Toronto, ON – The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) celebrated 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. The event is a unique opportunity to showcase outstanding examples of Ontario architecture through the nominations of passionate MPPs across the province.
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. 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,” says OAA President Kathleen Kurtin, “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. 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.”
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 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, which showcases the diversity of architecture across the province. 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.
For more on the buildings chosen this year, visit www.oaa.on.ca/qpp or follow the Ontario Association of Architects at @oaarchitects on Twitter and Instagram.
OAA President Kathleen Kurtin, and other representatives of OAA Council, may be available for phone or email interviews. Additional information and high-resolution photos may also be available. Please contact:
Erik Missio, OAA Communications Manager
416-449-6898, ext. 241
Adam Tracey, Manager, Policy and Government Relations
416-449-6898, ext. 230
About the Ontario Association of Architects
The Ontario Association of Architects is a self-regulating organization under the Architects Act, a statute of the Government of Ontario. It is dedicated to promoting and increasing the knowledge, skill, and proficiency of its members, and administering the Act, in order that the public interest may be served and protected. This year, its Council set three priorities: climate stability, membership engagement, and a comprehensive approach to education for both the public and the profession. All these priorities are viewed through a lens of equity, diversity, and inclusivity. For more information, visit www.oaa.on.ca.
About World Architecture Day
The International Union of Architects (UIA) established World Architecture Day in 1986. It is traditionally celebrated every year on the first Monday in October to coincide with the United Nations’ World Habitat Day. For 2020, the theme was “Toward a Better Urban Future.” By choosing a different theme for reflection each year, World Architecture Day aims to draw the attention of professionals and the public to issues concerning cities and housing.