Gordon William McGarva

March 16, 1935 - January 28, 2019

Burial Date April 5, 2019

Church Messiah Lutheran Church

at 1:30 pm on Friday, April 5, 2019 at Messiah Lutheran Church, 400 Rouge Road.  A reception will follow at 3:00 p.m. at St. Charles Country Club, 100 Country Club Boulevard.


Gordon William McGarva- loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, architect, curler and corny joke teller!

It is with gratitude we celebrate the life of Gordon William McGarva and with great sadness that we announce his passing at age 83 on Monday, January 28, 2019.

Gordon will be remembered with much love by Pat, his loving wife of more than 59 years, as well as his children Laurie Poluha (Gene) of Woodbury, Minnesota, Linda McGarva-Cohen (James) and Robert McGarva (Sandra) of Winnipeg as well as grandchildren Sarah Poluha (Minneapolis), Sean Poluha (Orlando), Madison McGarva and Adam McGarva of Winnipeg. He also leaves behind loving memories for his siblings Margaret Newton, Bill and Alice McGarva, Don McGarva and Dorothy and Sheldon Herron, sister-in-law Barb (Steve) Curll, brother-in-law Ed (Nora) Geres, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and several great nieces and great nephews. He was predeceased by his parents William “Bill” and Sally McGarva, parent-in-laws Adolph and Helen Geres as well as his brother-in-law Bud Newton.

Although Gordon was proud of his Scottish and Welsh heritage, he was a true Winnipegger – born and raised.  He attended Gordon Bell High School where he enjoyed playing on the football team as well as being involved in other activities however decided to finish his grade 12 education at the University of Winnipeg.  Gordon enjoyed reminiscing about his part time work at Moore’s Taxi as well as when he was busboy for the CN Railway as a young man.

Gordon loved building things. He proudly graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1958 with a degree in architecture, where he won the thesis prize. Along the way he was fortunate to meet his lifelong sweetheart Pat and they married in 1959 and shortly thereafter started a family. Following graduation, Gordon worked at the firm of Kurnasky and Weinburgin for one year before joining the firm of Waisman & Ross in 1959 and continued on with the firm when they amalgamated with the firms of Blankstein & Coop and Gilmour & Hanna in 1964 which later became Number Ten Architecture Group. As an associate with the firm Gord was involved in a number of interesting projects during the late 1960’s and 1970’s including the Canadian Consulate in Islamabad, Pakistan and the Zambian Institute of Technology in Kitwe, Zambia. He became a partner in 1976 and remained so until his retirement in 2001. He contributed specifically to the Churchill Town Site Redevelopment Project and the Air Canada Maintenance Complex. Throughout the latter part of his career Gordon specialized in the commercial and health care sectors which included a long standing relationship with Canada Safeway. Gordon truly enjoyed his career and was proud of being a member of the Number Ten team. Whether at the coffee machine, photocopier or out of the office, regardless of time of day or project timeline pressure, Gordon always made to time to ask how you were doing, have a conversation, make a joke, give advice or simply listen. As his children, people always comment to us that they knew no other person with more integrity than our Dad.

Gordon was elected President of the Manitoba Association of Architects in 1977. In 1994 Gordon was honoured to be bestowed a Fellowship from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He also enjoyed serving on the Board of Revisions for many years.

While generally a quiet personality, Gordon loved to tell stories about his travels and family but in particular he enjoyed reading jokes (often corny!) from his beloved monthly Reader’s Digest magazine. He also became quite accomplished as a wine maker and eagerly awaited the response from the attendees at many Sunday evening dinners. Gordon loved his family. He always wanted to know if everyone was coming for dinner and what the grandkids were up to.

Gordon loved to curl. Mom and Dad curled at the Fort Gary Curling Club while we kids would spin around on the red vinyl and steel chairs at the lunch counter waiting for them to finish their games. Later they became members of the Winnipeg Winter Club where Dad curled for decades as well as the Granite Curling Club in his later years where he made new friends on the curling sheets. He also loved working and building on home projects or maintaining the beautiful backyard garden he and Pat created over the years. He could often be seen climbing up a ladder with a hammer or saw in hand or knee deep in mud digging a flower bed. The McGarva home which Gordon designed also served as party central every holiday or summer for family, friends and the Number Ten Group’s annual pool party which was always a highlight of the season.

Finally, Gordon loved dogs and had a special soft spot for his golden retriever Heidi, and loveable mutts Sam and Lady who are waiting for him on the other side of the rainbow bridge. We love you and will miss you Dad!

The family would like to thank Sandra Christie (NP), Dr. Gregory Hammond and all the doctors as well as the caregivers who provided great support, care and friendship to Dad over the last few years including Mike McInnis, Iryna Bryk, Sheila, Liezl, Nyko, Edgar as well as Dennis and Lindsey Fancy from Home Care Assistance and the staff at Shaftesbury Park Retirement Residence.

A Memorial Service will be held at 1:30 pm on Friday, April 5, 2019 at Messiah Lutheran Church, 400 Rouge Road.  A reception will follow at 3:00 p.m. at St. Charles Country Club, 100 Country Club Boulevard.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to the Alzheimer Society of Manitoba at or 10-120 Donald Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 4G2.

Condolences may be sent to