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Diamond Schmitt Architects Lisa Logan

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Discover Stories of Architecture

These articles are just the beginning!

The stories below introduce a number of “Favourite buildings” in Ontario, Canada. They were chosen by MPPs and range from new buildings to historic architecture. Each begins to tell a story of how it impacts the community, adds to an experience, or assists in meeting a specific goal.

The articles include links to more information about the architecture, the community, and those who inhabit or use the spaces.


  • Pigott Building (1929)

    Towering over the city centre, the Pigott Building’s story is the story of downtown Hamilton itself – rising in the Roaring Twenties as a beacon of progress and modernity, then hollowed out by the ravishing effects of an economic downturn and now – once again – standing proud as a symbol of revival and reinvention […]

    • Prack & Prack
    • Toronto Star Archives, 1947, tspa_0106479f
  • Église St-Joseph d’Orléans (1922)

    With its gleaming tin-clad bell tower presiding over what was once a rural village, St-Joseph d’Orléans stands as a testament to the franco-ontarien roots of this Ottawa suburb – a physical manifestation of Ontario’s largest minority language group[1] in one of the province’s most vibrant French-Canadian communities. à la canadienne Back in the 1880s – […]

    • Canon Georges Bouillon
    • Image courtesy of John G. Cooke & Associates
  • Whalen Building (1913)

    “We shape our buildings, and afterwards, our buildings shape us.” – Winston Churchill  Despite its fame as Thunder Bay’s “first skyscraper,” little is known about the design intentions behind the Whalen Building – its varied ornamentation lacking any official explanation. However, this has not stopped locals from weaving the sculptures into a story reflective of the […]

    • Brown and Vallance
    • James Whalen Collection. A0039. Lakehead University Archives.
  • Claude Watson School for the Arts (2008)

    Built to support young performers learning to share their talents, every space of this North York institution has been designed with performance in mind – encouraging creativity and spontaneity from the classroom to the hallway. A Building for the Arts As a school designed to support specialized training in both fine arts and performing arts, […]

    • Kohn Shnier Architects
    • Courtesy of Kohn Shnier Architects
  • MacLaren Art Centre (2001)

    “[It] is just as much about community as it is about art.” – Siamak Hariri, Partner in Charge, Hariri Pontarini Architects Weaving together old and new, the MacLaren Art Centre defies the “pristine” quality of many art institutions with a welcoming and accessible building that is just as much about community as it is about art. […]

    • Hariri Pontarini Architects
    • Volker Secling
  • Sharp Centre for Design, OCAD University (2008)

    “…It’s braver, it’s courageous. It’s saying to the world that Toronto doesn’t bring in what other places have to make itself a world-class city. It’s saying Toronto leads the way.” – Dr. Nicholas Olsberg, Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture Floating above McCaul Street, this tabletop structure is a remarkable building not just for its […]

    • Alsop Architects Ltd. in joint venture with Robbie/Young + Wright Architects
    • Shai Gil, provided by OCAD University
  • Petrie Building (1882)

    “Old ideas can sometimes use new buildings. New ideas must use old buildings.” – Jane Jacobs After years of neglect and decay, the rehabilitation of Guelph’s Petrie Building went far beyond the restoration of its distinctive facade – it was also about contributing to the vitality and renewal of a downtown core by breathing new life […]

    • John Day
    • Hans Zegerius
  • Andrews Building, UTSC (1964)

    “[John Andrews’ buildings] say something simply and easily understood about where you are and what you’re doing there.” – Earl Berger Following the ebbs and flows of the river valley below, the Science and Humanities Wings of then Scarborough College (now the Andrews Building at the University of Toronto Scarborough) was a radical departure for campus […]

    • John Andrews Architect and Page and Steele
    • Meeting Place interior; University of Toronto Scarborough Library, UTSC Archives Legacy Collection, Photographs - Box 1 (File 3).
  • Celebrate World Architecture Day! – Oct. 1

    Architecture… for a Better World is the International Union of Architects’ theme for World Architecture Day 2018. 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, […]

    • Sebastián Wilson León
  • Cobalt Train Station (1910)

      Chicken or the Egg Cobalt’s train station stands as a monument to the town’s foundation. When the Temiskaming and Northern Ontario Railway was being built, there were no plans for a station at that location. However, as railroad workers made their way through the forest, they came across a vein of silver. This place […]

    • Architects: John M. Lyle (Original Building), Taylor/Hazell Architects Ltd. (Restoration)
    • Image Courtesy of Winnie Kammermayer
  • North Bay Regional Health Centre (2011)

    A Community, Not An Institution  Much of the effort behind the design of the North Bay Regional Health Centre was to address the institutional feel of typical health centres. To achieve this, the architects designed the centre with the idea of a small Northern Ontario community – the core of the project comprises a chaplaincy, […]

    • Architect (original building): Evans Bertrand Hill Wheeler Architecture Inc.
    • Ed Eng Photography
  • Canadian Club Brand Heritage Centre | Hiram Walker & Sons Ltd Main Office Building (1894)

    Sitting on the Canadian shore of the Detroit River, this stately manor was once the head-quarters to one of Canada’s most recognized business empires. It stands as a monument not only to Hiram Walker and Canadian Club’s legacy, but to the foundation of Walkerville. Building as Branding A symbol of the powerful business empire established […]

    • Mason and Rice (USA)
    • Image ID: H6EMP2 | File size: 26.3 MB
  • BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (2007)

    “What we build and how we build it has a profound impact on who we are and how we are together… our destiny has always been to find strength in our diversity. This is a place where people gather to build something beautiful — a community.” Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty, 2007 The first of its […]

    • Papadopoulos & Pradhan Architects Inc.
    • Courtesy of BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
  • Templar Flats

    Part of an ambitious movement to revitalize Hamilton’s downtown core, Templar Flats demonstrates the power of context-sensitive mid-rise infill projects to reinvigorate our cities and strengthen our urban fabric. A Wood Mid-rise Templar Flats is a pioneer in mid-rise construction in Ontario because it is the first modern inhabited six storey wood structure in the […]

    • Lintack Architects Incorporated
    • Lintack Architects
  • Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health (2013)

    “We’re very invisible in this city. One aspect for us was to become visible people with value, and to be proud to show who we are.” Alison Fisher, Executive Director of Wabano Centre Architecture with Meaning Both in its interior and its exterior, the centre incorporates numerous First Nations symbols – particularly those tied to […]

    • Cardinal Conley & Associates Inc.
    • Adam Tracey
  • Woodstock Public Library (1909)

    Shared History The Woodstock Public Library is one of 111 Carnegie libraries in Ontario – all built with grants by the Carnegie Foundation. Carnegie libraries are often recognizable from their shared simple plans and neoclassical features – a conservative style that references back to Greek and Roman architecture and which was a common choice for […]

    • (Original Building): Chadwick & Becket; (Renovation): Phillip H. Carter Architect
    • Courtesy of Woodstock Public Library

Discover Architecture

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