfield and Randy Rostecki, Manitoba Historic Resources Branch, November 1988.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Obituary [Valerie Sukloff], The Globe and Mail, 10 June 2000.

Winnipeg Buildings Index.

We thank Nathan Kramer and George Penner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 June 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

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