Edgar Tumak, B.A., MSc

Senior Cultural Heritage Specialist

With a Master’s Degree from the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning, University College, University of London, England, Mr. Tumak has pursued Canada’s architectural history of the 19th – 20th centuries, since 1987. Born in Saskatoon, he has also lived in Winnipeg, Montreal, and Ottawa (where he graduated with Honours History from Carleton University). He also lived in Vienna, working with the United Nations Secretariat Information Service.

Returning to Canada from England, he was a research assistant for the foremost survey of architecture in Canada by Harold Kalman. Later, he worked for Parks Canada, promoting the value of more recent architectural heritage, as well as the City of Ottawa as a heritage planner. Much of his career has been as a consultant. Clients include various levels of government: e.g., National Historic Sites Directorate, Heritage Conservation Programme of Public Works and Government Services Canada, Valued Assets of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and municipalities. He has also worked with authors, designers, and heritage organisations. With his spouse he moved to the small town of Deseronto, west of Kingston, Ontario (an easy commute to Ottawa, Toronto or Montreal), starting in 2002, to reside in and restore an 1878-88 former Anglican church, designed by architect Frank Darling whose firm designed many structures for the University of Toronto, the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, and the Centre Block of Parliament in Ottawa.

Edgar has served on numerous professional and volunteer bodies: e.g., Executive Member of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada (Treasurer), and the City of Ottawa Heritage Committee. His scholarly articles include 25 biographies of Canadian architects and planners for the international art history encyclopaedia, the Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (Leipzig: K.G. Saur Verlag GmbH & Co.). He has a strong command of German and French.

Edgar served for two terms as a town councillor (2006-14) for the Town of Deseronto, focusing on Economic Development, Transit—now an award-winning regional rural public transit system (chairperson of the management committee since 2007), environmental issues particularly as a board member of the Quinte Conservation Authority, and land claim issues—informed by his role with the Mohawk Anglican Parish of Tyendinaga, notably as a church warden and elder (even though not Mohawk).