A Century of Partnership: A Retrospective from Ross & MacFarlane to Duschenes & Fish Architects

As part of their 100th anniversary celebrations this year, Duschenes & Fish Architects / DFS Inc. are hosting a retrospective exhibition that will look at the body of work of one of Canada’s longest-operating architectural firms. The event will occur from September 16 to October 05 at the Montreal World Trade Centre, and is co-organized with Heritage Montreal and the Journes de la culture.

Duschenes & Fish/DFS Inc. are based in Montreal, Quebec, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Founded in 1904 under the name of Ross & Macfarlane, then Ross & Macdonald from 1913, they quickly became one of the country’s largest architectural firms building some of Canada’s most prestigious and recognizable buildings. Influencing Canadian architectural design throughout their history, they are largely credited for their adept use of the Chteau style embraced with their design of the Chteau Laurier in Ottawa, Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg, Macdonald Hotel in Edmonton, Royal York Hotel in Toronto and Chteau Apartments in Montreal, among others. The splendour of Art deco is evident in the Price Building in Quebec City, T. Eaton’s department store and Union Station in Toronto, and the Holt Renfrew store in Montreal. Prestige civic buildings, office blocks and medical buildings all bear the stamp of their quality design and figure prominently among Canada’s rich architectural heritage.

After 100 years of continuous operation, the firm now strives to create innovative architecture with a focus on sustainable development. Recent projects, such as the MEC store, the recipient of a Grand Prix du Jury from Design Commerce de Montreal, are designed to have a minimal environmental footprint while providing a stimulating architectural experience. MEC was the first commercial building in Quebec to receive the C-2000 rating. The firm is lauded for its award-winning restoration and conservation work. Recent heritage projects, in addition to Bonsecour Market, include the restoration of the Clock Tower in Montreal’s Old Port and St. James Church in Montreal, the Canada Trust Building in Saint John, N.B., and in Ottawa, restoration of the Federal Court in the Supreme Court Building, the integration of new Senate offices in the East Block and upgrades to the Senate Chamber on Parliament Hill, and preliminary planning for the exterior restoration of the Confederation Building.

In recognition of their contribution to Canadian architecture, the firm’s archive was acquired by the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. The collection is valued as one of “outstanding significance and national importance.” The travelling retrospective exhibition is part of a program of events planned for 2004. Details about the anniversary program and the firm’s illustrious history can be found at www.dfsarch.com.