Ronald Thom bigraphy, stories - Canadian architect

Ronald Thom : biography

May 15, 1923 - October 29, 1986

Ronald James Thom, (May 15, 1923 – October 29, 1986) was a Canadian architect.

He was born in Penticton, British Columbia, the son of James Thom and Elena Myrtle Fennel, he graduated from the Vancouver School of Art in 1947. He never went to architecture school but apprenticed at Thompson, Berwick & Pratt, where he quickly became recognized as an unusually gifted drawer and designer. He was the primary designer of the B.C. Electric Building on Burrard Street, in Vancouver, British Columbia. and also designed notable houses in the Vancouver area, several of which won Massey Awards, the country's top award for architecture. In 1957, he became a registered architect at Thompson, Berwick and Pratt and a parter shortly afterward. He is the most admired Canadian designer of universities for his two masterpieces, Massey College and Trent University's riverside campus.

He established R.J. Thom & Associates in Toronto in 1963 and later the Thom Partership. He was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. In 1980, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada. He had a lifelong battle with alcoholism and was eventually forced out of the partnership by some younger partners. He died at his office in 1986 after a bout of heavy drinking.

His oeuvre includes:

Building Year Completed Builder Style Location Image
Master plan and buildings of Massey College 1963 Ronald Thom Modern architecture University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario
Co-designer of Fraser Residence 1968 Ronald Thom/Paul Merrick Modern architecture Toronto, Ontario
Master plan and renovations of Catherine Parr Traill college buildings; Champlain College, Lady Eaton College, the Bata Library and science complex on the Symons Campus 1969–1973 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario
St. Jude's Cathedral (Iqaluit) 1970 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Iqaluit
Fleming College Ronald Thom Modern architecture Peterborough, Ontario
Pearson College of the Pacific 1977 Ronald Thom & Barry Vance Downs Modern architecture
College Education Centre 1982 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Nipissing University, Nipissing, Ontario
Master plan and pavilions (including African and Indo-Malayisan Pavilions) 1974 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Metropolitan Toronto Zoo, Toronto, Ontario
Atria North office complex (Phase I) in Toronto 1980 1980 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Toronto, Ontario
Shaw Theatre 1973 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Oakville Centre for the Performing Arts Ronald Thom Modern architecture Oakville, Ontario
Prince Hotel 1975 Ronald Thom Modern architecture Toronto, Ontario
Ryerson Architecture Building Ronald Thom Modern architecture Ryerson University 325 Church Street Toronto, Ontario
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