Fonds SC429 - John Di Castri fonds

Open original Digital object

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Di Castri fonds

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Class of material specific details area

Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • 1918 - 2005 (Creation)

Physical description area

Physical description

3 m of textual records and other material

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Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John A. Di Castri was a Canadian architect born in Victoria, British Columbia and a key figure in establishing modern architecture in that city. At the age of 16, he was hired as an apprentice at the Architectural Branch of the B.C. Department of Public Works and received his education by correspondence. In 1947, he worked briefly in the office of Birley, Wade & Stockdill before leaving to study at the University of Oklahoma under Bruce Goff, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. Di Castri returned to Victoria in 1951 and went into partnership with W. Nicholls before starting his own practice in 1952. He was committed to establishing modern architecture in Victoria and had a major impact on the community throughout his career. He designed shops and churches, private residences and public buildings. Major works include his award-winning Trend House; the Canadian Institute for the Blind building; the University of Victoria Student Union Building, Cornett Building and Interfaith Chapel; and the Crystal Pool. In his obituary, Di Castri was called "an essential figure in West Coast architecture in the postwar years."

Custodial history

The fonds was originally stored in the Di Castri firm's offices before being transferred to the basement of Di Castri's home. The material donated was selected by Martin Segger and Chris Gower in 2007 and transferred to Special Collections.

Scope and content

The fonds consists of architectural plans and drawings by Di Castri for homes and buildings in Victoria and other locations in B.C. Fonds also includes notes, correspondence, construction contracts and photographs of commissioned projects, as well as portfolios, proposals, articles about Di Castri, notebooks, and manuscripts.

Notes area

Physical condition

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Restrictions on access

Some of the materials (floppy diskettes, mini audio cassettes, film reels) are restricted due to lack of compatible equipment.

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Finding aids

An inventory is available.

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Physical description

Includes 3,023 architectural plans; 1,118 photographs.

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Description record identifier


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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Revised by JF, July 24, 2013.

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Digital object (Master) rights area

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