April 30, 2007
by Canadian Architect
Toronto City Council has approved a 12-member advisory panel launching the two-year DesignReview Panel Pilot Project. They will provide independent advice during the developmentapprovals process for public and municipal development in selected areas across the city, with the goal of helping to ensure a high level of urban design that fits well into the cityscape. The panel includes six architects, three landscape architects, two urban designers and one engineer with a broad range of experience and a high calibre of design expertise. The pilot project will help determine the feasibility of a city-wide design review panel.
The six architects on the panel are: Gordon Stratford, Panel Chair, Architect, Senior Vice President, Director of Design, HOK Canada, OAA, MRAIC; Shirley Blumberg, Architect, Principal, KPMB, OAA, RAIC, AIA; Ralph Giannone, Architect, Principal, Giannone Associates, OAA, RAIC; Michael Leckman, Architect, Principal, Diamond and Schmitt, RAIC; David Pontarini, Architect, Principal, Hariri Pontarini, OAA, RAIC; and Sol Wassermuhl, Architect, President, Page and Steele, OAA, SRAIC. Representing landscape architects on the panel are: Robert Allsopp, Landscape Architect, Planner, Architect, Principal, du Toit Allsop Hillier, OALA, CSLA, MALA, OPPI, CIP, RTPI, RIBA; Paul Ferris, Landscape Architect, Principal, Ferris Associates, OALA, CSLA; and Janet Rosenberg, Landscape Architect, Principal, Janet Rosenberg Associates, OALA,CSLA, ASLA, IFLA. The planning profession is represented by: Daniel Leeming, Planner, Partner, The Planning Partnership, CIP; and Eric Turcotte, Planner, Architect, Associate, Urban Strategies, OAA, CIP. Rounding out the panel is Peter Halsall, Engineer, President, Halsall Associates, PEO.
Toronto is home to some of the worlds leading architects, planners and designers and we areextremely hounoured to have 12 of these professionals on the Citys first design review panel, said Mayor David Miller. Councils approval confirms the Citys commitment to high-quality design of buildings and public spaces and is another step toward building a dynamic, vital and beautiful city.
Design review panels have been successfully used in other Canadian and international cities toimprove the design quality of the public realm. Panels provide professional, objective advice ondesign issues including buildings, streets, parks, open spaces and new urban design policy.
The design review panel will help to implement a key goal of the Official Plan and CityCouncils Clean and Beautiful City Initiative to achieve high-quality architecture, landscapearchitecture and urban design that improves the public realm, said Ted Tyndorf, Torontos ChiefPlanner. The members participating on the panel are highly experienced professionals who willmake a significant contribution to the application process.
The 12-member volunteer panel will begin training to review regulatory frameworks andprocedures. The first public meeting of the panel to review applications is scheduled for summer 2007. For more information on panel members and the Design Review Panel Pilot Project please visit www.toronto.ca/planning.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.