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
No. 11 McIntyre Headframe in Timmins, nominated by MPP Gilles Bisson
Beaver Barracks in Ottawa, nominated by MPP Joel Harden
Capitol Theatre in Windsor, nominated by MPP Lisa Gretzky
1855 BDO Whitby Accelerator in Whitby, nominated by MPP Lorne Coe
Kinmount Railway Station in Kinmount, nominated by the Honourable Laurie Scott, MPP
The Bentway in Toronto, nominated by MPP Chris Glover
Walkerton Clean Water Centre in Walkerton, nominated by the Honourable Lisa Thompson, MPP
MacDonald Hall in Guelph, nominated by MPP Mike Schreiner
View further description and information on each project here.