Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

S. George Rich FCIP (d)

George Rich was born and educated in the UK.  He graduated from the University of Brighton School of Architecture, followed by a degree in Town Planning from the University College London (UCL)—both awarded in the 1940s.  George’s first job was as a surveyor, after which he contributed to the planning and design of one of Britain’s post-war New Towns (Crawley).  George and his wife Jo then immigrated to Canada in the early 1950s.  George worked as an architect and planner in Toronto, after which he moved west to Winnipeg in 1953 where he assumed important and influential roles. George joined the Town Planning Institute of Canada in 1954.  He was Chief Planner (Winnipeg Metropolitan Planning Commission, 1953-1960) and then Director (City of Winnipeg Planning Division, 1960-67) where he was noted for his imaginative leadership and sound planning programs.
In 1967, George joined the University of Waterloo as a lecturer, and then associate professor with the new School of Urban and Regional Planning.  Together with such illustrious colleagues as Len Gertler and Bob Dorney, George designed and helped launch Waterloo’s Planning program.  He taught undergraduate courses in professional practice that influenced hundreds of students—grounding the students in the fundamentals and challenging them to dream of a better world.  George was the author of a well-regarded text, The Professional Practice of Urban and Rural Planning in Canada (1993).  He also developed and managed the Waterloo-Oxford Brooks annual exchange program in the 1980s. George retired from the School in 1989, and then worked in private practice for several more years, contributing both to the community and Institute affairs.
George Rich was inducted into the College of Fellows in 1997 in recognition of his embodiment of both theory and practice.  The 1998 CIP Award of Excellence was awarded in his honour.  He will be remembered both as one of the leading figures in post-war Canadian urban and regional planning and as an excellent teacher and mentor.  He had a wide range of interests and a high degree of zest and humour.