Memorable Manitobans: Gilbert C. Parfitt (1886-1966)
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:
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.
We thank Nathan Kramer for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 23 October 2016
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