Dr. Eugene Faludi was an accomplished Hungarian born architect and planner trained in Italy. He spear-headed post-war planning in Canada, undertaking many of the first masterplans for communities across Ontario, including the 1943 Master Plan for Toronto and Environs.
As a child, Faludi was likely persuaded in his dream of becoming an architect and planner by the building explosion which occurred in his native Budapest to mark the 1000th anniversary of Hungarian settlement. As a boy, he witnessed the transformation of Budapest into a modern European Capital, including the opening of the second subway system in Europe.
The end of the First World War saw revolutionary turmoil in Hungary, forcing Faludi to flee his homeland, ultimately arriving in Rome where he completed his architectural studies. As a rising star in Italian architecture, Faludi was forced to explore new architectural expressions against the backdrop of the central fascist government. In 1935, he was awarded the ``Chevalier de l’ordre de la couronne`` by King Leopold III of Belgium for the design of the Italian Pavilion at the Brussels World`s Fair.
At the brink of the Second World War, Faludi escaped to England under a ruse of designing an Italian school in London and ultimately arrived in Canada. His pedigree included masterplans of Padua, Brescia, San Pellegrino, Verona and Aprilia. As a former citizen of two countries with which Canada was currently at war, it is hard to imagine a more unlikely candidate to plan the future of what would evolve into Canada largest metropolitan area. Yet he was hired by the Toronto Planning Commission to undertake the first Master Plan for Toronto and Environs. This was only the second master plan in North America that went beyond municipal boundaries to take a regional approach to planning. The plan enabled Toronto to rebuild its aging transportation and housing infrastructure to accommodate the unprecedented wave of post-war immigration that was to follow. It included Canada`s first subway system, much of the regional highway system we see today, and a grand civic square at Bay and Queen Streets, which would eventually become Nathan Phillips Square.
Faludi went on to become one of the leading post war planners in Canada, undertaking official plans, urban renewal schemes, town expansions, new town plans for municipalities prmarily across Ontario. In the 1950`s, it was claimed that his firm Town Planning Consultants was the largest private planning office in North America.
Even after his retirement, he continued to remain active. In 1972, as part of a Federal Government initiative, he undertook the masterplan for a University Campus outside of Sao Paolo, Brazil. Dr. Faludi died in 1981, leaving behind legacy that guided land use planning in Ontario from its very beginnings to the respected profession that continues to shape the communities we live in today.