OAA Celebrates World Architecture Day’s “Housing for All” Theme

On Monday, October 7, the 2019 World Architecture Day will take place with events and initiatives — focused on a “Housing for All” theme — occurring around the globe.

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) traditionally celebrates World Architecture Day with a reception for Members of Provincial Parliament at Queen’s Park, coinciding with the reveal of the year’s Queen’s Park Picks—eight examples of great Ontario architecture, chosen from a list of MPPs’ favourite buildings.

However, this year’s parliamentary calendar was changed, with a new event date set for December 10 at which the OAA will now announce this year’s Queen’s Park Picks.

According to the OAA, the “Housing for All” theme is “unsurprising”, given the critical need for ensuring safe, accessible and environmentally sustainable homes.

“One way the OAA strives to serve and protect the public interest is through commissioning independent research and using the findings to make targeted recommendations that will benefit all Ontarians,” says OAA President Kathleen Kurtin. “This is particularly true when it comes to the issue of housing. The Association is committed to working with architects and the Province to improve the affordability of quality housing while spurring economic development and reducing red tape.”

“The housing affordability crisis affects millions of Ontarians. Whether homes are rented or owned, subsidized or not, the current lack of affordability impacts households of all incomes in growing urban neighbourhoods across the province,” says the OAA.

In 2017, the OAA brought together architects and other experts to create the Housing Affordability Task Group (HATG) to identify key design and planning elements that address housing affordability.

It commissioned SvN Architects + Planners to develop a report offering recommendations to help various levels of government meet housing supply needs in a timeframe responsive to provincial population growth projections.

Earlier this year, the OAA also submitted a targeted set of recommendations to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, aimed at bringing consistency and transparency to Ontario’s Site Plan Approval (SPA) process.

World Architecture Day aims to draw the attention of professionals and the public to issues concerning cities and housing.

“The growth and intensity of urbanization directly increases global challenges. Architecture plays an essential role in alleviating human suffering, reducing planetary burdens, and enhancing the quality of life,” says the OAA.