A Long-Overdue Celebration of the 'Saviours' of Montreal

Most Montrealers haven't heard of pioneering architects Blanche Lemco van Ginkel and Daniel van Ginkel, without whom Old Montreal may not exist today. But with several events honoring the legacy of this visionary couple, that may soon change.

Marian Scott profiles the contributions to creating, and protecting, Motreal's built history that Blanche Lemco van Ginkel and her late husband, Daniel van Ginkel made during the second half of the 20th century. From protecting Montreal's historic district from destruction to guiding Expo 67, their legacy is imprinted throughout the city's built environment. 

"Without their intervention in Le Vieux Port, I don't know what Montreal would be today," says Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture and Heritage Montreal, and a longtime friend.

"It is such a significant, fantastic place," Lambert says. "The quality of a place like this goes from the 17th century to the 19th century. It embodies the whole history of the development of Montreal and really Quebec in many ways."

According to Scott, with the current issue of ARQ/Architecture Québec magazine entirely devoted to their work, and an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art displaying one of Blanche's early commissions, "awareness of the van Ginkels' legacy is growing."

Full Story: Urban planners were saviours of our city


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