Queen's Park Picks

Now in its fifth year, the Ontario Association of Architects has engaged Members of Provincial Parliament in highlighting favourite examples of architecture throughout the province. The 2020 Queen's Park Picks (QP Picks) were carefully curated from a larger set of nominations from nearly 30 MPPs. We hope you enjoy this year's collection, which helps showcase the diversity and wonder of Ontario's incredible architectural culture. The OAA thanks all MPPs for participating each year in this important endeavour.



 

“We are thrilled to see MPPs continuing to share their excitement about Ontario architecture, especially as we face many tough challenges across our province. I believe architects are well-positioned to make valuable, creative contributions in service of the public good… We must continue to participate in broader conversations about housing affordability, sustainability, and community resiliency.” 

-OAA President, Kathleen Kurtin


 

The OAA and MPPs Celebrate Ontario Architecture with Queen's Park Picks Online

The OAA is celebrating World Architecture Day a bit differently this year. 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.  However, in light of COVID-19 and in the interest of public safety, the OAA quickly pivoted, bringing the annual Queen’s Park Picks event online to ensure exemplary structures continue to be celebrated. 

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2020 Nominations

Each year, the selection process is a painstaking deliberation by architects at the Ontario Association of Architects. While we can't feature them all, we do want to recognize these architectural works throughout Ontario and the dedicated MPPs who, each year, take the time to share this part of their communities with all of us.

1. 1855 BDO Whitby Accelerator
     Whitby
     Architect: Kivas Tully (1873, original structure);
     Rounthwaite and Fairfield (1953-54, addition)
     Architect of Renovation: Steven Burgess Architects Ltd.
     Nominated by: Lorne Coe, MPP (Whitby)

2. Beaver Barracks
     Ottawa
     Architect: Hobin Architecture Incorporated
     Nominated by: Joel Harden, MPP (Ottawa Centre)

3. Cabbagetown
     Toronto
     Architect: Various
     Nominated by: Suze Morrison, MPP (Toronto Centre)

4. Capitol Theatre
     Windsor
     Architect: Thomas White Lamb
     Nominated by: Lisa Gretzky, MPP (Windsor West)

5. Kinmount Train Station
    Kinmount
    Architect: N/A
    Nominated by: Hon. Laurie Scott, MPP
    (Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock)

6. MacDonald Hall
     Guelph
     Architect: George Martel Miller
     Nominated by: Mike Schreiner, MPP (Guelph)

7. No. 11 McIntyre Headframe
     Timmins
     Architect: N/A
     Nominated by: Gilles Bisson, MPP (Timmins)

8. The Bentway
     Toronto
     Landscape Architect: PUBLIC WORK
     Nominated by: Chris Glover, MPP (Spadina-Fort York)

 

9. Walkerton Clean Water Centre
     Walkerton
     Architect: AECOM Canada Architects Ltd.
     Nominated by: Hon. Lisa Thompson, MPP (Huron-Bruce)



2020 Queen's Park Picks


1855 BDO Whitby Accelerator

Location: Whitby

Date of Completion: 1873; additions made in 1929 and 1953-54

Architect: Kivas Tully (1873, original structure); Rounthwaite and Fairfield (1953-54, addition)

Date of Renovation: 2019

Architect of Renovation: Steven Burgess Architects Ltd.

Nominated by: Lorne Coe, MPP (Whitby)

“I’m pleased that 1855 BDO Accelerator in Whitby has been selected as a 2020 Ontario Association of Architect’s Queen’s Park selection.  This historical building has been a fixture in Whitby since 1872 first serving as the County Courthouse and County Jail, and then for a long period of time as the Land Registry Office. It is interesting to see the juxtaposition of the historical architectural features of this historic building highlighted while now serving as a modern, tech incubator and innovator driving Whitby as an innovation district, and centre of technology in the Region of Durham.”    - Lorne Coe

Occupying the complex of the former County Registry Office, the 1855 BDO Whitby Accelerator establishes an incubator and innovation hub that looks to the future within a building and site deeply tied to the town’s history and the emergence of province-wide architectural standards.

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Beaver Barracks

Location: Ottawa

Date of Completion: 2010, 2012

Architect: Hobin Architecture Incorporated

Nominated by: Joel Harden, MPP (Ottawa Centre)

“Beaver Barracks exemplifies the kind of housing we need: inclusive, supportive and sustainable. Long may you run (and multiply!).  -Joel Harden

With 254 dwellings spread across five buildings, Beaver Barracks proves that affordability, inclusivity, and sustainability are not mutually exclusive goals. A former brownfield site, it has been transformed into a landmark mixed-income housing project that has become a case study for responsible and inclusive development.

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Cabbagetown

Location: Toronto

Date of Completion: Area developed from the 1840s onward

Architect: Various

Nominated by: Suze Morrison, MPP (Toronto Centre)

“I am thrilled that the historic houses of Cabbagetown are being recognized by the Ontario Association of Architects.  This year Torontonians have experienced the loss of so many of our treasured cultural spaces to condo development but, thanks to Heritage Conservation Districts like Cabbagetown’s, we still have so many beautiful spaces that aren’t going anywhere. Heritage neighbourhoods - and the tight-knit communities that work so hard to preserve them - are part of what makes Toronto Centre such a vibrant place to live!”   - Suze Morrison


Known for its remarkable collection of Victorian residential buildings and orderly tree-lined streets, the seemingly consistent architectural character of this downtown Toronto neighbourhood hides a dynamic story of transformation, change, and diversity—each new generation providing a new chapter to the area’s history.

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Capitol Theatre

Location: Windsor

Date of Completion: 1920

Architect: Thomas White Lamb

Nominated by: Lisa Gretzky, MPP (Windsor West)

“I am delighted to learn that the Ontario Association of Architects has selected my nomination of the Capitol Theatre as one of this year’s Queen’s Park Picks.  This iconic and much-loved building at the heart of our city continues to serve a significant role in this community, 100 years after it opened.”   - Lisa Gretzky


From Vaudeville to violins, Windsor’s glamorous Capitol Theatre has been entertaining audiences for almost 100 years. Narrowly surviving demolition, it has retaken its place as a cultural and entertainment palace that harkens back to the golden age of cinema.

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Kinmount Train Station

Location: Kinmount

Date of Completion: 1876

Architect: N/A

Nominated by: Hon. Laurie Scott, MPP (Haliburton - Kawartha Lakes - Brock)

“The Kinmount Train Station is located at the heart of our historic community and has been a symbol that has stood the test of time including a flood and devastating fire that burnt down most of the buildings in town. This piece of architecture reminds us of our town’s history and economic beginning and is now home to the Kinmount Model Railway and Museum ,”     -Laurie Scott


With its brightly painted exterior and prominent location on the banks of the Burnt River, Kinmount’s former railway station is an unmissable and well-loved sight in this small town’s centre. A testament to the role of rail infrastructure in the development of this community, to this day, it remains an important node for its residents to connect.

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MacDonald Hall

Location: Guelph Date of Completion: 1903

Architect: George Martel Miller

Date of Renovation: 2016

Architect of Renovation: Gow Hastings Architects Inc.

Nominated by: Mike Schreiner, MPP (Guelph)

"The University of Guelph's historic campus is one of the treasures of Guelph. It's thanks to great work by architects, cultural heritage supporters and administration that a building like MacDonald Hall can be completely modernized for a new use while also retaining the character and long history of the building as a women's school and dormitory. I'm excited to know that the Ontario Architecture Association agrees it is a building worth celebrating." - Mike Schreiner


An important landmark in the history of women's education in Canada (and a reflection of societal biases of its time), the stately MacDonald Hall has been thoughtfully repurposed to support the values and pedagogy of a 21st-century university while acknowledging its role in shaping previous generations.

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No. 11 McIntyre Headframe

Location: Timmins

Date of Completion: 1924-1927

Architect: N/A

Nominated by: Gilles Bisson, MPP (Timmins)

 

Standing proudly over Timmins, Headframe No. 11 at the former McIntyre mine is a testament to the industry that led to the birth of this Northern Ontario city and is an important part of Canada’s unique architectural heritage.

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The Bentway

Location: Toronto

Date of Completion: 2018

Landscape Architect: PUBLIC WORK

Nominated by: Chris Glover, MPP (Spadina—Fort York)

 
“I've watched the Bentway transform one of the ugliest spaces in the city - under the Gardiner Expressway - into a spectacular vital community hub. The Bentway's transformation of the space has revealed the cathedral-like beauty of the massive concrete columns that support the Gardiner. Every day, people utilize this space. Children play, protected from the rain, longboarders perfect their skills, instructors lead yoga classes, and, once in a while, wedding parties stop by to take pictures. The skate trail, the Museum of the Moon, the plays and art exhibits draw people from far and wide. The creation of The Bentway will inspire generations of planners and architects to reimagine urban spaces.    -Chris Glover 

Both a linear park and cultural institution, The Bentway's unique approach to placemaking has transformed a section of one of the city’s most divisive elements—the elevated Gardiner Expressway—into a welcoming space that reconnects neighbours and provides a new forum for social engagement.

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Walkerton Clean Water Centre

Location: Walkerton

Date of Completion: 2004

Architect: AECOM Canada Architects Ltd.

Nominated by: Hon. Lisa Thompson, MPP (Huron—Bruce)

 

Born from tragedy, the Walkerton Clean Water Centre plays an integral role in improving drinking water systems across Ontario, training drinking water operators and owners while highlighting the immeasurable value of this limited resource.

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These projects form our Queen’s Park Picks 2020 series. We hope you enjoyed learning more about them. Check out the full series  on the blOAAg, or view the map below to learn more about great buildings across the province! 



Queen's Park Picks - Past and Present

Spanning five years, the Queen’s Park Picks represent most regions in Ontario. The architecture is varied, ranging across multiple eras and styles of architecture. Some of the QP Picks were nominated because they were an MPP’s favourite building, some were important community or cultural landmarks, and some may simply have been a built space your local MPP wanted to know more about. Put together, they create a growing database of compelling examples of our province’s built environment.

This year’s QP Picks are in green. You can click on them to learn more about the project, or expand the map by selecting the top right corner to get even more background.