Hans Blumenfeld 1892-1988

Salaff, Stephen

Publisher:  Peace Magazine
Date Written:  01/04/1988
Year Published:  1988  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX22096

A look at the accomplishments of Hans Blumenfeld, a German-Canadian architect and city planner who was also active throughout his life in promoting peace.


Shocked by New York's slum clearance, which only worsened the plight of low-income families, Blumenfeld preferred neighborhood rehabilitation. He argued that slum clearance could only be justified if accompanied by rent control and a major program of subsidized replacement housing.

In 1945 Blumenfeld began a stint in Philadelphia's City Planning Commission. In 1953, the State Department refused to renew his passport because of his membership in organizations on the Attorney General's subversive list.

Two years later Blumenfeld joined the new Metropolitan Toronto Planning Board, and prepared Metro's 1959 Official Plan for land use, housing, and transportation. It encouraged higher suburban densities, a strong central core, and orderly growth. Although he easily obtained landed immigrant status in 1955, Blumenfeld had difficulty in 1960 when he applied for Canadian citizenship. His application was refused because of his work with the Canadian Peace Congress. His friends lobbied in Ottawa, winning citizenship for him at last in 1963.

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