The OAA Celebrates Ontario Architecture with MPPs at Queen’s Park

The OAA celebrated this year’s World Architecture Day with its fourth annual visit to Queen’s Park, hosting a reception with Members of Provincial Parliament.

At the December 10 event, the OAA underscored the importance of architects and architecture while also discussing the profession’s contribution to Ontario’s economy and the roles that architects play in addressing issues such as housing affordability and climate change.

Earlier this year, the OAA invited Ontario MPPs to reflect on the province’s architectural legacy—both old and new—and nominate their favourite building within their riding.

“We were so pleased to see MPPs come out and share their excitement about Ontario architecture,” says OAA President Kathleen Kurtin. “Architecture is a small profession, but an important one. I believe architects are ideally suited to make valuable, creative contributions to public conversations about important concerns like housing affordability and improving our buildings to be sustainable and resilient in a time of climate change, as well as helping ensure a vibrant economy in sectors like construction and tourism.”

A record number of 40 submissions were received from across all political parties, representing areas from Windsor to Timmins to Ottawa.

Eight of these projects were then selected for this year’s QP Picks exhibit, which highlights the diversity of architecture across the province.

MPP Tom Rakocevic (Humber River–Black Creek) nominated York University’s new Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence (ZAS Architects Inc., 2017), which has a cloud-like façade and takes a student-centric approach to spatial design. Student clubs and academic services are given priority placement (and access to daylighting and views) at the main entrance of the building, with staff offices relegated to the central core.

Image Credit: Doublespace. Architectural Credit: ZAS Architects Inc.

Ontario Place (Craig, Zeidler & Strong, 1969–1971), was nominated by MPP Chris Glover (Spadina–Fort York). The high-tech megastructure and landscape—a testament to an ambitious province not afraid of big ideas—includes modular pods and 90 acres of manmade lagoons and islands as well as the Cinesphere. The triodetic-dome structure houses the first permanent Imax movie theatre, which was rehabilitated in 2011 by Gow Hastings Architects Inc.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Zeidler Architecture Inc.. Architectural Credit: Craig, Zeidler & Strong.

The six other projects chosen were:

  • Aaniin Community Centre and Library in Markham, architect: Perkins & Will Canada Inc.;
  • Corktown Footbridge in Ottawa, architect: DTAH Architects Limited;
  • Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton, redevelopment architect: Zeidler Partnership Architects in partnership with Invizij Architects Inc.;
  • The Metalworks in Guelph, redevelopment architects: SRM Architects Inc. (heritage building reuse) and Kirkor Architects and Planners;
  • Waterdown Public Library in Hamilton, architect: Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc.; and
  • Westinghouse HQ in Hamilton, rehabilitation architect: McCallum Sather Architects Inc.

“This year’s selection of eight very different projects—from provincial landmarks to exciting new places for learning, living and playing—show how architecture helps create creates a sense of place, while also celebrating the culture and community of where they are built,” says Kurtin.

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