ERA Architects

“The Preservers”

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In their Winter 2016 issue, On The Up magazine, which focuses on urbanism, travel, and culture, Scott Weir, a Principal at ERA, was featured alongside Sherry Phillips and Sarah van Maaren in their article titled “The Preservers.”

The article, written by Sarah Steinberg, begins introducing its subject matter – a look into the work of three Toronto professionals who have committed themselves to the painstaking job of conserving and preserving the city’s fabric.

“As we change as a culture, it’s important to have markers of who you were and how you got there…” Scott Weir

Van Maaren, a conservator at the City of Toronto Archives, and Phillips, a conservator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, both help to preserve a part of Canada’s material heritage. Documents, records, art – these historical objects are all crucial to the understanding of our evolution as a society. Similarly, Weir preserves our heritage, but one very different from what we find stored in the archives or exhibitioned in galleries. What Weir helps protect is Toronto’s architecture, and as he states, “with architecture, it’s the face of the city, and I think our task is really to try and preserve what’s great about that face.”

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At ERA, Weir oversees the conservation, adaptive reuse, and restoration of heritage buildings across Canada. His task is a delicate balancing act which considers the needs of residents, city requirements, and developers’ visions. Ultimately, each project’s challenge is deciding how to retain the heritage value of a site or building, and how to update other aspects.