2017 Award Recipients
Prince of Wales Prize
for Municipal Heritage Leadership
The City of Thorold, Ontario
The City of Thorold – population 19,000 – has an incredible story of heritage-led regeneration. As you visit downtown Thorold today, you will find remarkable transformation. The City has found a new successful niche in the tourism market, and storefronts are bustling, with new facades true to their original splendor from the 1800’s. The human dimension and cultural continuity brings Thorold’s rich heritage and history of to life.
The City emerged from an industrial base, and though it experienced a substantial reduction in the number of retail businesses in the downtown core in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the post-industrial era was a catalyst for Thorold’s heritage movement. Incorporating its downtown’s uniqueness, small-town feel, and rich heritage into its future planning and streetscape efforts, the City’s investment in heritage infrastructure has successfully generated economic vibrancy. The result is a resurgence of new retail commercial businesses downtown and cultural and social benefits for its residents.
The City’s Heritage Committee is very active in the community, and is currently working on a cultural heritage landscape designation which includes the expansion of Greenbelt lands. The Heritage Committee has also embarked on a program to further recognize heritage buildings that have already been designated, using history plaques to create an avenue to educate residents, visitors, and tourists about Thorold’s rich history.
The City of Thorold owns and maintains a number of buildings with cultural value, many of which have become successful adaptive reuse projects, such as the Keefer Mansion, the former City Hall Building, Chestnut Hall, and the Darlene Ryan Community Centre. The City has also developed a Community Improvement Plan and has implemented a successful Downtown Façade Program grounded in heritage preservation and restoration.
The City of Thorold is a prime example that historic downtowns can experience a rebirth. Thorold has demonstrated a heritage commitment to the conservation of its historic built environment, through regulation, policies, funding, and its heritage committee, exemplifying Thorold’s downtown revitalization and renewal success.
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Eva’s Phoenix is a transformative adaptive reuse of the former Water Works building in downtown Toronto into transitional housing, education, and skills training for homeless and at risk youth. It is an exemplary model for an adaptive use and rehabilitation of an historic place.
LGA Architectural Partners was commissioned for the project by City of Toronto & Eva’s Initiatives. The project’s carefully considered re-imagination of the building’s interior space has created a bright, flexible and highly functional environment, while respecting the building’s heritage character. In its approach to adapting the interior to its new use as transitional housing and skills training center for homeless and at risk youth, the project successfully cultivates a sense of community for its residents.
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The Rock Garden
The Rock Garden is the Royal Botanical Garden’s signature garden. Janet Rosenburg & Studio was commissioned for the project to increase the garden’s public visibility, presence and functionality by expanding the garden, restoring and introducing new features, and adding a new Visitor Centre.
The adaptive reuse project carefully considered rehabilitation of this heritage-designated landscape and revitalized an underused space while meeting contemporary functions and respecting and enhancing the heritage character. New functional requirements of the Rock Garden included the respectful integration of a new pavilion into the landscape and of new accessibility features. The overall project success lies in its revitalizing an underused space in a manner that meets contemporary functions and permitting new revenue generation streams, while respecting and enhancing the heritage character of the landscape.
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Monastère des Augustines
A project of the Fiducie du patrimoine culturel des Augustines, the Monastère des Augustines is located in the heritage wings of the former Hôtel-Dieu de Québec. Today, it has been transformed into a unique experience in holistic health, and offers the opportunity to connect directly with the Augustinian Sisters’ remarkable heritage.
The project’s careful conception and design sensibility successfully met the criteria for both Adaptive Use/Rehabilitation and Infill categories.
The adaptive reuse project implemented new functional needs while honouring and building upon the rich history of the site and that of the Order of Augustine nuns. Their design approach was greatly informed by the continuity of the building’s original functions and its reflective monastic character. This is reflected in the selection of materials and finishes that create the new infill’s very modern aesthetic, and in the efforts made to conserve the maximum amount of original building fabric and furniture in the original portion of the building.
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Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Heritage Ottawa began in 1967 when a group of like-minded citizens banded together with a common goal – to ensure the preservation of Ottawa’s unique heritage character for future generations.
Heritage Ottawa sets a very high standard for awareness raising and public engagement, with extensive programs to promote the understanding and appreciation of Ottawa’s cultural places, including its popular Lecture Series, Sunday Walking Tours, and Workshops.
Heritage Ottawa also does an extraordinary job of speaking out for and heritage properties at risk of inappropriate intervention or loss. The Billings Estate, the East Block of the Parliament Buildings, and the Aberdeen Pavilion are just some of the properties that have benefited from Heritage Ottawa’s advocacy efforts.
Heritage Ottawa’s leaders have been and continue to be tireless campaigners and unflappable media spokespeople like David Flemming, Carolyn Quinn, Leslie Maitland and current president David Jeanes. These and other knowledgeable and passionate people can be found at the centre of Ottawa’s important heritage issues, bringing a deep knowledge of history and architecture to bear.
In 2003, the City of Ottawa’s senior management cut the budget for arts and heritage to virtually zero. Heritage Ottawa, under President David Flemming, led a core group which activated some 2000 people and 100 community, heritage, museums, arts groups to push back. Advocacy efforts culminated in an epic speech on Heritage Day in February that year by David Flemming which made City leaders take notice. Not only was funding restored, but a Museums Sustainability Plan and a Renewed Arts and Heritage Plan were funded, and the rest is history: The plans went on to win awards, jobs were saved and new jobs created for a whole new generation of heritage staffers.
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Prix du XXe Siecle
CN Tower – Toronto, Ontario
Architects: John Andrews International/Roger du Toit, The Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Partnership (WZMH), and Associated Project Architect, Edward R. Baldwin
Rising 553.33 metres above the Toronto skyline, the CN Tower celebrates structural innovation while providing a symbol for Toronto recognized worldwide, and a major tourist attraction, drawing more than two million visitors annually.
Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Architects with John Andrews Architects International worked alongside engineers and contractors to produce creative designs and construction methods.
The tower was conceived as a telecommunications facility to address communications problems caused by the growing numbers of high-rises; they compromised broadcast signals, creating poor television and radio reception.
The Canadian National Railway’s solution was to build a TV and radio communication platform to serve the Toronto area, as well as to demonstrate the strength of Canadian industry and CN in particular. With its microwave receptors at 338 metres (1,109 feet) and the 553.33 metres (1,815 feet, 5 inches) antenna, the CN Tower solved the communications problems for Toronto and the surrounding region.
As the design evolved, it took its current form of three legs extending from a single hexagonal core, creating its iconic ‘Y’ shape base, which narrows gracefully, extending finally to the antenna. The tapering wings rise to 330 metres, the concrete tower to 450 metres. These tapering wings allow the tower to withstand an earthquake of 8.5 on the Richter scale. The upper reaches of the CN Tower were built to withstand winds up to 418 kilometres per hour.
The Skypod was a later addition. Realizing that the tower could become the world’s tallest structure, the architects incorporated an observation deck to accommodate an anticipated influx of tourists.
For some 34 years, the CN Tower held the title of World’s Tallest Free-Standing Structure.
In June of 2016, Toronto celebrated the CN Tower’s 40th birthday.
“The CN Tower is an incredible achievement of Canadian engineering and construction that pushed the boundaries of concrete technology and slip form techniques to a scale never before undertaken.”
“The structure is a timeless silhouette on the Toronto skyline that has stood sentry over the remarkable development of that city’s downtown over the past four decades.”
“A classic building that is a true synthesis of architectural form and engineering.”
“One of the world’s best-proportioned communications towers.”
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Ontario Place – Cinesphere and Pods – Toronto, Ontario
Architects: Eberhard Zeidler (then of Craig Zeidler Strong, now Zeidler Partnership Architects)
Eberhard Zeidler, FRAIC, recipient of the RAIC Gold Medal in 1986, proposed that Ontario Place be inserted in and over Lake Ontario. His design consisted of the Pods, five interconnected mast-hung pavilions; and the Cinesphere, a “triodetic” dome that housed the world’s first permanent IMAX cinema.
Over the years, the site was altered (though not the Cinesphere and Pods), which obscured the original design somewhat. In 2013, however, the Ontario Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Sport conducted a heritage study that concluded: “Ontario Place is a cultural heritage landscape of provincial significance.” Accordingly, Ontario Place is now subject to the Ontario Heritage Act, and its future managed in part by a conservation plan respective of the Act’s standards and guidelines.
The striking Cinesphere – also known as “the Bubble” – is a 35-metre-wide dome made from steel and aluminum tubes. The structure is similar in design to the famous geodesic dome, designed by Carl Zeiss and developed by R. Buckminster Fuller.
The Pods’ first function was to host an elaborate multimedia exhibition, though their simplicity makes their program flexible. Despite the unique aesthetic of the bridge-like suspension structure that elevates the Pods over the lake, at the most basic level, each Pod is a 743-square-metre, three-storey box.
“The Ontario Place Pods’ elegant structural system, combining light tensile cable supports and compression steel masts, were superbly detailed, with very beautifully expressed connections and joints.”
“While at present, the Cinesphere and Pods no longer house the functions they were originally designed for, they still exhibit all the strong design presence they did when they were first completed.”
“The Ontario Place Cinesphere and Pods are a dramatic creation emulating for Toronto and Ontario, the great architectural and social success of Expo ‘67 in Montreal.”
“The Cinesphere and Pods realize in tangible physical form some of the most ambitious Utopian architectural ideas from Europe and the United States of the 1960’s, such as the sky cities imagined by designers such as Yona Friedman, and technological fantasies conceived by the Archigram group in Britain.”
“They are a compelling example of two major design tendencies of their period, the “megastructure” and “high-tech” design.”
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