Two Architectural Practitioners Named to the Order of Canada

Two architectural practitioners, from Toronto and Vancouver, have been named to the Order of Canada. Donald Schmitt, principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects, and Raymond Cole, former director of UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, were among 83 new appointments announced last week.

The Order of Canada is a high civilian honour that recognizes outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.

Recipients who receive this award represent the Order’s Latin motto, Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam — in translation: They desire a better country.

Photo Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

Born in South Porcupine, Ontario, Donald Schmitt is a University of Toronto School of Architecture graduate. His citation commends the architect “for his rehabilitation of iconic heritage buildings and for his sustainable architectural designs.”

Schmitt’s work includes the high-rise laboratories of The Peter Gilgan Centre for Research and Learning at Sickids in Toronto; the new campus of Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver; and the collaborative academic environment of Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.

Also known for the re-imagination of landmark buildings such the National Arts Centre and The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa, Schmitt is currently leading the design for the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility.

“I am honoured and humbled to be among Canadians from all walks of life as a Member of the Order of Canada,” said Schmitt.

Photo Courtesy of

With a PhD in architectural science from University of Wales, Cardiff, Raymond Cole is an honorary member of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia, and a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. His citation commends Cole “for his skilful pairing of architecture and environmental sustainability, and for his leadership in the field.”

Cole is known for teaching architecture students topics related to environmental issues, regenerative design, and environmental performance in building design.

In 1998, Cole was a co-founder of the Green Building Challenge, an international collaborative effort to benchmark progress in green building performance, which has evolved into the World Sustainable Building Conference series.

The former director of UBC’s Architecture and Landscape Architecture has also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sustainable Buildings Canada, and a Lifetime Leadership Award from the Canada Green Building Council.