This well-traveled son of a British diplomat served for two years as an officer in the British Army before earning a Diploma in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh’s College of Art, where he was taught by Ian McHarg. He would also study under McHarg at the University of Pennsylvania, earning his M.L.A. there before immigrating with his family to Toronto in 1959. In 1963 Hough founded the Toronto-based Michael Hough & Associates, which would evolve through several partnerships before becoming ENVision-The Hough Group, in 2000.
Hough’s approach to landscape architecture and planning was grounded in urban ecology and aimed to connect the city with nature, both integrally and visibly. Notable projects include Ontario Place (along with architect Eberhard Zeidler) on Toronto’s western waterfront, Humber Bay Shores Park in Etobicoke, and an early plan for Don Valley Brickworks Park (now Evergreen Brick Works). For the University of Toronto, he designed Philosopher’s Walk, the University College Quadrangle, the two courtyards of the Earth Sciences building, and the grounds of the Scarborough campus. Hough authored several books, including The Urban Landscape (1971) and Cities and Natural Process (1984), and in 1991 he co-authored an impactful report on restoring the Don River. He was instrumental in founding the program in landscape architecture at the University of Toronto in 1965 and taught on the faculty of Environmental Studies at York University from 1970 to 2005. Among his many professional honors, in 1999 Hough received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, of which he was a Fellow, and served as president from 1985 to 1986. Hough passed away in Toronto at the age of 84.