Today, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) announced its top selections for this year's Queen's Park Picks.

As the name suggests, MPPs across Ontario nominate a favourite building in their riding each year, and a jury of architects creates a shortlist of highlights, showcasing the range of quality architecture across the province. 

This year, Toronto’s Franklin Carmichael Art Centre Building and the recently revamped Union Station are among the honorees for 2022. 

An emerging theme from this year’s QP Picks is community, with numerous buildings playing important roles as spaces where people gather. As public health restrictions continue to ease and members of the public find themselves sharing spaces once again, the important role of community-centred buildings has come to the fore.

This year, nominations tellingly highlighted some of the province’s most beloved gathering spaces.

subway stationUnion Station/Shutterstock

Prior to World Architecture Day on the first Monday in October, the Ontario Association of Architects invites Ontario MPPs to reflect on the province’s unique architectural legacy and nominate a favourite building within their riding. This year, submissions were received from MPPs from all regions across the province, with nominations by members of all parties.

When it comes to nominees close to home, Premier Doug Ford (Etobicoke North) nominated Etobicoke’s Franklin Carmichael Art Centre Building. Originally built in 1932, Thistletown’s Franklin Carmichael Art Centre was a gift to the city by one of its most celebrated residents to fulfill a life-long dream of bringing the people of Toronto’s North Etobicoke neighbourhood together through community and the arts.

Franklin201webFranklin Carmichael Art Centre Building

Meanwhile, MPP Chris Glover nominated downtown Toronto’s Union Station. Originally completed in 1927 by Ross and MacDonald, Hugh Jones (Assistant Chief Architect, Canadian Pacific Railway) and John M. Lyle Architect, Union station is one of Canada’s finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture. With numerous renovations and additions over the years to keep pace with a growing city, Toronto’s main railway station has served as the city’s grand gateway for almost a century. 

The seven other buildings chosen were:

  • Abilities Centre in Whitby
    Architect: B+H Architects Corp.
    Nominated by MPP Lorne Coe
  • Adàwe Crossing in Ottawa
    Architect: Stantec Architecture Ltd.
    Nominated by MPP Lucille Collard
  • Holy Protection of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in Guelph
    Architect: Evhen Gren
    Nominated by MPP Mike Schreiner
  • Jeremiah McKay Kabayshewekamik in Sioux Lookout
    Architect: ft3 Architecture Landscape Interior Design in association with Manasc Isaac Architects (now Reimagine)
    Nominated by MPP Sol Mamakwa
  • Place des Arts in Sudbury
    Architects: Moriyama & Teshima Architects in joint venture with Yallowega Belanger Salach Architecture
    Nominated by MPP Jamie West
  • Victoria County Gaol in Lindsay
    Architect: Cumberland and Storm
    Nominated by MPP Laurie Scott
  • Victoria Hall (Brockville City Hall) in Brockville
    Architect: Henry H. Horsey
    Architect of Renovation: O. E. Liston
    Nominated by MPP Steve Clark

Foregrounding the positive impact of the built environment remains a central focus of the OAA’s mission in regulating the province’s architecture profession to protect the public interest, said the organization in a press release. It says it enjoys a long-standing, collaborative relationship with the provincial government and highly values their mutual investment in meeting the needs of Ontarians.

“I am so thrilled that year after year, our Members of Provincial Parliament join us in recognizing the marvelous examples of Ontario architecture found in all parts of our province,” notes OAA President Susan Speigel. “We must continue to respect and revere these beautiful places that form a crucial part of our social fabric.”

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