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Elizabeth "Elsie"

Image: Museum of Toronto.

Canada’s first practicing female engineer, Elizabeth MacGill, advanced the field of Canadian aeronautics while leading a dedicated fight for gender equality.
1905 - 1980 | Aeronautical Engineer and Women's Rights Advocate

Elizabeth MacGill, made history in 1929 by becoming the first woman to achieve a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. As Chief Aeronautical Engineer at the Canadian Car & Foundry in 1938, MacGill led the production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes during World War II. Beyond her engineering achievements, she actively advocated for women’s rights, serving as national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (1962-1964). Additionally, she contributed her expertise to the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967-1970).

MacGill’s legacy of breaking barriers and advancing women’s rights helped build a more inclusive and progressive Toronto.

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