Architect & City Planner

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About Morris Charney

Professional Degrees

McGill University, B. Arch., 1962
Harvard University, M. Arch., 1963

Professional Registrations

OAQ, Quebec Order of Architects, 1966
AAPQ, Architect in Private Practice in Quebec 1966
RAIC, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, 1966
OUQ, Ordre des Urbanistes du Québec, 1970
CIP, Canadian Institute of Planners, 1970
AIA, Associate Member, American Institute of Architects, 1994
IHINA, Independent Home Inspectors of North America,Boston/Mass. 2003

Building Inspection

In private practice as a consultant architect and city planner (self-employed) since 1972, doing prepurchase building inspections, lease negotiations, investigating construction defects, preparing expertise reports and testifying in court as an expert witness. Had 12 years of practical experience working for other architects and planners prior to 1972.

I was trained to do building inspections in 1961 while working at CMHC in Ottawa (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation). Since the mid-70's inspections have been the major part of my work including residential, commercial and industrial buildings. Among the clients I have had for prepurchase residential inspections are two former prime ministers and two premiers. Clients for industrial purchases or commercial lease negotiations have included Provigo, Kraft General Food, La Senza, Le Chateau and Divco. I have had to examine numerous condominium apartment buildings for condominium associations including Cours Le Royer, Ritz l, Ritz ll and l"Hermitage.

I have inspected over 20 000 properties in the course of my work.


Residential--designed, consulted or directed the renovations and extensions of approximately 1000 homes during the past 35 years. Project director, for a 25 000 sq. ft. luxury house complex in Mont-Tremblant ($30 million budget), 1997-1998 - Director, Construction Management and Maintenance - American Apparel Inc. from 2002 - 2014. President of the Canadian Division since 2002. Consultant in regard to construction and maintenance for the Canadian retail stores (35), offices and warehouses. Consultant in regard to the worldwide operation: 275 stores in 19 countries, manufacturing and head office in downtown LA. Architect of the 9 American Apparel stores in Montréal on commercial streets and in shopping centers [2002-2005]

Commercial/industrial work--executive offices, factories and showrooms for manufacturing enterprises and warehouse distribution centers. The design and renovation of more than 25 stores between 1975-2005. The Safety Supply Co., renovated an industrial building on the Trans-Canada Highway, 35 000 sq. ft., 1980.

Community/public type buildings—Chairman of the buildings and Grounds Committee for St. George's Schools 1983-87. Spera Foundation, a drug rehabilitation center--the recycling of farm structures into a recreational and treatment center for youths including new residences, 1974. 1600 Seaforth conversion of a parking garage into a dental clinic containing 10 operatories, 1973.

Complexe Desjardin, design and construction, chargé du projet, for La Haye and Ouellet, Principal Architects and Planners, 1967-1972.

Worked on the design of Habitat '67 with Moshe Safdie in 1962

Construction estimator for Janin Construction Ltee,1960

City Planner/Urbaniste

Consultant planner to residential, tenant, cooperative and condominium associations, including:

  • The Snowdon Residents' Association
  • The Redpath Crescent Residents' Committee
  • Hill Park Circle Residents' Committee, 1976-1986

Land use study of Centre Ville, Laval for Steinberg's Ltd., 1974

City planner for the Municipality of Montreal West, 1971

Head of the Urban Design Department (Directeur des Grands Ensembles) at Jean - Claude La Haye et Assoc. Urbanistes-Conseils, 1965-1971. Some of the projects done under my supervision include: Colline Parlementaire, development plan in Quebec City, 1968; Domaine de Champvert in Longueuil, a 3000 unit housing project, 1966-1967

Restoration Projects

Restoration of Heritage and Classified Properties
Garbutt House, (1926), 1809 Apex
Silverlake District, Los Angeles

Two Heritage properties in Westmount, Quebec
(1900), 12 Melbourne Ave.

(1920) 448 Landsdowne, Westmount Quebec

Other Experience
  • CJAD radio, evening call in show concerning building inspections and renovations, monthly, 1993-2009
  • CANAL D, contributor to the TV documentary on toxins in the environment*, Nov 26, 2007--" Du plomb dans la tète"
  • Articles researched and written for the environmental magazine "La Maison du 21e Siècle" (link), technical consultant to the publisher André Fauteux, 1997-2005:
    • automne 2005, "L'inspection préachat: comment en avoir pour votre argent?"
    • hiver 2004, "Amiante : une poussière mortelle dans ma maison?"*
    • hiver 2003, "Cauchemar en rénovation: La poussière de plomb"*
    • été 2002, "Pollution par le bruit: des solutions"
    • septembre 2000, "Le réchauffement global et votre maison: réflexions d'un inspecteur"*
    • juin 2000, "Terrains maudits"
    • mars 2000, "Inspection pré-achat: trop d'incompétents"
    • mai-juin 1999, "Fuites de toiture: les leçons du verglas"
    • juin-juillet 1997, "Les vieux chalets sont ils malsains?"*
    • janvier-février 1998, "La qualité de l'air intérieur"*
    • décembre 1997, "Glaçons et moisissures"
    • octobre-novembre 1997, "Rénover ou agrandir sans cauchemars"
  • International symposium, invited speaker, lecture title "Mould and indoor air quality in buildings." Organized by Concordia University Biology Department and Le Group NAK May 17, 2002*. Proceedings were published
  • Referenced in a class action suit regarding vermiculite, Oct. 2004, L'Association Des Consommateurs Pour La Qualité Dans La Construction c. Grace Canada Inc. et le Procureur General du Canada- article 2.43*
  • GLOBAL Television - TV interview "How to find a building inspector" Feb 3, 2000
  • CMHC training seminar "indoor air quality/la qualité de l'air intérieur", certificate issued Jan 26, 1999*
  • Conference lecturer, series of lectures on "creating healthier houses - séminaires sur les maison saines", November 1995 sponsored by CMHC and DEE (la Direction de l'éfficacité énergétique du Québec)*
  • Lecturer on building inspection at Heritage Montreal (twice a year). Leadoff speaker in the Home Renovation Series, 1983-1995
  • Gave a postgraduate level course on building inspection at the School of Urban Planning, Faculty of Engineering, McGill University, 1985-1994
  • Design studio, visiting professor and course lecturer, School of Urban Planning, McGill University, 1972-1994
  • CBC Television, Market Place – featured in a special on building inspectors, April 5, 1994
  • CBC radio Midday - featured on a special on building inspectors, January 31, 1984
  • Building inspection course at the Order of Architects of Quebec. Initiated the course and set out standards for this type of work. The course was given to practicing architects and engineers both in Montreal and Quebec City from 1981-1985 as part of the Continuing Education Program.