OAA announces 2020 Queen’s Park Picks as part of World Architecture Day

In light of COVID-19 and in the interest of public safety, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) celebrated this year’s World Architecture Day and the annual Queen’s Park Picks event online to ensure exemplary structures continue to be recognized.

Traditionally, the OAA marks the occasion (which falls annually on the first Monday in October) with a reception at Queen’s Park for Members of Provincial Parliament to reveal the year’s Queen’s Park Picks. The event showcases outstanding examples of Ontario architecture through the nominations of MPPs across the province.

This year’s theme, “Toward a Better Urban Future” strikes a particularly poignant chord. The OAA strongly believes architecture plays a central role in meeting the many complex and intersecting challenges facing communities, including economic recovery, improved healthcare facilities, and climate resilience. Foregrounding the positive impact of the built environment remains a central focus of the OAA’s mission in regulating the architecture profession to protect the public interest. It enjoys a long-standing, collaborative relationship with the provincial government and highly values their mutual investment in meeting the needs of Ontarians.

“We are thrilled to see MPPs continuing to share their excitement about Ontario architecture, especially as we face many tough challenges across our province,” says OAA President Kathleen Kurtin. “ I believe architects are well-positioned to make valuable, creative contributions in service of the public good. While we tackle the immediate obstacles in front of us, we must continue to participate in broader conversations about housing affordability, sustainability, and community resiliency. These projects reflect the wonderful contributions our profession is making in communities across Ontario.”

Prior to the World Architecture Day event, the OAA invited Ontario MPPs to reflect on the province’s unique architectural legacy and nominate a favourite building within their riding. This year, submissions were received from MPPs across all political parties, spanning nearly every region of Ontario, from the Detroit River all the way to James Bay.

Nine projects were selected for this year’s Queen’s Park Picks online exhibit. The buildings chosen were:


  • Cabbagetown neighbourhood in Toronto, nominated by MPP Suze Morrison
Image : Uninterrupted rows of restored Victorian houses are a staple of Cabbagetown


Image : The No. 11 headframe of the McIntyre mine still towers over the city of Timmins.


Image : A community garden anchors the development. Photo by Doublespace courtesy of Hobin Architecture


Image : The exterior of Windsor’s Capitol Theatre on University Ave W., as seen in 1947. Photo courtesy of the Ontario Archives


Image : The original Ontario County Land Registry office, shown here before any additions were constructed. Photo courtesy of the Whitby Archives


Image : View of the former Kinmount Railway Station on the banks of the Burnt River. Photo courtesy of Guy Scott


  • The Bentway in Toronto, nominated by MPP Chris Glover
Image : Meandering under the imposing highway, the Bentway’s skate trail provides a welcome amenity in the winter months. Photo by Denise Militzer, courtesy of the Bentway Conservancy.


Image : Exterior view of the Walkerton Clean Water Centre. Photo courtesy of the Walkerton Clean Water Centre


Image : MacDonald Hall’s renovated interiors. Photo by Tom Arban, courtesy of Gow Hastings Architects

View further description and information on each project here.

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