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

Architect.

Born in England on 22 December 1886, 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. They had three children: Basil Parfitt (b 1915), Valerie Parfitt (b 1919, wife of R. Sukloff), and Maurice Parfitt. An amateur painter, he studied at the Winnipeg School of Art in 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:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Stonewall War Memorial

Stonewall

1922

 

Brookdale Consolidated School

Brookdale, RM of North Cypress

1924

Destroyed by fire

A. P. Paget Residence

229 Park Boulevard, Winnipeg

1925

 

Cathedral Church of St. John

135 Anderson Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

Ninette School No. 1028

Ninette, RM of Riverside

1926

 

Shoal Lake School No. 458

Shoal Lake

1926

Demolished (1990s)

St. John’s Presbyterian Church

251 Bannerman Avenue, Winnipeg

1928

 

Winnipeg’s Cenotaph

Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg

1928

 

Deloraine Consolidated School No. 490

Deloraine

1928

Demolished (early 1980s)

Tier Building

173 Dafoe Road, Winnipeg

1932

 

Buller Building

45 Chancellors Circle, Winnipeg

1932

 

Brandon Hospital for Mental Diseases (Women’s Pavilion)

First Street, Brandon

1932

 

Vermette School No. 970

St. Anne’s Road, Winnipeg

?

Demolished (?)

Sources:

Marriage registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

1916 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Sealed Tenders,” Manitoba Free Press, 3 March 1924, page 18.

“’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 J. M. Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

Winnipeg Buildings Index.

We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 23 October 2016

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society.

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