Rempel, John Ivan fonds

Rempel, John I.
John Ivan Rempel fonds. - [ca. 1938]-1983.
1.21 m of textual records and other material. - ca. 803 photographs : b&w ; 17 x 25 cm or smaller.

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John Ivan Rempel (1905-) MRAIC, architect and architectural historian, was born September 29, 1905 near Ekaterinoslav, Russia (now Ukraine) to Dutch parents. In 1924 he emigrated to Canada and settled in Kitchener, Ontario where he completed high school at Kitchener Collegiate Institute, graduating in 1928. John attended the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering at the University of Toronto and graduated in 1933, receiving an honours degree, a Bachelor of Architecture, and the Architectural Gold Medal. He began practising as an architect in 1939 after having completed early work with such well known firms as Templin and Wells, Craig and Madill, and Horwood and White.

Throughout his career, John's major interests were research into historic building technology and architectural restoration, to which he has made significant contributions through writing and practice. John was a member of a variety of architectural heritage committees and spoke on television and the radio in connection with campaigns for local preservation. John also published a number of significant works related to architectural heritage conservation and in 1967 he published Building With Wood, considered by many to be an outstanding documentation of the empirical approach to the study of vernacular buildings in Canada and other parts of North America. John Rempel was also a well known speaker in Canada and the United States having spoken at the American Society of Architectural Historians, the Canadian Museums Association, and others. John also worked professionally as a heritage consultant for restoration projects across southern Ontario and was Chief Research Architect in Historic Building Technology for the reconstruction of Fort William and an architectural consultant during the establishment of Upper Canada Village.

In addition, John was the head of the Architectural Drafting department at the Danforth Technical School in Toronto and a lecturer at the Ontario College of Education. For his work John won numerous awards including a Senior Canada Council Fellowship and the Gabrielle Léger Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Heritage Conservation.


Fonds consists of materials created and accumulated by John Ivan Rempel that document his professional life and activities in architecture and architectural heritage, primarily relating to his work Building With Wood. Includes materials relating to his activities; manuscripts and research materials; and photographs of wood construction. Fonds is arranged in nine series as follows:

  1. Photographs : Building With Wood, 1967 and 1980 Eds.;
  2. Photographs : Building With Wood, 1980 Rev. Ed. Only;
  3. Photographs : Log Construction Album;
  4. Photographs : Octagonal Construction Album;
  5. Photographs : Ontario Architecture;
  6. Photographs : Loose;
  7. Photographs : Loose Prints From Other Sources;
  8. Activities;
  9. Manuscripts and Research.


  • Title from content of the fonds.
  • Extent is measured in linear metres of shelf space as occupied by the fonds.
  • Left as originally arranged.
  • Reproductions of images are not allowed - we do not own copyright.
  • Donated by John Rempel in 1984.
Call number: GA181