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Architect

Bird, John, 1923-2008

  • no2012060268
  • Person
  • 1923-2008

John H.R. Bird (b. Montréal, 1923; d. Montréal, 2008) attended elementary and secondary schools in Montréal. He graduated with a B. Arch. from McGill University's School of Architecture in 1949. During his studies and for a period afterwards Bird worked for the Montréal firm of Mayerovitch & Bernstein, from 1944 to1951.
In 1951 Bird began a private practice in Montréal. He created his most notable independent work between 1959-1969 in a number of religious buildings for Catholic parishes in Montréal and suburbs (in 1953 Bird converted to Catholicism). In 1969 the architect closed his office to work for various Montréal companies. From 1969-1974 Bird was the architect to the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority, then he moved on to become chief architect for T. Pringle & Son Ltd. between 1974-1977. Bird joined Quésult Ltée., Montréal, as head of the architectural department for Algerian projects from 1977-1979, and then became an architectural consultant in the firm of Jacques Béïque Architecte from 1979-1982. He re-opened a private practice in 1983, and went into semi-retirement in 1994. (Biographical description from Canadian Centre for Architecture, John Bird fonds)

Desbarats, Guy, 1925-2003

  • 2003028545
  • Person
  • 1925-2003

Guy Desbarats, a Canadian architect was born on July 30, 1925, in Montreal, Quebec. He studied engineering at McGill University before turning to architecture. He graduated in 1948 and started to work at the firm of architects James William Abra, James Watson Balharrie, and David Shore in Ottawa until 1952. Then he returned to McGill University as a research fellow of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) to conduct research on duplexes in Montreal.

In 1953, he founded one of Canada's most prestigious architectural firms, ARCOP (Architects in Co-partnership). As an associate architect, he collaborated on several of the firm's major projects, including the thematic pavilions L'Homme à l'oeuvre and L'Homme interroge l'Univers for Expo 67, the Beaver Lake pavilion on Mount Royal (1955-1958), the National Arts Centre (1969) in Ottawa, Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier (1963), and Place Bonaventure (1967). After the agency's dissolution in 1970, Desbarats held a few positions in the public service, notably with the Department of Public Works Canada. He was Assistant Deputy Minister of Design in 1975 and Assistant Deputy Minister of Design and Construction from 1976 to 1985. He returned to private practice in 1985 and founded Canadian Construction Information Services Limited.

Committed to the training of the next generation, Desbarats became a lecturer at McGill University in 1953 and he also set up an internship program at the Centre des métiers de la construction. In 1964, he became the first director of the new School of Architecture at Université de Montréal. In 1968, through the merger of the School and the Institut d'urbanisme, he formed the Faculté de l'aménagement and became its dean until 1975.

In 1952, he married Aileen Anne Cobban. He died on August 30, 2003, in Sherbrooke, Quebec.

Edwards, Gordon

  • nr2002009912
  • Person
  • 1930-2005

Gordon Edwards was born 20 April 1930 in Montreal and graduated from McGill's School of Architecture in 1954. After graduation he joined the firm of Rother, Bland, and Trudeau Architects and remained there until 1959 when he became a partner in Bland, Lemoyne, and Edwards Architects and Town Planning Consultants.

Edwards taught at Laval University from 1968 to 1969 and in 1968 went on to work with the firm of Papineau Gerin-Lajoie Edwards, where he became a partner in 1969. In 1978 he founded Edwards Lam Associates and in 1980 Gordon Edwards Architects.

An architect who specialized in lighting systems, he worked on many projects including pavilions at Expo 67, new Chancellor Day Hall at McGill University, Mirabel International Airport, Canada Development Corporation in Toronto, and the Guy Favreau project in Montreal. He started teaching at McGill in 1968 as a Visiting Professor and was named as an adjunct professor for the core lighting design course in the School of Architecture in 1985. He was also a President of the Mount Royal Tennis Club in the 1980s. Gordon Edwards died in 2005.