G O R D O N    M A C L E O D    P I T T S

John Bland, Professor Emeritus of Architecture, McGill University

Gordon MacLeod Pitts was born in Fredericton, New Brunswick, 10 March 1886, the son of Herman H. Pitts and Stirling MacLeod. After attending Model and High Schools in Fredericton and the Ottawa Collegiate Institute, he entered McGill University in 1904, obtaining a B.Sc. with honours in Structural Engineering in 1908 and the following year an M.Sc. He worked as an engineer with the CPR, and for the contractors Peter Lyall, George A. Fuller, and John Quinlan. In 1913 he was employed by Edward and W.S. Maxwell to supervise the construction of the Montreal High School. After this he returned to McGill and obtained a B.Arch in 1916. He assisted John A. Pearson on the reconstruction of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa from 1916 to 1919 and subsequently joined the Maxwell firm, which was about to re-organize and extend the Château Frontenac Hotel in Quebec. Upon the unexpected death of Edward Maxwell in 1923, Pitts became a partner of W.S. Maxwell in order to complete this work and continue the practice. Pitts took an active part in the professional associations of architects and engineers on both the provincial and federal levels. He became a member of the Province of Quebec Association of Architects in 1922, its president in 1935, and the recipient of the Association's Order of Merit in 1940. He was a member of the Corporation of Professional Engineers of the Province of Quebec, a councillor of the Engineering Institute of Canada in 1941 and president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1942. He was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He was active in the Graduate Society at McGill, serving as president in 1941. Upon the successful conclusion of that office he was named the graduates' representative on the McGill Board of Governors.1 Pitts represented McGill University on the Montreal City Council in 1947 and was a member of the Council's Executive Committee in 1948. He represented the City of Montreal at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. He died on 1 March 1954 when he was vice-chairman of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal and was given an impressive civic funeral.

1. "McGill Graduates Elect New Officers," McGill News (Autumn 1949): 7-8, 23.