School Information

Elsie MacGill

Elsie MacGill (1905-1980) was the first woman to earn a Master’s degree in aeronautical engineering (1929). She was also the first practising Canadian woman engineer and first female aircraft designer. In 1940 she became chief aeronautical engineer of Canadian Car & Foundry (Can Car) in Fort William, Ontario. There, she headed the Canadian production of Hawker Hurricane fighter planes during the Second World War - producing more than 1,450 aircraft. An active feminist, MacGill was national president of the Canadian Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs (1962–64). She was also a member of the Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (1967–70). MacGill is a recipient of the Order of Canada.