Nominees Announced for 2019 Heritage Toronto Awards

The 2019 Heritage Toronto Awards is recognizing 40 nominees for their contributions to Toronto’s heritage in four categories: Community Heritage, Public History, Book, and William Greer Built Heritage.

Four volunteer-based organizations are nominated for the Community Heritage Award, which includes a $1,000 cash prize.

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation is nominated for its public education on Greek-Canadian history; Friends of Guild Park and Gardens for promoting appreciation of the park’s history; Heritage York for maintaining the 1847 Lambton House, and Toronto Ward Museum for its programs and exhibits connecting the personal stories of Toronto’s past and present migrants.

Anti-Greek Riots tour, 2019. Image by Herman Custodio.

The 14 nominees in the Public History category range from If, But, What if?, a collaborative project by The Bentway to Friars Music Museum for its large collection and display of archival images, videos, and rare artifacts that showcase Toronto’s music history. City Builders’ – History of Immigrant Construction Workers in Postwar Toronto multi-component project, which sheds light on the construction industry and its workforce in the 1950s-1970s is also nominated.

If, But, What If? – The Bentway’s Fall 2018 Public Art Exhibition. Photo: Nicola Betts

This year’s 11 Book Award nominees include The Ward Uncovered: The Archaeology of Everyday Life, a moving account of the buried history of an immigrant neighbourhood that surfaces well-preserved artifacts to tell little-known stories; Queering Urban Justice: Queer of Colour Formations in Toronto, a critical discussion of the displacement and erasure of marginalized populations in Toronto; and The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest,  an examination of our relationship with food through the various fruit trees that dot our city streets and yards, and their evolution from dietary staples, to raccoon fodder, to urban harvest resource.

The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest, Helena Moncrieff, ECW Press

Highlighted among the 11 projects nominated in the William Greer Built Heritage category are the adaptive reuse of the Symes Road Destructor, a former city-run garbage incinerator whose Art Deco design and industrial features are highlighted in its new use as a contemporary event space and brewery; the conversion of a Presbyterian theological school into the new home for the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design; and the transformation of the Tower Automotive Building, a 1920 warehouse for the Northern Aluminum Company, into a multi-storey cultural hub anchored by the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Exterior of 150 Symes building, 2017. Image by PGA.

As part of the Awards Ceremony, the Heritage Toronto will also present a Special Achievement Award and a Heritage Toronto Volunteer Service Award. Recipients will be announced on September 19.

A full nominee list, by category and with descriptions, is available at the 2019 Awards Website.