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Queen's Park Picks 2023

Now in its eighth year, the OAA’s Queen’s Park Picks (QP Picks) program asks Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) to share their favourite buildings or other structures from their ridings to be showcased as part of an annual celebration of architecture. The Association’s Policy Advisory Coordination Team (PACT) reviews the nominations and selects a shortlist of outstanding projects to mark World Architecture Day, held annually on the first Monday of October.

This year’s theme, chosen by the International Union of Architects (UIA) Council, is "Architecture for Resilient Communities.” Appropriately, numerous QP Picks buildings incorporate elements of enduring durability, climate action, and adaptability as principles. Whether heritage projects or more recent construction, these buildings represent a design philosophy that prioritizes long-term sustainability over short-term gain and recognizes the crucial role of architecture in addressing challenges and place-making within communities.

The OAA and MPPs Celebrate Ontario Architecture with Queen's Park Picks
The OAA celebrates World Architecture Day virtually in 2023 with its reveal of the selections in its annual Queen’s Park Picks (QP Picks) program—a collaboration with Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs) across the province who share a passion for our built environment in all its many forms.

2023 Selections

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.

  • Eenchokay Birchstick School

    Location: Pikangikum First Nation
    Date of Completion: 2016
    Architect: Number Ten Architectural Group
    Nominated by: Sol Mamakwa, MPP (Kiiwetinoong)
  • Hospice Peterborough

    Location: Peterborough, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 2019
    Architect: Lett Architects Inc.
    Nominated by: Dave Smith, MPP (PeterboroughKawartha)
  • Kingston City Hall

    Location:Kingston, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 1844
    Architect: George Browne
    Dates of Renovations/Additions: 1865, 1909, 1956, 1960s, 1971, 2001
    Architects of Renovations/Additions: Harry P. Smith and Neil MacLennan (1971), Alexander Wilson Architect Inc. (2001)
    Nominated by: Ted Hsu, MPP (Kingston and the Islands)
  • Kirkfield Lift Lock

    Location: Kirkfield, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 1905
    Engineer: Richard Birdsall Rogers
    Nominated by: Laurie Scott, MPP (Haliburton–Kawartha Lakes–Brock)
     

  • Old Strathroy Post Office

    Location: Strathroy, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 1889-1901
    Architect: Thomas Fuller
    Designers of Renovations/Additions: In2Space (interior designer)
    Nominated by: Monte McNaughton (former MPP for LambtonKentMiddlesex)

  • Prosserman Jewish Community Centre

    Location: Toronto, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 2020
    Architect: IBI Group (now Arcadis Architects (Canada) Inc.)
    Nominated by: Hon. Michael Kerzner, MPP (York Centre)

  • The PSAC Building

    Location: Ottawa, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 1968
    Architect: Schoeler Heaton Architects Inc.
    Nominated by: Joel Harden, MPP (Ottawa Centre)

  • Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
    Date of Completion: 2006
    Architect: Architects Alliance with Behnisch Architekten
    Nominated by: Jessica Bell, MPP (UniversityRosedale)

2023 Queen's Park Picks


Brooklin Community Centre and Library

Location: Whitby, Ontario
Date of Completion: 2010
Architect: Perkins+Will Canada Inc.
Nominated by: Lorne Coe, MPP (Whitby)

When tasked with designing a new community centre and library for Brooklin, a historic neighbourhood in the Town of Whitby, architects Perkins+Will Canada didn’t have to look far for inspiration. By respecting the immediate environment and drawing on local inspiration, the popular facility provides residents with a quality community space that is both sustainable, functional, and informed by context.

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Eenchokay Birchstick School

Location: Pikangikum First Nation
Date of Completion: 2016
Architect: Number Ten Architectural Group
Nominated by: Sol Mamakwa, MPP (Kiiwetinoong)

After its original school building was destroyed by a fire, the community of Pikangikum set itself to building a new facility—the Eenchokay Birchstick School—that would not only replace what was lost, but also improve the community and proudly represent its values, culture, and traditions.


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Hospice Peterborough

Location: Peterborough, Ontario
Date of Completion: 2019
Architect: Lett Architects Inc.
Nominated by: Dave Smith, MPP (PeterboroughKawartha)

Creating a warm and comfortable space for those affected by life-threatening illness and grief, Hospice Peterborough provides an alternative vision for palliative and end-of-life care that puts autonomy, compassion, and comfort at the forefront.

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Kingston City Hall

Location: Kingston, Ontario
Date of Completion: 1844
Architect: George Browne
Dates of Renovations/Additions: 1865, 1909, 1956, 1960s, 1971, 2001
Architects of Renovations/Additions: Harry P. Smith and Neil MacLennan (1971), Alexander Wilson Architect Inc. (2001)
Nominated by: Ted Hsu, MPP (Kingston and the Islands)

“This building is excellent in its features of design, and substantial in the dimensions of its parts: the lights and shades are beautifully blended, and when viewed from a short distance has a light and elegant appearance.”

Letter from “Leo” to the Anglo-American
December 9, 1843, New York
Reprinted in the Kingston Chronicle and Gazette, December 16, 1843

Built with the ambition and enthusiasm of a nascent capital, Kingston City Hall stands proudly as one of the finest 19th century buildings in Canada and an ongoing space for community and governance in this Great Lakes city.

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Kirkfield Lift Lock

Location: Kirkfield, Ontario
Date of Completion: 1905
Engineer: Richard Birdsall Rogers
Nominated by: Laurie Scott, MPP (HaliburtonKawartha LakesBrock)

A machine as big as an industrial building, capable of lifting a boat 15 metres up, the Kirkfield Lift Lock is an extraordinary achievement of human ingenuity and an important part of Ontario’s built heritage.

 

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Old Strathroy Post Office

Location: Strathroy, Ontario
Date of Completion: 1889-1901
Architect: Thomas Fuller
Designers of Renovations/Additions: In2Space (interior designer)
Nominated by: Monte McNaughton (former MPP for LambtonKentMiddlesex)

A former post office, now-turned-restaurant and inn, Strathroy’s Old Post Office and Custom House is not only a much-beloved local landmark, but also an important part of Canadian architectural history.

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Prosserman Jewish Community Centre

Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Completion: 2020
Architect: IBI Group (now Arcadis Architects (Canada) Inc.)
Nominated by: Hon. Michael Kerzner, MPP (York Centre)

Reinvigorating a site that has long been at the centre of Toronto’s Jewish life, the Prosserman Jewish Community Centre and expansive Sherman Campus create spaces for fun, culture, and enjoyment within a spectacular natural setting.

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The PSAC Building

Location: Ottawa, Ontario
Date of Completion: 1968
Architect: Schoeler & Heaton Architects Inc.
Nominated by: Joel Harden, MPP (Ottawa Centre)

“I think the trend of architectural expression is to design and build according to the personality of the client… An example of this can be found in Ottawa in the new Headquarters for the Public Service Alliance of Canada. The appearance of the building reflects the growth and forward movement of PSAC.”
The Right Honourable Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Prime Minister (1968-1984)

Modern yet familiar, Ottawa’s Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) Building forms part of a unique period in our nation’s history when we searched for a distinctly Canadian architectural identity that could both remember where it came from and aspire toward a better future.

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Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research

Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date of Completion: 2006
Architect: Architects Alliance with Behnisch Architekten
Nominated by: Jessica Bell, MPP (UniversityRosedale)

Unlocking the advanced science of genomics requires flexible, technically advanced spaces that can host a diverse range of people and activities. Envisioned as both an instrument for science and a space for collaboration, the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (TDCCBR), part of the University of Toronto, is a leading example that cutting-edge science is as much about the human experience as it is about technology.

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These projects form our Queen’s Park Picks 2023 series. We hope you enjoyed learning more about them. Check out last year's series here or 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 eight 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.

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. The 2023 selections are featured in orange.


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