Étienne Gaboury, the Franco-Manitoban architect who designed the Royal Canadian Mint’s Winnipeg facility, died on Oct. 14 at age 92.
Gaboury, who the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation described as “Manitoba’s greatest architect” and the “father of landmarks,” also designed Winnipeg’s Esplanade Riel, which crosses the Red River, the St. Boniface Cathedral and the Precious Blood Roman Catholic Church.
A member of both the Order of Manitoba and the Order of Canada, Gaboury also designed buildings across the country and abroad, including the Canadian embassy in Mexico.
In April 1976, the Mint opened its Winnipeg facility, where it began producing all circulation and foreign coins using nickel from several northern Manitoba mines. The building – the first fully automated currency-making system in North America – features two large walls of bronze-tinted glass. Rising from the surrounding prairie, the minting facility is responsible for producing the circulation currency of 70 other nations.
“Every single Canadian circulation coin is produced here – literally billions each year,” reads the Mint’s website, which adds the plant occupies a 14,864 metre-square state-of-the-art facility.