Winners of 2020 National Urban Design Awards announced by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects


Ontario Construction News staff writer

Twelve projects across Canada—each with a tremendous impact on the surrounding built environment—have been selected for the 2020 National Urban Design Awards.

Winning projects range from public art installations and parks to a revitalized underpass.

The awards are part of a two-tier program held in cooperation with Canadian municipalities. The National Urban Design Awards program judged winners of the 2020 municipal awards and entries submitted at large.

Awards will be presented during the RAIC’s Conference on Architecture in Edmonton from June 3-7, 2020.

Winners include:

Student Projects Award of Excellence:

Topographic Urban Expansion (Toronto, ON) – Qiwei Song (University of Toronto)

  • This project introduces a pre-emptive approach—a topographic landscape strategy that acts as an open space armature for future development on hillsides of the city. By connecting and planting hydraulic buffers along steep slopes and introducing topographic interventions in connected bands of open space, the project brings social, ecological, economic, and cultural amenities that support and sustain the inevitability of the informal growth pattern.

Civic Design Award of Excellence:

Mechanized River Valley Access (Edmonton, AB) – DIALOG

  • The large elevation difference and steep slopes of the river valley are part of its great beauty, but it makes access difficult for users with mobility challenges. The Mechanized River Valley Access was imagined addressing this connectivity challenge.

Civic Design Certificates of Merit:

Berczy Park (Toronto) – Claude Cormier et Associés

  • The revitalization of this iconic park in downtown Toronto needed to adapt to rapidly evolving community–needs that were never foreseen when the original Berczy Park was constructed 40 years ago. Next-generation needs had to be accommodated by shaping the park into three program-oriented spaces—a green area for play, a garden for dogs, and a plaza for gathering.

North East Exchange District Public Realm (Winnipeg, MB) – HTFC Planning and Design—in collaboration with WSP Engineering, the City of Winnipeg & Centre Venture Development Corporation

  • Winnipeg’s North East Exchange District is home to a forward-looking public realm underpinned by the rich warehouse commerce story of the city. The people-first woonerfs, green lanes, plazas, and parklets of the district, buzz with activity in all seasons.

Urban Fragments Award of Excellence

  • Shades of Gay (Montréal, QC) – Claude Cormier et Associés
  • 18 Shades of Gay, a 1-kilometre-long ribbon-like installation of 180,000 multicoloured resin balls suspended over Sainte-Catherine Street East—in the Gay Village of Montreal—is part of the transformation of the street into a pedestrian mall during the summer.

Urban Fragments Certificate of Merit

The Fourth Street SW Underpass Enhancement (Calgary, AB) – the marc boutin architectural collaborative inc.

  • The physical state of disrepair of the underpass—limited accessibility, poor lighting levels, and overall deterioration of materials—required immediate attention. In response, the Fourth Street SW Underpass Enhancement Project is founded on the notion of reclaiming this space of removal as a space for conversation.

Community Initiatives Award of Excellence

The Warming Huts (Winnipeg, MB) – Sputnik Architecture Inc. & The Forks Renewal Corporation

  • Taking place in Winnipeg, MB, Warming Huts is an annual project that engages local and international designers, artists, and students each winter to design and create structures that are installed along with public skating and pedestrian trail on the ice of the city’s frozen rivers.

Urban Design Plans Award of Excellence

Plan d’intervention pour le confort et la sécurité des piétons et cyclistes dans le Vieux-Québec (Quebec, QC) – Groupe A / Annexe U

  • An ambitious pedestrian and cycling plan in old Quebec City—one of Canada’s most historic and valued urban precincts. Part study and part master plan, this is a well-researched, comprehensive, innovative, and beautifully presented project.

Urban Architecture Award of Excellence

Casey House (Toronto) – Hariri Pontarini Architects

  • The renovation and extension to Casey House, a specialized healthcare facility for individuals with HIV/AIDS, meets the needs of patients and healthcare providers in a setting designed to evoke the experience and comforts of home.

Urban Architecture Certificate of Merit

The Springdale Library and Komagata Maru Park (Brampton, ON) – RDH Architects (RDHA)

  • The Springdale Library and Komagata Maru Park aspire to create an inclusive gathering place, a progressive architectural expression in the suburbs, and a point of pride for the city.


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