Irving Isaac Kessler – Architect and Holocaust survivor,
died from complications of pneumonia on March 2, 2021.
After WWII, he arrived in Canada as a refugee with his parents, Nechama and
He graduated 1 st in his class from McGill’s School of Architecture in 1956 and was
awarded the R.A.I.C. Medal of Excellence as well as a travelling scholarship.
He opened his own architectural office in Westmount, Montreal where he
designed condominiums, schools and private residences. Notable projects
included the Taylor Rehabilitation Centre as well as the design of the 1 st affordable
condominium for low income housing in Verdun, Montreal.
A lifelong lover of the outdoors, he was ahead of his time in adopting a
philosophy of design that emphasized green spaces and sustainable construction.
In designing a warehouse for Olympia Tile Co. in Toronto, he included an open
green space with large glass windows into their display centre which was a
revolutionary concept at the time.
A creator at heart, making pizza for his family and gardening were some of his
Throughout his life, he was a quiet advocate for those less fortunate. In his
retirement, he grew interested in understanding the economics that led to
income inequality and wrote a manuscript of his thoughts on the subject.
A beloved husband, father and grandfather, he is survived by his wife of many
years, Celine, his daughter and son-in-law, Debbie and Rob, his son, David and
two cherished granddaughters, Rachel and Aleeza.