Christopher J. Yorath

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Christopher J. Yorath (1879–1932) was a Welsh-Canadian engineer and urban planner.

Yorath was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1879 and attended grade school there from 1889-1895. He graduated in engineering from the University of Wales in 1898.[1]

Yorath worked for an engineering contractor in Cardiff until 1900 when he became Assistant to the Cardiff City Engineer; later in 1908 becoming Chief Assistant Engineer & Surveyor to the Acton Urban District Council; in 1912 becoming Deputy Engineer to the Acton Borough Engineer while from 1908–09 lecturing at the Westminster Technical Institute in London.[1]

In 1913 Yorath emigrated from England to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada to take on the role of commissioner of Saskatoon and city treasurer during the war years. As commissioner he developed an urban plan called the Plan for Greater Saskatoon, that emphasized park space, civic areas, roads, tramways, and a “ring road” (eventually realized as Circle Drive).[2]

He was quoted as saying "Our aim should be to make Saskatoon a `garland city'.... Our city should be beautiful and well planned, characterised by cleanliness and with a residential section assuring amenity from the turmoil and stress of public life." and "My conception is a garden city. It should be beautiful and flowery. If we allow Saskatoon to grow on the check-board system, we will come in for the contempt of the future generation. We should plan out our city so that sewerage and waterworks will be laid that it may be best used for a large city."[1] After extensive debate with the mayor of the day Alexander MacGillivray Young, he resigned to take on the role of Commissioned of Edmonton,[2]

From 1924 until 1926 he moved into a new role as President of both the Northwestern Utilities Limited (electrical and gas supplier to Edmonton) and the Canadian Western Natural Gas, Light, Heat & Power Co. (supplier to Calgary and Lethbridge).[1]

In 1926 he moved to Nanaimo, British Columbia to take on the role of President and Managing Director of the Nanaimo Electric Light, Power and Heating Co.[1]


In recognitions of Christopher Yorath's contributions:[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "TOWN PLANNING - Christopher J. Yorath - Taken from The Western Municipal News 8 (September 1913): 298–300.". John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Department of City and Regional Planning, West Sibley Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  2. ^ a b c "Yorath, Christopher (1879–1932) – The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan". University of Regina. Retrieved 2011-02-10. 
  3. ^ Hutton, David (February 5, 2011). "Group lobbies name for new bridge". The StarPhoenix. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 2011-02-10.