The City of Toronto has announced the winners of the 2021 Toronto Urban Design Awards. The bi-annual event, which was held virtually this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, recognizes outstanding design projects and seeks to acknowledge the significant contributions of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, and city builders to the appearance and livability of the city.

This year the city received 170 submissions across nine categories. The jury, which consisted of Michael Leckman of Diamond Schmitt, Fadi Masoud of the Centre for Landscape Research at the University of Toronto, Eladia Smoke of Smoke Architecture Inc. and Jackie VanderVelde of Land Art Design Landscape Architecture Inc., selected 11 projects for Awards of Excellence, 13 for Awards of Merit, and two Special Jury Awards for inspiring infrastructure.

The big winners in each category were…

Category 1: Elements

This category goes to a stand-alone object, landscape element, public art installation or small-scale piece of a building that contributes significantly to the quality of the public realm.

The Award of Excellence went to the Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge, located at 15 Queen Street West, designed by WilkinsonEyre Architects and Zeidler Architecture

Toronto Eaton Centre Bridge, image by UT Forum contributor Marcus Mitanis

Category 2a: Private Buildings in Context - Low Scale Category

This award goes to an individual or composition of buildings four storeys or less that is precedent-setting for a project of its type due to its relationship to the public realm, pedestrian amenity, detailing and massing and the natural environment.

The award of excellence went to the Montcrest School Redevelopment, located at 658 Broadview Avenue, and designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects.

Rendering of Montcrest School expansion, image courtesy of the Montgomery Sisam Architects

Category 2b: Private Buildings in Context - Mid-Rise Category

This is awarded to an individual or composition of buildings taller than four storeys but no taller than the width of the adjacent street right-of way, that is precedent-setting for a project of its type due to its relationship to the public realm, pedestrian amenity, detailing and massing and the natural environment.

The award of excellence went to 80 Atlantic, located at 80 Atlantic Avenue, developed by Hullmark, and designed by architects BDP Quadrangle.

80 Atlantic, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Category 2c: Private Buildings in Context - Tall Category

This is awarded to an individual or composition of buildings taller than the width of the adjacent street right-of-way that is precedent-setting for a project of its type due to its relationship to the public realm, pedestrian amenity, detailing and massing, and the natural environment.

The award of excellence went to Axis Condos, located at 411 Church Street, developed by CentreCourt and designed by IBI Group.

411 Church Street, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Category 3: Public Buildings in Context

This is awarded to an individual building or a composition of buildings with a primary function to serve the public and/or is largely accessible to the public that demonstrates urban design and architectural excellence through its relationship to the public realm, pedestrian amenity, detailing and massing, the natural environment, and sustainable design.

The award of excellence went to Seneca College – Centre of Innovation Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE), located at 1750 Finch Avenue East and designed by architects Perkins&Will.

An exterior view of the new CITE, image courtesy of Doublespace

Category 4: Small Open Spaces Category

This is awarded to a small open space, generally related to and defined by adjacent buildings or natural/built elements, which provides an extension and addition to the public realm in an exemplary way.

The award of excellence went both to SQ2 POPS, located at 80 Vanauley Street (developed by Tridel and designed by architects Teeple ArchitectsKirkor Architects Planners) and the University of Toronto Scarborough Valley Land Accessible Trail, located at 1265 Military Trail.

SQ2 POPS, image via submission to the City of Toronto

Category 5: Large Places and/or Neighbourhood Designs

This is awarded to a design plan for a new or renovated large-scale area of the city that demonstrates innovation related to infrastructure, environmental management, and sustainable design, and demonstrates community involvement and acceptance.

The award of excellence went to Centennial College Downsview Campus Centre for Aerospace and Aviation (ERA Architects), located at 65 Carl Hall Road.

Centennial College Downsview Campus Centre for Aerospace and Aviation, iImage via submission to the City of Toronto

Category 6: Visions and Master Plans Category

This is awarded to unexecuted visions for the city, studies, and master plans of high inspirational value with the potential for significant impact on Toronto's development.

The award of excellence went to both Bloor/Kipling & Islington Developments, Bloor Street & Kipling Avenue, Bloor Street & Islington Avenue, and The Meadoway, Gatineau Hydro Corridor.

Category 7: Student

This is awarded to theoretical or studio projects situated in Toronto by students in urban design, architecture, landscape architecture, and other design programs.

The award of excellence went to Power and Place, Princess Margaret.

Special Jury Awards

Special Jury Awards in the Inspiring Infrastructure Category went to the Storm Water Facility at 480 Lake Shore Boulevard East, and Emergency Exit Buildings on the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension.

Architects Perkins&Will had three award winning projects, the most of any other firm, having achieved Awards of Excellence for Seneca College's CITE and the Meadoway, as well as an Award of Merit in the Public Buildings in Context Category for work on the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, located at 288 Church Street.

UrbanToronto has more information on many of the winners above in its Database files, linked below, and associated Forum threads, where you can join in on the discussion if you wish. You can also leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  Abedini Norris Consulting Inc., BDP Quadrangle, Crossey Engineering, Cushman & Wakefield, Eastern Construction, Figure3, Giannone Petricone Associates, IBI Group, Isotherm Engineering Ltd., Kramer Design Associates Limited, L.A. Inc., LiveRoof Ontario Inc, Lockourier Canada, McIntosh Perry, Ontario Panelization, RJC Engineers, State Window Corporation, The Mitchell Partnership Inc., Trillium Architectural Products, U31, Unilux HVAC Industries Inc., Urban Art & Metal Works Inc., Walters Group, Zeidler Architecture Inc.