Ian Roy Maclennan, DFM, B. Arch, FRAIC, MTPIC, Wed 6 November, 2013, in White Rock BC, age 94. Born in Regina, Saskatchewan, one of seven children, Ian took Engineering at the University of Saskatchewan prior to enlisting in the RCAF. Trained as a Spitfire pilot, he was stationed with the RAF in Malta with Squadron 401 where he shot down 7 enemy aircraft, and damaged several others, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. Celebrated as a Canadian Ace, he took part in the last few years in two documentaries produced by the History Channel, The Siege of Malta, and Canadian Aces, which featured the famed Buzz Beurling, Canada’s most prolific fighter pilot.
Ian was shot down on D-Day plus 1, 7 June 1944 and imprisoned at Stalag Luft III. Transferred to Austria after the Long March, he escaped, hitchhiking and walking into Paris as the war ended. In 1945, he enrolled in Architecture at the University of Toronto. Mentored there by the distinguished Dean of Architecture, Eric Arthur, he shared with Eric a belief in the importance of low cost housing in Canada. Ian first worked with an international architectural firm, first in New York, and then Caracas, before returning to Canada to become Chief Architect at the fledgling Central and Mortgage Housing Corporation. In his book Beyond Habitat by 20 Years, Moshe Safdie, designer of the award winning Habitat complex, built as part of the Expo 67 exhibition, says of Ian, “Ian Maclennan is one of those men who make Canada tick. Without him there would never have been a Habitat. He charges into meetings with the fervor of a college debating champion….he is aggressive, frank, and unlike many civil servants, very outspoken.” In 1961, Ian was made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, one the youngest architects ever to be nominated. Carl Cannon, then Chair of the Canadian Housing Design Council, described him as “a distinguished architect who has done much to improve the quality of housing design in Canada.” Subsequent to retiring as Senior Vice President at CMHC in 1977, Ian and his wife Nina, moved to White Rock, BC where he was appointed by the Canadian Government as a Trustee on the development of Granville Island, then a derelict industrial area in False Creek, Vancouver. Ian was a strong voice in the Trust to keep some industrial use for the island that has since become a world-renowned site. In addition to this work, he served as juror on the Massey Medal Awards for Architecture, and sat as a Board member on other housing projects for special needs adults. His consuming passions after retirement included duplicate bridge, he was a Life Master, and boating in France on the family barge, where he spent summers for the past 20 years, including this past year. As the Great War pilots were quoted as saying, “He has flown west.” Ian was predeceased by his wife Nina on 17 May, 2013, and his brothers and sisters. He is survived by his daughter Joss, son Bruce, daughter-in-law Lorna, grandchildren Ellie and Sam, sister in law Kay, and numerous nephews and nieces in Canada, United States and United Kingdom. A special thanks to Beta Dulay for her loving care and compassion. For those interested in being notified of a memorial service, please contact Brandi Swift at email@example.com