News (February 01, 2002)


Ryerson appoints new architects.

Toronto’s Ryerson University has selected Moriyama & Teshima Architects to design the new Centre for Computing and Engineering. The Toronto firm replaces the previous team of Santiago Calatrava and G + G Partnership Architects of Toronto, whose involvement with the project lasted approximately one year. The initial Calatrava/G + G scheme consisted of a four-storey base with an undulating wall and a 33-storey tower, spiral in plan. Last November the scheme was abandoned and the contract cancelled for reasons that neither the University nor the architects have disclosed. Moriyama & Teshima will be initiating an all-new design process for the $65-million project, but as a requirement of the Ontario government’s SuperBuild funding program the project must still meet its original targeted completion date of September 2004.

Technical University of B.C.

Bing Thom Architects of Vancouver have designed the new Technical University of B.C. (TechBC), currently under construction in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, B.C. Integrated into an existing regional shopping centre (Surrey Place), the Central City complex will comprise four major components: a tower and podium, a galleria, an atrium, and a 1,400-car parkade. The office and TechBC components will be able to make use of existing commercial and recreational services, bringing a daily population of some 10,000 students and office workers to the shopping centre. The atrium, with a space frame-supported roof, provides the principal entrance to the university, while a new galleria integrates the existing shopping centre into a vibrant street leading to the tower. Currently the largest construction project in Western Canada, the shell of the $135 million Central City complex is scheduled for completion in September 2002.


International award for B.C. pool.

The Eileen Dailly Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre in Burnaby, B.C. designed by Roger Hughes + Partners Architects of Vancouver has won the only internationally recognized architecture award for sports and leisure facilities, presented by the International Olympic Committee and the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities in Cologne, Germany. The jury noted the centre’s contribution to urban restructuring and its use of ample daylight to create atmosphere.

Architects win national business award.

Architectura of Vancouver has been recognized as one of Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies for 2001. Sponsored by Andersen, CIBC Commercial Banking, National Post and Queen’s School of Business, the program rewards traditional and non-traditional companies on the innovative use of technology, globalization, and managerial leadership in many areas including recognition of a new generation of the workforce. Architectura is involved in the design of a wide range of facilities including airports, civic buildings, retail, office, educational and mixed use projects. The 50 winning companies are listed at


NWTAA created.

On November 6, 2001, Bill 11 (The Architects Act), received assent in the Northwest Territories Legislative Assembly, creating the Northwest Territories Association of Architects (NWTAA). As of April 1, 2002, only a member, licensee or permit holder of the Association will be entitled to practice or offer to practice architecture in the Northwest Territories.

On November 23, 2001, NWTAA became the 11th signatory to the Committee of Canadian Architectural Councils (CCAC). This agreement allows for reciprocity between the provinces and the territory, and sets standards for education, experience and examination for NWTAA members. To celebrate the creation of the new Association, a gala was held at the Legislative Assembly in Yellowknife on November 24, with representatives from the 10 provincial associations, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the Canadian Architectural Certification Board (CACB), the Canadian Council of University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) in attendance.

New disabilities legislation in Ontario.

Last fall, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship introduced the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, intended to increase accessibility, opportunity, and independence for Ontarians with disabilities. The most far-reaching such legislation to date in Canada, the act would necessitate changes to other legislation. For example, the Social Housing Reform Act will be amended to require managers of social housing services to ensure that a percentage of their housing units would be accessible, and the Planning Act will be modified to reinforce accessibility as a planning interest. Impacts in other areas, including the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Ontario Building Code, are under review.

TSA forum on affordable housing.

Last December, the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA), in collaboration with the Design Exchange, invited four speakers to participate in a public forum to address the question: “How do we arrive at solutions to the problems of homelessness and affordability of housing?”

Homelessness is only the most visible symptom of the growing crisis resulting from the lack of affordable housing across Canada. In Toronto alone, 37 homeless people died in the year 2000. Pressures on the shelter systems across the country are ever increasing. Close to 50% of shelter users are now families, with growing numbers of children being brought up in shelters and motels. Food bank usage continues to rise as does the number of people who are spending up to and over 50% of their incomes on housing. Meanwhile, housing costs continue to escalate.

Sean Goetz-Gadon, special advisor to the shelter division of the City of Toronto, reported on the potential opportunities, resulting from the agreement reached at the recent meeting of housing ministers in Quebec City, to provide capital subsidies related to the construction of rental accommodation. Mark Guslits, director of the City of Toronto’s “Let’s Build” program, reflected on the challenges his office has faced over the past two years in its attempts to forge public/private partnerships to develop affordable housing. John van Nostrand of Architects Alliance emphasized the need to think unconventionally and suggested that rental housing models have not historically been the only solution to the challenge of affordable housing. Alon Spzindel, a Toronto builder and developer with recent success in the development of rental accommodation, spoke to the bureaucratic and financial challenges that remain as impediments to the creation of affordable accommodation. The well-attended event was moderated by urban affairs journalist Adam Vaughan, who urged those in the audience to become more involved politically in order to truly affect change in public policy.

Joe Lobko, TSA Chair


The last word.

I would like to abridge the retraction published in the October 2001 issue of Canadian Architect regarding the Vancouver firm Dalla-Lana Griffin Dowling Knapp and its objection to a statement in the article “Remedial Economics” (August 2001). For the record: the firm has been facing a lawsuit, but for a school designed prior to the 1997-98 budget cuts and therefore not pertinent to the thesis of the article. I am, however, dismayed that the principal who demanded a retraction could not make that information available to the magazine or myself, and that he approved publication of a retraction that turned out to be inaccurate.

Adele Weder



Credit for the model of the 51 Division police station, on page 29 of the December 2001 issue, was wrongly attributed. The model should have been credited to George Simionopoulos.