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STEWART, Isobel Grace

Born
Hamilton, Ontario, 1918
Died
Ontario, 2011
Biography synopsis
Granddaughter of Hamilton architect James Balfour, Isobel Grace Stewart entered the architecture program at the University of Toronto in 1938. Her studies were interrupted on several occasions between 1940 to 1944, but Stewart resumed her studies, worked for Dr. Faludi, town planner (1944-1945) and obtained her B.Arch in 1946. After working for several architects in Hamilton, which included a few private commissions, Stewart married real-estate developer Jeffrey Stewart and settled in Oakville, Ontario. After raising her family in the 1950s, Stewart began collaborating with her husband in the 1960's, designing site plans and houses for a development named Willow Gate Estates, Oakville. She also worked in various architectural offices in Hamilton, Oakville, and Toronto, including the firm Marani, Rounthwaite and Dick. Stewart registered with the Ontario Association of Architects in 1967 and established her own practice in Oakville. Projects included residential design, restoration and preservation studies of historic buildings and sites, including the historic farm in Riverdale with the Toronto Parks Department, and, after she was widowed in 1973, as architect with the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation Maritime Office. Notably, she lectured - On Man and Shelter - at the University of Guelph. Later while recovering from a stroke, she undertook her last large architectural project with husband horticulturalist Frank Reeves; it was her own home named High Spinney (1980-1985) located in Mansfield, Ontario. Stewart continued painting watercolours, which she had exhibited in galleries in Burlington, Oakville, and Toronto throughout her career, as well as later pursuits in photography and sculpture. (I Puchalski)
Media used
Architecture
Education
University of Toronto, 1938 - 1946
Memberships
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), 1967
File & Archive locations
Canadian Centre for Architecture, QC - Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of Toronto, ON - Archives and Records Management Services
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Writings about
Adams, Annmarie & Peta Tancred. 'Designing Women': Gender and the Architectural Profession. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000.
Broughton, Luella. "Featuring Women." Daily Journal Record (Oakville), 18 Apri. 1966.
Grierson, Joan and the For the Record Committee, eds. For the Record: The First Women in Canadian Architecture. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008.
McCrie, Joanne.. "Redesigning Her Forte." Etobicoke Guardian, 13 Apr. 1977.
McKenna, Agnes.. "Appalling Mess, Says Architect." Daily Journal Record (Oakville), 18 Mar. 1972.
Rex, Kay.. "Remodels Old Houses." Globe & Mail 25 Oct. 1962: 19.
Ryell, Nora.. "Architect Broke Ground for Women." Globe & Mail, 26 Jul. 2011: S8.
University of Toronto. For the Record: Ontario Women Graduates in Architecture, 1920-1960. Exhibition. 1986.

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