Toronto Urban Design Awards winners announced

The winners of this year’s Toronto Urban Design Awards were announced at a ceremony on Wednesday, September 13.

As Toronto’s population continues to expand, there is an increasing demand for new and improved public spaces and amenities for both residents and visitors alike.

As a result, the awards acknowledge and celebrate the pursuit of design excellence in the city’s growth and development.

The projects honored by the Toronto Urban Design Awards make substantial contributions to the overall quality and design excellence of our urban environment. This year, a total of 84 submissions were received across nine categories.

In May, the jury reviewed and considered these submissions, conducting site visits to the selected projects on the shortlist.

The 2023 Toronto Urban Design Awards has multiple categories. These include “Elements,” encompassing objects, public art installations, and landscape features contributing to the public realm’s quality, such as benches, signage, and works of art. Another category is “Private Buildings in Context,” recognizing buildings or building compositions demonstrating urban design excellence, sustainable design measures, and their relationship to the public realm, with subcategories for “Low-Scale” (up to four storeys), “Mid-Rise” (typically five to 11 storeys), and “Tall” buildings (exceeding the width of adjacent streets). This diverse range of categories ensures a comprehensive evaluation of projects across urban and suburban settings.

The “Public Buildings in Context” category includes individual or grouped structures primarily serving the public and being accessible to them. These buildings, whether for education, healthcare, recreation, culture, or civic purposes, are pivotal in various communities, from small neighborhoods to national entities. It encompasses all building scales (low-scale, mid-rise, and tall) and considers both new construction and restoration/renovation projects in urban and suburban settings.

This year, the jury recognized projects with 10 Awards of Excellence, eight Awards of Merit, and two Special Jury Awards for Community Activation.

The Award of Excellence recipients:

Photographer: doublespace photography

Private Buildings in Context — Low-Scale: The Drake Hotel Modern Wing, 1150 Queen St. W.

Project Team
Architect: Diamond Schmitt
Landscape Architect: Alexander Budrevics + Associates
Structural Engineer: Blackwell
Interior: DesignAgency, +tongtong & The Drake’s in-house team
Mechanical and Electrical: BK Consulting
Sustainability: Footprint


Photographer: Michael Muraz, Scott Norsworthy

Private Buildings in Context — Mid-Rise: Summerhill Offices, 1133 Yonge Street

Project Team
Architect: Studio JCI
Structural Engineer: WSP
Mechanical Engineer: The Aquila Group
Electrical Engineer: Scheinman Group


Harris Square (Photographer: Pureblink, S+P/ZAS)

Private Buildings in Context — Tall: Harris Square, 21 Lawren Harris Square

Project Team
Architect: Saucier+Perrotte Architectes & ZAS
Architects and Interiors


CIBC SQUARE Phase 1 (Photographer: Sierra Curtis Photography, James Brittain Photography, Nancy Kim Photography, A-Frame Studio)

Private Buildings in Context — Tall: CIBC SQUARE Phase 1, 81 Bay Street

Project Team
Architect: WilkinsonEyre
Landscape Architect: Public Work
Planning Consultant: Urban Strategies Inc.
Architect of Record: Adamson Associates Architects


Tommy Thompson Entrance and Pavilion (Photographer: Scott Norsworthy)

Public Buildings in Context: Tommy Thompson Entrance and Pavilion, 3 Leslie Street

Project Team
Architect: DTAH Architects Limited
Landscape Architect: DTAH
Structural Engineer: Faet Lab
Electrical and Mechanical Engineer: Thomas A. Fakete Limited
Civil and Stormwater Management Engineering: SCS
Consulting Group Ltd.
Ecology: North-South Environmental
Cost Consultant: A.W. Hooker


Scott Street Interlocking Signal Tower Generator (Photographer Tom Arban)

Public Buildings in Context: Scott Street Interlocking Signal Tower Generator, Union Station Rail Corridor, Mile 0.30 East

Project Team
Architect: RDH Architects (RDHA)
Structural Engineer: Entuitive
Mechanical & Electrical: Smith + Andersen


Wychwood Neighbourhood Branch Library Restoration And Addition (Photographer: Doublespace Photography)

Public Buildings in Context: Wychwood Neighbourhood Branch Library restoration and addition, 1431 Bathurst Street

Project Team
Architect: Shoalts & Zaback Architects Ltd.
Landscape Architect: The Scott Wentworth Landscape
Group Ltd.
Engineer: H.H. Angus & Associates Ltd.
Heritage Consultant and Collaborating Architect: Philip
Goldsmith Architect
Structural Engineer: RJC
Civil Engineer: Josselyn Engineering


Photographer: Scott Norsworthy

Small Open Spaces: Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes, 320 Robert Street, 290 Major Street, 306 Brunswick Avenue, and 2 Howland Avenue

Project Team
Landscape Architect: DTAH
Artist: Robert Cram


Photographer: Curtis Messam

Large Places and/or Neighbourhood Designs: RendezViews, 229 Richmond St. West

Project Team
Architect: Oliver Geddes, The Fifth Group
Artist: Bruno Smoky + Shalak Attack


Visions and Master Plans: Downsview Framework Plan, Downsview Airfield Toronto

Project Team
Architect: Henning Larsen (urban design); KPMB
Architects (architecture); Urban Strategies Inc.
Landscape Architect: SLA
Engineer: Transsolar, Ramboll, Purpose Building, BA
Group, Monumental Projects Inc
Public Engagement: Third Party Public, Department of
Words and Deeds
Indigenous Engagement: NBISSIING Consulting Inc
Communication Design: Future Simple Studio


The Award of Merit recipients:

Plant it Forward (Photographer: John Notten)

Elements: Plant it Forward, 144 King St. East

Project Team
Artist: John Notten


Urban Fire Benches (Photographer: Osvaldo Sepulveda, Mulvey & Banani Lighting)

Elements: Urban Fire Benches, Bloor Street

Project Team
Architect: Dialog, DTAH
Electrical Engineer: Mulvey & Banani
Design Lead: Mulvey & Banani Lighting


Gusto 501 (Photographer: Nic Lehoux, PARTISANS)

Private Buildings in Context — Low-Scale: Gusto 501, 501 King St. E.

Project Team
Architect: PARTISANS
Engineer: Blackwell Structural Engineers
MEP: BK Consulting
Masonry Engineer: PICCO Engineering


The Broadview Terraces (Photographer: Scott Norsworthy, Michael Muraz)

Private Buildings in Context — Low-Scale: The Broadview Terraces, 377 Broadview Ave.

Project Team
Architect: Studio JCI
Structural Engineer: Blackwell Structural Engineers
Mechanical and Electrical Consultant: The Aquila Group


Photographer: Michael Muraz

Private Buildings in Context — Mid-Rise: River Street Infill, 41 River St.

Project Team
Architect: Studio JCI
Engineer: Atkinson + Van Groll Inc.
Mechanical Consultant: RDZ Engineers Ltd.
Civil Consultant: Cole Engieering Group Ltd.
Sustainability Consultant: ECOVERT


Photographer: Scott Norsworthy, Doublespace Photography

Private Buildings in Context — Tall: Ace Hotel Toronto, 51 Camden St.

Project Team
Architect: Shim-Sutcliffe Architects
Interior Architecture: Shim-Sutcliffe Architects in collaboration
with Atelier Ace
Landscape Architect: NAK Design Strategies
Planning Team: Bousfield Inc. and Stikeman Elliot
Structural Engineer: RJC Engineers
Civil Engineer: Cole Engineering
MEP: MCW Consultants Ltd.
Construction Manager: Alterra Construction Management Ltd.
Hotel Management: Ace Hotel Group


Photographer: Industryous Photography

Small Open Spaces: Stackt Market, 28 Bathurst Street

Project Team
Architect: LGA Architectural Partners
Landscape Architect: North Design Office
Structural Engineer: Blackwell
Mechanical Engineer: Hidi
Planner, Transportation: MHBC
Civil: Crozier
Shipping Container: Giant


Visualization: Tess Macpherson, Kavita Garg

Student: Building in the ‘JUNKSPACE’, Parliament Street and Lake Shore Boulevard intersection

Project Team
Tess Macpherson
Kavita Garg

Special Jury Awards for Community Activation: The Oculus Revitalization, South Humber Park

Project Team
Co-Lead: Architectural Conservancy of
Ontario, Toronto Branch (non-profit co-lead)
Architect: Giaimo


Special Jury Awards for Community Activation: plazaPOPS: Albion Islington Squares, 2655 Islington Ave., 2627 Islington Ave., 979 Albion Rd., and 950 Albion Rd.

Project Team
Landscape Architect: ERA Architects
Artist: Magic F WonG (Street Mural)
Others: Albion Islington Square BIA, Rexdale
Hub, University of Guelph Landscape
Architecture, plazaPOPS


View the full Jury Report here (PDF)