October 24, 2017
by Canadian Architect
The winners of the 2017 Heritage Toronto Awards were announced last night during a ceremony hosted by award-winning journalist Christopher Hume. More than 500 guests from Toronto’s city-building community attended this flagship networking event at The Carlu. In its 43rd year, the Heritage Toronto Awards recognize extraordinary contributions to the conservation and celebration of Toronto’s heritage.
Seven winners were named from 60 nominees in five categories: Community Heritage; Public History; Historical Writing: Short Publication; Historical Writing: Book; and Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship.
THE WINNERS — Each category is independently judged by a jury of experts.
Community Heritage Award — Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives, the largest organization of its kind, acquiring, preserving, and providing public access to information on the LGBTQ2+ experience in Canada.
The award offers a $1,000 cash prize. The jury gave an honourable mention to Toronto Ward Museum, a museum without walls, connecting past migration stories to current struggles through its city-wide programming.
Members’ Choice Award — The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario, Toronto Branch for its built heritage advocacy, empowering communities to protect their past and plan for the future. Selected by Heritage Toronto members, the award offers a $1,000 cash prize.
Public History Award — 50 Objects that Define Toronto, a five-part TV series highlighting everyday objects that played a role at significant historical moments, and which speak to Toronto’s unknown and unique stories. Creator: Matthew Blackett, Spacing
Producer: Ian Daffern, Bell Media
The jury gave an honourable mention to The World in Ten Blocks, an interactive web documentary that transports users to Bloorcourt through the personal stories of neighbourhood residents.
Historical Writing: Short Publications Award — “Soils and Subways: Excavating Environments during the Building of Rapid Transit in Toronto, 1944-1968”, a book chapter that digs up the dirt, exploring the excavation of Toronto’s early subway lines and its impact on the city’s landscape. Author: Jay Young. Publication: Moving Natures: Mobility and Environment in Canadian History (University of Calgary Press, 2016)
The jury gave an honourable mention to “Canada’s Greatest Cartoonist,” Conan Tobias’ article in Taddle Creek on the life and work of cartoonist Lou Skuce.
Historical Writing: Book Award — Picturing Toronto: Photography and the Making of a Modern City, a tribute to the power of the image, demonstrating how early 20th-century photographers influenced the development of modern Toronto.
Author: Sarah Bassnett. Publisher: McGill-Queen’s University Press
The jury gave an honourable mention to 50 Objects that Define Toronto, an ambitious telling of Toronto’s story through 50 everyday items, by Matthew Blackett and Jamie Bradburn (Spacing Media Inc.).
Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship Awards:
Glenview Presbyterian Church, for embracing the accessibility needs of its community while caring for a beautiful heritage building, providing full access to a landmark.
Building Owner: The Trustees of Glenview Presbyterian Church
Architect of Record: Harrison Duong Architects Incorporated (formerly Janet L. Harrison, Architect)
Design Architect: Davidson Langley Incorporated Architects
St. Michael’s Cathedral, for the masterful restoration of its Cathedral Nave and East Chancel window, and taking a balanced approach to meet the current needs of the Church and its parishioners.
Building owner: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Toronto
Architectural firm: +VG Architects
Craftspeople: Clifford Restoration Limited
The jury gave two honourable mentions, one to The Great Hall for its painstaking renovation into a unique event venue and Queen West hot spot, and the other to Casa Loma for its massive revitalization project which took two decades to complete, breathing new life into one of Toronto’s most beloved landmarks.
AWARDS OF DISTINCTION — At the ceremony, the Heritage Toronto Board also presented a Special Achievement Award to community advocate and author Arlene Chan for her lifetime commitment to documenting and sharing the Chinese Canadian experience in Toronto; and a Volunteer Service Award to Wilf Neidhardt for his 17-year contribution to Heritage Toronto’s work, in particular the Historical Plaques Program.