Jacques Collin was born in Courbevoie, France, in May of 1927. During the 1940s Collin studied architecture at the École National des Beaux-Arts. He later earned a a degrees from Paris’ L’Institute d’Urbanisme, in 1954, and from École National Superieure des Beaux-Arts, in 1956. Collin was named logiste for the Grand Prix de Rome in 1959, a prize which enabled up to three years of living and studying in the Italian capital. In the early 1960s Collin served in teaching roles at the University of Texas, Oklahoma State University and the University of Illinois. These positions were followed by his joining the faculty of the University of Manitoba architecture program in 1964, where he remained until his retirement in 1995. In 1989 Collin was received the University of Manitoba Graduate Students Association award for excellence in graduate teaching.
Beyond teaching, Collin was a designer involved in a large variety of projects. While still in France, Collin was involved in the design of the national parliament of Cambodia. In Manitoba he participated in the design of the Cistercian Monastery at Holland, Manitoba (1975) and numerous works executed as a consultant with Smith Carter. The latter included Winnipeg’s 1985 Air Canada Building and hospital projects in London, Ontario, and St. Boniface. He was also responsible for the unique design of his own home, located at 77 D'arcy Drive, near the University of Manitoba. Collin passed away in January of 2000.