Peter DickinsonPeter Allgood Rastall Dickinson, architect (born at London, Eng 21 Oct 1925; died at Montréal 15 Oct 1961). Peter Dickinson was an initiator of the International Style in eastern Canada after the war. A graduate of the Architectural Association in London, he arrived in Toronto in 1950 to become chief designer at the established firm of Page and Steele. Outspoken, self-assured and "showing new things," as one admirer recalled, he attracted the patronage of the postwar generation of downtown developers. They followed him when he founded his own firm, Peter Dickinson Associates, in 1958.
Dickinson's modernism was of the same patterned and picturesque mode exemplified by the Festival of Britain in 1951. He built economically and with flair, excelling at apartment and office buildings designed to restricted budgets, and for low fees. His commercial idiom ran to precast concrete facing panels, stainless steel fins, carefully composed roofscapes, transparent bases, strip windows, glazed brick, and colourful spandrel panels. Important works include Toronto Teachers' College (1954), Benvenuto Place Apartments (1955), O'Keefe Centre (1960; now SONY CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS) and the Prudential Building (1960). Dickinson's most significant commission was the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Windsor Plaza, Montréal (1961), completed as he lay dying of cancer at age 35.
See alsoTORONTO FEATURE: 1 FRONT ST. E.