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In Memoriam - Harry Alexander (Butch) Pellow

After beating the odds for several months, Harry passed away at Princess Margaret Hospital as a result of complications from a brain tumour.
Harry was a distinguished Architect, having graduated with a B.Arch. (Honours) from the University of Toronto and was a graduate of Ryerson University with a Dipl.of Arch.Tech. He was awarded the RAIC's Gold Medal and was a nominee for the Pilkington Award. Harry become a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1995. He served as a member of the OAA's Conduct and Complaints Committee for several years.
His internship was completed in what he frequently described as a postgraduate environment working with some of the finest architects then working on signature buildings for Canada's major institutions and contractors.
Prior to graduation, Harry worked with John Layng Architect and then Margison, Keith, Sage & Hamlin Architects and Engineers in Toronto as an architectural technologist. In 1970, he joined Parkin Architects Engineers and Planners, where through the firm's eventual transition to NORR, he was an Associate, Manager of Architectural Design, and Partner until 1978 involved in business development, administration and principal in charge of projects. Noteworthy of the projects at Parkin/Searle Wilbee Rowland (SWR)/ NORR were Toronto International Airport's Terminal Two; Four Seasons Sheraton on Queen Street; Westin Hotel on Richmond Street, and a master plan for Toronto Place, a mixed-use development encompassing an entire city block bounded by University, Richmond, York, and Adelaide Streets.
One of Harry's early design achievements, while at NORR, was a design for the National Art Centre (Place Pompidou) in Paris, an international competition judged by Philip Johnson. The firm was one of three Canadian finalists selected from a field of 681 submissions and was a 'premiated award'. Harry's team included Graham Bell, who worked with Harry until his retirement and continues with the company today.
In 1978, Harry's restless spirit caused him to embark in a new direction forming Pellow + Associates Architects Inc. Over the course of the next several decades, the breadth of Harry's work and responsibilities included many successful and award winning projects, starting with a national competition for Cornwall Centre in 1978, a mixed-use development in Regina and ending with the design of an 73-storey tower at 50 Bloor West (Harry's dream scheme).
Harry believed that architecture was a business and a profession and his hands- on creative style was imprinted on the firm's design portfolio. He and his wife, Brigitte built a business around a strong client base that endured for 37 years until a debilitating illness necessitated that he relinquish his role to his partners, David Moore and John Ricci, both of whom contributed significantly to the business' growth and success.
Harry valued architecture for its challenges and opportunities and for the many people it brought into his life. He always asked 'Why' and then 'Why Not' and never took anything for granted. As a consequence of his leadership and steadfast belief in professional and ethical standards, he and his partners garnered the continuing trust of loyal and appreciative clientele.
Harry's sense of humour, intuition and fair play served him throughout his business and personal life. Harry epitomized the terms 'friend' and 'mentor'. Over the years of practice, people of all ages and nationalities called Pellow + Associates home. Working with Harry was like being a part of his family. If you were in trouble or needed a hand, he was there for you.
Amongst his achievements, Harry led the efforts to enhance the education for current and future students in architectural science at Ryerson University. He was instrumental in getting a team together to raise funds to create the David E. Handley Architectural Science Studios which opened in 2016; completed the Paul H. Cocker Gallery which opened in 2013; and establish a bursary in the name of Stewart Crawford.
As a teenager, Harry worked as a 'meeter and greeter', 'handyman' and 'hunting and fishing guide' at his brother Bill's tourist outfitting business on the Kebsquasheshing River in Chapleau, Ontario and was regularly attired in a jeep hat, jeans and denim shirt along with gum rubber boots and a belt knife. The customers nicknamed him 'the river rat' as they watched him dress the catch of the day. Always loving the North, Harry was a 'bush' guy all his life and enjoyed nothing more than spending time at his camp in Haliburton.
Although Harry spent most of his adult life in Toronto, Harry's home town of Chapleau was ever in his heart and he kept in touch with his childhood friends. He and Brigitte hosted many reunions for the Chapleau 'gang' where the 'remember when' tales and laughter filled the room.
Harry is survived by his wife, Brigitte Gee; his two children, Christopher (Tammy) Pellow and Kaylyn (Michael) Bondar; and grandchildren, Christopher (CJ) Pellow, Joshua and Abby Bondar; brother, William Pellow; mother-in-law, Christa Gee; brother-in-law, Michael Gee; and his former wife, Marion Pellow (nee Maycock). He is predeceased by his parents, Aldythe and Clifford (Bill) Pellow and brother, Ross Pellow.
If desired, charitable donations in memory of Harry can be directed to the Princess Margaret Hospital or a charity of your choice. There will be no formal funeral services but a 'Harry's Bar' will be scheduled at a future date.