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James Strutt
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James William Strutt

8 January 1924
Pembroke, Ontario
Died 8 November 2008 (age 84)
Alma mater University of Toronto (1950)
Occupation Architect
Audrey Elizabeth Lett
(m. 1949; her death 2004)
Practice Gilleland and Strutt

James William Strutt (8 January 1924 – 8 November 2008) was a Canadian architect. Practising between 1950 and 1999 and working primarily in the Ottawa area, Strutt is noted for his role in the development of modern architecture in Canada following World War II.


Strutt House
Strutt House in Gatineau

James William Strutt was born in Pembroke, Ontario, and grew up in Ottawa in the Glebe neighbourhood. He had one sister, Esther. After graduating from Ottawa Technical High School in 1942, he enlisted into the Royal Canadian Air Force, becoming a pilot. During the War Strutt served on Canada's east coast as part of RAF Coastal Command.

Following the War, through the Veterans Charter, Strutt enrolled at the University of Toronto to study mechanical engineering. After a single semester he transferred to architecture. During his time at the U of T he met both Buckminster Fuller and Frank Lloyd Wright. On 21 May 1949 at the Bishop Strachan School chapel, Strutt married Audrey Elizabeth Lett of Toronto (d. 2004), who was also attending the University of Toronto. The couple later had four children: Lesley, David, Katherine, and Jocelyn. James and Audrey both graduated in 1950.

Following his graduation, Strutt returned to Ottawa where he got a job with the firm Lefort and Gilleland. A year later, Strutt and William Gilleland broke off to form their own partnership, Strutt and Gilleland, which lasted until 1960. Throughout the 1950s the firm worked primarily on residential projects. Notable among them was Strutt's own 1956 house in Gatineau, which employed a hyperbolic paraboloid roof. At the house, the Strutts regularly threw parties which included prominent guests such as Pierre Trudeau. After falling into abeyance in the years following Strutt's death, in 2010 the National Capital Commission purchased the house and is in the process of restoring it to original condition. During the same period, Strutt and Gilleland also received two commissions as part of the Department of Transportation's post-war airport construction programme. The firm designed the Ottawa and Halifax terminals, both of which were done in the international style.

In 1960, with Inigo Adamson, Strutt formed the partnership Strutt and Adamson, which lasted until 1966. That year, Strutt formed a personal practice, J.W. Strutt, Architect, at which he would remain for the duration of his career.

With the Ontario Association of Architects Strutt served as the chairman of the Ottawa chapter (1955-1956), vice president (1958-1959), and president (1959-1960). With the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada he served as honorary treasurer (1963-1964), honorary secretary (1965-1966), and vice-president (1966-1967). Between 1969 and 1986 he taught at the department of architecture at Carleton University, serving as the department director from 1987 to 1988.

Following his death in 2008, a group of individuals began the Strutt Foundation. The foundation - a non-for-profit which was incorporated in 2013 - seeks to support projects relating to modern architecture in Canada. The foundation also has an archive which includes some papers of Strutt's, papers from Strutt's clients, and papers of various other Canadian modernist architects.

Strutt's records and held at Library and Archives Canada as the James W. Strutt fonds.


Name City Address Year Status
Shaefer House Ottawa Montreal Road 1949
Palmer House Ottawa 824 Maple Crest Road 1950
Dowbiggin House Senneville 1952
Dawson House Senneville 1953
Geophysical Lab Ottawa Experimental Farm 1953
Burke House Ottawa Revelstoke Drive 1954
Shore House Gatineau (Aylmer) 1204 Mountain Road 1954
Waring House Aylmer 1124 Mountain Road 1954
Seven Islands Airport Sept-Îles 1954
St. Mark's Anglican Church Ottawa 1606 Fisher Avenue 1954
St. Peter's Anglican Church Ottawa 915 Merivale Road 1955
Gibson House Ottawa Cunningham Avenue 1955
Halifax Civic Airport Terminal Enfield 1956
Southam Ski Lodge Kingsmere, Gatineau Park 1956
Hall House Ottawa Dorothea Drive 1956
Strutt House Aylmer 1220 Mountain Road 1956 Owned by National Capital Commission
Neatby Building Ottawa Experimental Farm 1957
Uplands Airport Terminal Ottawa 1958 Demolished
St. Paul's Presbyterian Church Ottawa 971 Woodroffe Avenue 1958
Dobell Chalet Edna Lake 1958
Weiner House Ottawa 418 Roger Road 1958
Loeb House Ottawa 225 Minto Place 1958
Geldhart House (sic Geldart) Aylmer 170 Edgewood Drive 1958 Demolished
"SolenHus". formally, known as The Van Leeuwen House. Aylmer 120 Chestnut Street 1959
Zarzycki House Aylmer 1959
Baldock House Aylmer 1224 Mountain Road 1959
Rothwell United Church Ottawa 42 Sumac Street 1960
Trinity United Church Ottawa 1099 Maitland Avenue 1960
Morley House Aylmer 190 Edgewood Drive 1960
Anderson House Aylmer 241 Skyridge Road 1960 Demolished
Quain Chalet Mont Cascades 1961
Hanlan House Aylmer 145 Chestnut Street 1962
Royal Trust Building Ottawa 55 Metcalfe Street 1962
Fischer House Ottawa 339 Pleasant Park Road 1962 Designated Heritage Property
Stopforth House Chelsea Mine Road 1962
Kemper House Ottawa 11 Briarcliffe Drive 1962 Part of Briarcliffe Heritage Conservation District
St. Paul's Anglican Church Ottawa 194 Prince Albert Street 1963
Camp Fortune Ski Lodge Gatineau 1963
Merrit House Deep River 54 Laurier Avenue 1963
Northern Electric Advanced Devises Centre Ottawa Moody Drive 1963
Loeb Building, Carleton University Ottawa Carleton University 1964
Plaza de las Américas (Expo '67) Montreal 1967
National Capital Commission Ottawa Western Parkway 1965
Bells Corners United Church Ottawa 3955 Old Richmond Road 1965
Westboro Beach Pavilions Ottawa Kitchisippi Lookout 1966
Canadian Nurses Association Headquarters Ottawa 50 Queen Elizabeth Drive 1967
Borman House Ottawa 20 Qualicum Street 1968
Gatineau River Yacht Club Chelsea 1 chemin Summerlea 1976
Rochester House Almonte Concession Rd. 7 1976
Meredith House Aylmer 1203 Mountain Road 1987
Lambert House Aylmer 1211 Mountain Road 1994
Canadian Embassy Algiers 1998
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