Canadian Architect Magazine Image Collection

Ruby Foo’s Motor Hotel, Toronto, ca. 1962
Hollenzer and Company Ltd., photographer

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7.32 m of photographic material

Scope and Content

The archive contains thousands of negatives, transparencies and photographs taken for publication in Canadian Architect magazine. As announced in the magazine’s inaugural issue, Canadian Architect reviewed and documented both public and private structures, including churches, homes, businesses, airports, government offices and public spaces. The subjects recorded are generally modern Canadian structures, but images of some international sites and early 20th century Canadian buildings can be found in the collection as well as portraits of leading Canadian architects. The collection also contains images of entries to the annual national design awards program sponsored by the magazine, the Awards of Excellence.

The collection also functions as a record of the changing nature of magazine production over the latter part of the 20th century. Canadian Architect was the first business publication in Canada to make engravings on site from original photographs, allowing for a rich selection of both prints and negatives. Instructions by editors and layout artists regarding their eventual printing in the magazine are often written directly on the prints, along with photographer’s stamps, credit lines or captions.

The photograph collection has been arranged according to geographic location and project. The negative collection is currently being arranged and is not available for use. Please check with Special Collections staff for updated information.

Administrative History/ Biographical Sketch

Canadian Architect magazine is a specialized monthly periodical for architects, planners and related professionals published in Don Mills, Ontario. The magazine features articles on current trends and issues affecting architectural practice in Canada, including the development of new building technologies and changing social needs. Canadian Architect also serves as the Journal of Record for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, publishing its newsletters and bulletins, and publicizing issues that concern both national and provincial architectural associations.

In 1968, Canadian Architect established the Awards of Excellence for architectural design. The awards are juried by a panel of professionals and are awarded annually to architects registered in Canada in the December issue of the magazine. The competition entries are restricted to un-built projects, allowing the panel to focus their judgment on the plans, intentions and original ideas of the architect.

Canadian Architect was first published in 1955 by MacLean-Hunter Limited under the editorial direction of James A. Murray as The Canadian Architect. In the early 1960s Southam Business Communications Inc. took over publication, and the magazine dropped the word “the” from its name in 1995.

Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to Ryerson University Library & Archives in 2009 by Ian Chodikoff, Editor of Canadian Architect.


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 2009.001. Further accruals may be expected.


Rights held by Canadian Architect magazine and, in some cases, the photographers employed by the magazine.

Terms governing use and reproduction

: Photographs can be copied for reference purposes only. Should the user wish to use the reproductions for a purpose other than research or private study, written permission from the copyright owner(s) must be obtained.

Availability of other formats: Special Collections has begun to digitize the collection and will make these images available online in a password-protected database. Faculty, staff, and students at Ryerson University can request a password from Special Collections to use the FADIS digital image database. Outside researchers may obtain a password if they are affiliated with one of the FADIS member institutions or Canadian Architect magazine. All other researchers are asked to contact Special Collections for more information.

Finding Aid

Finding aid to photographs available / Negatives are currently being arranged