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The OAA celebrated this year’s World Architecture Day (Monday, October 1) with its third annual visit to Queen’s Park, hosting a reception with Members of Provincial Parliament, including the Attorney General, the Honourable Caroline Mulroney. At the luncheon, the OAA underscored the importance of architects and architecture while also discussing issues such as the profession’s contribution to Ontario’s economy and much-needed reform to the site plan approval process. The event also marked the unveiling of this year’s Queen’s Park (QP) Picks—eight special buildings chosen from a larger list of MPP nominations.
Nearly 30 MPPs, representing all four political parties, visited the exhibit and spoke with OAA representatives and architects associated with the QP Picks, as well as Local Architectural Society chairs. Minister Mulroney, along with MPP and NDP Deputy Leader Sara Singh, Liberal MPP Nathalie Des Rosiers and MPP Mike Schreiner (leader of the Green Party of Ontario) all spoke at the event. Individual meetings between architects and MPPs, as well as with the Attorney General, took place throughout the afternoon.
“It’s been exciting to see the evolution of the OAA’s World Architecture Day event. Each year, there has been increased participation and, most importantly, increased engagement by MPPs,” says OAA President John Stephenson. “It was wonderful to learn from Minister Mulroney about her personal connection to architecture and understand her appreciation of its important role in shaping positive experiences and outcomes for people through the design of buildings.”
Stephenson says he is looking forward to a positive and constructive working relationship with the Minister and the Ministry of the Attorney General regarding various OAA initiatives, including the collaboration with the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) to bring direct regulation of interior design under the Architects Act.
Queen’s Park Picks
Prior to the World Architecture Day event, the OAA invited Ontario MPPs to reflect on the province’s unique architectural legacy—both old and new—and nominate their favourite building within their riding. This year, 27 submissions were received from across all political parties, representing areas from Thunder Bay to Hamilton 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:
● Andrews Building, University of Toronto Scarborough (Scarborough, Toronto);
● Claude Watson School for the Arts (North York, Toronto);
● Église St-Joseph d’Orléans (Ottawa);
● MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie);
● Petrie Building (Guelph);
● Pigott Building (Hamilton);
● Sharp Centre for Design, OCAD University (Toronto); and
● Whalen Building (Thunder Bay).
“These eight very diverse buildings—ranging from playfully modern architecture to heritage buildings given new life through adaptive reuse—show how architecture helps create a unique sense of place, celebrating the culture and community of where they are built as they provide the spaces in which we live, work and play,” says Stephenson.
“It’s great to see the enthusiasm from MPPs when we highlight their favourite buildings and tell their stories,” he adds. “Most people are astounded to learn the background behind some of these very iconic structures, and appreciate them all the more for it.”
For more on the buildings chosen this year, visit http://www.oaa.on.ca/QPP and http://www.discoverarchitecture.ca. Also, follow the Association on Twitter via @oaarchitects, looking for the hashtag, #ArchitectureMatters.
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