Architect Biography

John Di Castri

Born in Victoria, John Di Castri trained during the war in the Provincial Public Works Department under Chief Architect W.H. Whittaker before briefly working in the office of Birley, Wade and Stockdill. In 1949 he trained as an understudy to American expressionist architect Bruce Goff at the University of Oklahoma. He returned to Victoria in 1951 and started his own practice in 1952. He was a pioneer of modernist architecture in Victoria with his avant-garde style including circle, triangle and wedge forms in his works. As sole proprietor of his practice that lasted some 50 years, he has left a lasting mark on architecture in Victoria with both his domestic and commercial buildings.
Major Di Castri works in Victoria include the Institute for the Blind, Centennial Square and View Street Parkades, the Student Union Building, Cornett Building, and Chapel at the University of Victoria, St. Patrick's Church (Oak Bay), St. Joseph's Church (Strawberry Vale), Christ the King Church (Gordon Head), and the entrance foyer addition to the Royal British Columbia Museum.


3516 Richmond Road – Trend House (1954)

• 1609 Blanshard Street – Canadian National Institute for the Blind Building (1951)

• 3225 Beach Drive – John A. Achtem House (1959)

• 912 Douglas Street – Ballantyne's Florist (1954)

• 1646 St. Francis Wood - Thomson House (1958)

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