In March the Ontario Association of Architects announced the winners of their annual awards celebrating excellence in design. The winners were chosen by a panel of experts from the design community applying a series of criteria including Context, Creativity, Legacy, Good Design, and Sustainability. This year's awards opened the door for the first time to buildings outside of Ontario but designed by Ontario Architects, and buildings in Los Angeles and Tel-Aviv were among the International sturctures awarded in 2013. We covered the original 15 selections when they were first announced, and you can find them all in this article.

At the time of announcement, the OAA opened a poll on their website to determine the winner of their annual People's Choice award, chosen from the original selections. The People's Choice Award, along with further awards such as Best of Show were announced this past Friday at the OAA's annual awards gala in Toronto. Here are the winners:

Best of Show:

UBC, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/CDRD Vancouver, image courtesy of Saucier + Perrotte Architectes

University of British Columbia Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/CDRD
Vancouver, BC
Saucier + Perrotte Architectes & Hughes Condon Marler Architects

Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award:

Cedarvale Ravine House, image courtesy of Drew Mandel Architects

Cedarvale Ravine House
Toronto, ON
Drew Mandel Architects

People’s Choice:

House on the Bluffs, image courtesy of Taylor Smyth Architects

House on the Bluffs
Toronto, ON
Taylor Smyth Architects

“Architects are increasingly creating spaces that invite the general public to interact and engage. The 2013 award winners exemplify architecture that goes beyond the expected in both design and function. This year’s winning projects set the stage for what communities around the world are aspiring to achieve: open, bright, relevant and inclusive spaces, where people want to be,” said Bill Birdsell, President of the OAA.

An award of particular note was the honouring of Jack Diamond with OAA Lifetime Design Achievement Award. The announcement of Diamond's name was met with a standing ovation from the OAA members at the gala.

Jack Diamond

Diamond Schmitt Architects is well known here at UrbanToronto, with their many fine buildings profiled regularly on our pages. Diamond, who emigrated to Canada in 1964, became the founding director of the Master of Architecture program at the University of Toronto. He has practiced architecture in Ontario since 1968, and founded Diamond Schmitt Architects with Donald Schmitt in 1975. The firm now has a staff of 130 including 17 principals. Of his colleauges, Diamond humbly says:

"In this office we have the most amazing bench strength. People are just amazingly good. I have always believed that all of us together are better than each of us alone."

Diamond is an officer in the Order of Canada, a fellow and Gold medalist of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, and an Honourary fellow at the American Institute of Architects.
Additional awards presented were presented at the gala:

Concepts & Presentations:


The Map is Not the Territory; Honourable Mention; Brian A. Urbanik, student

TOKYO RECLAMATION—UENO; Honourable Mention; Michael Conway, Architect


Steel Table; Hounourable Mention; Cindy Rendeley Architexture

Knob Portrait: Mayor Ford; Hounrable Mention; Paul Raff Studio Incorporated Architect 


In Search of Place; Honourable Mention; Melody Taghi-Poor, Intern architect 

Islamic Centre, Fort McMurray, Alberta; Hounorable Mention; Zak Ghanim, Architect Inc

Best Emerging Practice:

Workshop Architecture Inc.

Landmark Award:

Massey College; Ronald J. Thom, Thompson, Berwick & Pratt

G. Randy Roberts Service Award:

Recognizing members of the OAA for extraordinary service to the members; Alexander Rankin

Order of da Vinci:

Presented to persons who have made a significant and meaningful contribution to the profession of architecture; David Craddock

For more info on these projects and architects check out some of our dataBase listings below, or see the OAA website here.

Related Companies:  Canadian Opera Company, CFMS Consulting Inc., Claude Cormier + Associés, Diamond Schmitt Architects, DTAH, Evergreen, Ferruccio Sardella Landscape Architect, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Ryerson University