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LEITCH, Martha Stewart

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 1918
Toronto, Ontario, 2015
Biography synopsis
Martha Stewart Leitch obtained a B.Arch. degree in 1943 from the University of Toronto. While still an undergraduate she was employed by J.F.C. Smith, Architect, and Dr. E.G. Faludi, Town planner. During World War II, she was employed by Wartime Housing Limited, involved in the development of prefabrication systems for panel-built housing. In the summer of 1942 she joined the Works and Buildings Division of the Royal Canadian Air Force for the development of the sanitary system for Trenton Air Force Base. After graduation she became a member of the City of Toronto Planning Board. In 1944 Leitch was awarded one of four British Council Scholarships allowing her to tour and study housing and town planning in the United Kingdom and attend lectures at Oxford University. Back in Canada in 1946 she was employed by the architectural firm of Fleury and Arthur, and in 1947 she and husband John Leitch formed the firm Leitch Engineering. Following the birth of four children, 1948-1956, Leitch began her academic career with the University of Toronto. Beginning as a part-time demonstrator in the Faculty of Household Science (1955), she later became Associate Professor in the areas of community development, housing and home design in the Faculty of Food Sciences, and subsequently Assistant Dean (1973-1975). When this Faculty was phased out Leitch moved to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and served as Assistant Dean (1975-1983), responsible for secondary school liaison, admissions, and student counselling. Leitch's work on government advisory bodies included: Canadian Housing Design Council (1952-62); Standing Committee on Residential Standards of the Associate Committee of the National Building Code, National Research Council of Canada (1963-1971); City of Toronto Committee for the Restoration of St. Lawrence Hall (1967) (I. Puchalski)
Media used
University of Toronto, 1938 - 1943
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), Fellow 1974
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), Life Member 1990
Engineering Institute of Canada (EIC), Fellow 1977
File & Archive locations
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
University of Toronto, ON - Archives and Records Management Services
Virginia Tech, VA - International Archive of Women in Architecture

Writings about
"Couple to be Reunited by Empire Scholarship." Toronto Star 14 Jan. 1944: 4
"Mrs. John Leitch." Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 21.9 (Sept. 1944): 218
"Staff Notes: From Food Sc to AS & E." University of Toronto Bulletin 7 Feb. 1975: 2
"Woman Architect Wins Scholarship." Toronto Star 14 Jan. 1944: 2
Cherry, Zena. "After a Fashion: St. Lawrence Hall a Gem." Globe & Mail 22 Dec. 1967: 9
Cherry, Zena. "Engineers Bridge Image Gap." Globe & Mail 20 Feb. 1981: 15
Daltroff, Denise. "Canadian Women Study Housing and Education." Globe & Mail 23 Oct. 1944: 12
Grierson, Joan and the For the Record Committee, eds. For the Record: The First Women in Canadian Architecture. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008
University of Toronto. For the Record: Ontario Women Graduates in Architecture, 1920-1960. Exhibition. 1986
Virginia Tech. "IAWA Database Information for Martha Stewart Leitch." International Archive of Women in Architecture July 2017

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