ERA Architects

ERA Learns the Fine Art of Tuckpointing from a Melbourne-based Master

On March 15th 20 staff from ERA and members of the Architecture Conservancy of Ontario’s Next Gen group joined Antoni Pijaca, a heritage mason with over 30 years of award-winning tuckpointing experience for a workshop focusing on techniques and skills of the trade. English Tuckpointing is a brick-laying method used on homes, churches, schools and institutions. Materials required included lime mortar, lime putty, a straightedge, tuck irons and frenchman (ribbon knives).

This technique was popular in Toronto’s late 1800’s architecture as a cosmetic solution that imitated the gauged brickwork found in England during the same period. It was an efficient and effective means of capturing the same appearance, but requiring less work and precision.

After the introduction, staff participated in a ‘hands on’ session, demonstrating their new found knowledge.

ERA wishes to thank Hunt Heritage for providing this unique learning opportunity.

Sabina Ali & Graeme Stewart Speak to ‘Modern Tower Blocks and the 21st Century City’

Harlyn Thompson Lecture Series – Faculty of Architecture, University of Manitoba
Thursday, March 16, 2017
6PM Lecture
Eckhardt Gramatte Hall
University of Winnipeg

Speakers:
Sabina Ali – Chair, Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee
Graeme Stewart – Principal, ERA Architects, Co-Founder/Board Member, Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R) and Co-Editor, Concrete Toronto: A Guidebook to Concrete Architecture from the Fifties to the Seventies

Graeme Stewart and Sabina Ali will introduce the case of Toronto’s built legacy: upwards of 2,000 modernist tower blocks that define its urban landscape. Hidden in plain sight on the political radar for decades, they have experienced an extended period of neglect, however a season of change has recently emerged.

‘Tower Renewal’ sprang forth as a resolution to engage policy-makers and members of the public through research, development and calls-to-action. It shone a light on the under-estimation of the importance of these towers as vast, vertical communities whose social and structural preservation are imperative in meeting the challenges of the city’s demand for greater density and enhanced quality of life amid dwindling resources.

Toronto’s Tower block urbanism is ubiquitous, complex and contentious in nature for its physical and cultural landscape. Conservation solutions refuse to be pigeonholed, requiring a multifaceted and customized approach. The Tower Renewal initiative is nimble and dynamic in approach, successfully and sensitively addressing each project as separate and unique.

Photo credit: Chloë Ellingson

ERA Contributes to the 2017 AIAS Quad Conference Through Tours of the Firm’s Office and The Distillery District

As host of the 2017 American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) Quad Conference, Ryerson University reached out to ERA Architects to host a tour of the firm’s offices and to conduct a tour of The Distillery District on March 10th & 11th respectively. Ryerson’s vision for the event was in inspiring and educating students on new perspectives of architecture introduced through diversity and globalization.

For ERA’s part, a tour of the office functioned as a circuit between 4 separate environments on 2 floors of 10 St. Mary Street. Staff led 3 groups for 1½ hours through discussions on office environment features/layout, programming, team dynamics/disciplines, overarching themes, major/special projects, software/technology and the material library/plotter. The tour culminated in a small ½ hour reception and closing remarks by Michael McClelland.

The following day, in frigid weather, the group toured the award-winning heritage conservation and adaptive re-use project: The Distillery District. The tour was led by ERA Principals Michael McClelland and Andrew Pruss and ran from 2:30 – 4:00pm. They focused on the following themes: Historic Architecture & Urban Form, Adaptive Reuse & Occupancy, and the Contemporary Layer of New Construction as applied to Trinity Street, the Windmill site, Stone Distillery, the Tank/Boiler House and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts.

The two tours made a positive impression on the students, many of whom had never been to Toronto and hoped to extend their trip and/or return to the city in the future.

Women in Architecture: A Seminar Presented by Building Equity in Architecture, Toronto (BEAT)

Last Saturday, March 4th, as part of its third annual seminar, BEAT featured ERA Project Manager Amy Norris as part of a program of female architects, landscape architects, and interior designers based in Toronto. The panel spoke to students, recent graduates and young practitioners about their professional experiences working in and establishing design practices in Toronto in industries that presents both challenges and opportunities for women. Amy also presented information about newly established groups within the OAA and RAIC that focus on issues of interest to emerging practitioners in the design industries. The panel was made up of sole practitioners, partners in design firms and academics. The event took place at The Gladstone Hotel’s North Ballroom.

The event was scheduled as a prelude to International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8th. Given the findings of recent surveys that show a decrease in the percentage of women who study architecture versus those who are currently practicing, and the number of firm partners and principals who are women, the seminar’s mandate was: 1. To provide insight into the professional histories of leading female design practitioners, and 2. To promote mentorship of the current cohort of women transitioning into the profession through introductions and networking opportunities. Underlying these goals is the understanding that people need to see themselves reflected in the leadership of their chosen profession in order to garner a sense of acceptance and the possibility for success for their future careers.

Speakers
Kate Fox-Whyte, Principal, Foxwhyte Landscape Architecture
Irene Gardpoit, Director and Principal Architect, Uufie
Pat Hanson, Principal, gH3
Marianne McKenna, Founding Partner, KPMB
Lola Sheppard, Associate Professor, Waterloo Architecture and Co-Founder, Lateral Office

Special Presentation
Amy Norris, Project Manager, ERA and member of the OAA Intern Committee and RAIC Emerging Practitioners Steering Committee.

Moderator
Betsy Williamson, Partner, Williamson Williamson Inc. and BEAT Advisory Committee Member

 

ERA’s Big Day Out: We’re Launching Our 1st Annual Firm-wide Conference on March 3rd, 2017

ERA will be ‘out of office’  on March 3rd, as we attend our first annual conference, offering a range of opportunities to congregate and mingle as a full office! Follow the day’s proceedings – #eracon17.

The following is an abridged agenda:  

9:40 – WELCOME, OPENING REMARKS
9:45 – KEYNOTE SPEAKER ­ Antonella Ceddia, Litigation Lawyer, City of Toronto

–   o r i g i n s   –

10:30 – WHAT DOES ERA DO? Michael McClelland
11:00 – ORIGIN STORY – ERA EXECUTIVES
11:30 – Q&A ­ [GRILL THE EXECUTIVE]
1:10 – WALKING TOURS
Tour 1: Queen West Triangle – A Planning Novella
Tour 2: West-to-West Queen West! – An Architectural Meander
Tour 3: What is a ‘CAMH’ anyway?
Tour 4: Legal Non-conforming Transcendence on Dovercourt

–   o u r   c u r r e n t   p r a c t i c e   –

2:20 – WORKSHOP SESSION 1
Workshop 1.1: How To Read Drawings – for non-architects
Workshop 1.2: Informing Design Through Value Added Collaboration
Workshop 1.3: Ethics And Practice: Choosing Projects / ERA’s Evolving Role As City Builders / Agents Of Civic Values
Workshop 1.4: Best Practices in Architectural Drawings and Detailing
Workshop 1.5: Conservation Process: Theory And Practice
Workshop 1.6: Design Studio: Fundamentals Of House Planning

–   f u t u r e   d i r e c t i o n s   a n d   g r o w t h   –

3:20 – WORKSHOP SESSION 2
Workshop 2.1: Mentorship – Best Practices /Accreditation
Workshop 2.2: Communicating in a Growing Office
Workshop 2.3: ERA Initiatives – Impact and New Practice Areas
Workshop 2.4: Outsider Advice – Applying Our Methodology Outside The GTA
Workshop 2.5: Emerging Practice Area: New Technologies in Conservation
Workshop 2.6: Rethinking Heritage Conservation Districts (HCDs)
Workshop 2.7: Emerging Practice Area: Reimagining our Modern Legacy, Conservation and Transformation
Workshop 2.8: The Land We Work On

4:20 – CLOSING REMARKS

Evergreen Brick Works Demonstrates How Revived Heritage Spaces Create Sustainable Cities

The 53,000-square-foot kiln building at Evergreen Brick Works is set for a conversion that will create a collaboration zone to aid in building sustainable cities, with a target of developing systems and technologies for reducing carbon emissions. To set the standard, project partners EllisDon, Brookfield Global Integrated Systems, CRH Canada, Levitt Goodman Associates Architectural Partners and ERA Architects will strive to attain a carbon neutral design target for the site, a first in Canada. Once completed, the doors will be open to citizens, the public/private sectors and thought leaders to contribute to the initiative.

The heritage adaptive design approach was created in consultation with the City of Toronto’s Preservation Services, Ontario Heritage Trust and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to support the preservation of heritage features in the building. ERA was directly involved in the conservation of the unconditioned kiln building, one of 16 historically significant buildings on the campus of Evergreen Brick Works. This structure houses a large collection of industrial brick firing kilns that are currently subject to flooding and freeze-thaw cycles. Enclosing the open west wall of the building, raising the floor, and conditioning the building will be a significant contribution to stabilize these artefacts, while continuing to highlight the heritage aspects of the historic space.

The Brick Works have become a notable destination for locals and tourists alike, drawn to the consistently eco-friendly programming housed within the walls of its LEED platinum-certified building. It will be a gathering place for interactive workshops and community programs that focus on working collaboratively, and will strengthen networks, inspiring action through new and enhanced gallery and meeting spaces. This latest endeavour will catalyze advancements in renewable energy technologies, while preserving the heritage features.

Congratulations to the ERA project team: Philip Evans, Shelley Ludman and Eunice Lam!

To review the Canadian Architect-published press release, click here.
To review the related Globe and Mail article by Alex Bozikovic, click here.
To review the Blog TO article by Amy Grief, click here.

Feature rendering courtesy of LGA Architects.
Photos courtesy of ERA Architects.

The Broadview Hotel is Awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation

The 2016 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Award for Excellence in Conservation has been awarded to Andrew Pruss, (Principal, ERA Architects), Les Mallins, (President, Streetcar) and the project team behind the revitalization of The Broadview Hotel. The award commends the contribution to the conservation of a heritage building and the community enhancement it fosters.

The Broadview Hotel is a landmark heritage-designated building at the northwest corner of Queen and Broadview that functioned as a commu­nity hub for clubs, businesses, athletics and site for the public engagement of city-developing events. It was completed in 1891-2 by oilman and soap maker Archibald Dingman in the Romanesque Revival style of architecture The building, formerly known as Dingman’s Hall, anchors the end of a commercial shopping strip that begins just after the bridge over the Don Valley and terminates at the end of Queen Street East in the Beaches. Its long-standing presence at the corner of Queen Street and Broadview Avenue make it an imposing and prominent beacon within the Riverside neighbourhood.

Over 36 months, ERA Architects and the project team worked to conserve and maintain key architectural features of the 125-year-old landmark: rounded-arch and squared-head windows, decorative terra cotta panels, prominent turret with a pyramidal roof, wide arches and rusticated stonework on the ground floor. The development of the structure included an addition to increase its capacity. Its use as a hotel will return, with 58 guestrooms, a restaurant and cafe added to the ground floor and a dynamic rooftop providing stunning views of the cityscape. Exterior alterations include: the removal of fire stairs, window replace­ment, the reinstatement of entrances and storefronts, metal cornices on the facades, and masonry and glass additions.

The hotel will welcome guests to the east-end beginning in spring 2017.

​Project photos are courtesy of Streetcar Developments.

To review the article by Joanna Lavoie in InsideToronto.com, click here.

Taking the Tower Renewal Discussion to Vancouver

Vancouver’s high-rise rental apartment stock may vary in materiality from Toronto’s, however it’s no less in need of reinvestment and regeneration. In the article that follows Christopher Cheung looks to the Tower Renewal initiative for inspiration and a cue for what is possible on the west coast.

Click here to view the article.

All images courtesy of Christopher Cheung.

 

ERA Architects is Thrilled to Welcome David Winterton Back to the Team as Our Newest Associate

David Winterton is excited to return to Toronto and ERA Architects after 11 ½ years working and learning in the storied New York firm of Robert A. M. Stern Architects.

There he served as a designer for Fifteen Central Park West, an 890,000 square foot, two-tower residential project occupying a full city block along Central Park in New York City; 50 Connaught Road, an office building in Hong Kong; The Yards, a new mixed-use riverfront neighborhood on the former grounds of the Washington Navy Yard Annex in Washington, DC; Projet Viger, a mixed-use development in Montreal; and a private residence in New Jersey. Mr. Winterton was Project Manager for the Brompton, a 300,000-square-foot residential tower on New York City’s Upper East Side; a private residence in Singapore; and two villa enclave projects in Hong Kong. David was also Project Architect for two condominium towers in Vancouver and a villa in Grunewald Berlin.

Prior to his time in New York David worked at ERA Architects on various historic preservation projects including the Massey Harris Loft conversion and various Heritage Conservation District Studies. Because of his keen interest in the preservation and improvement of the public realm he founded the Friends of Allan Gardens in 1999, a group formed to advocate for the restoration of the Palmhouse and grounds of one of Toronto’s oldest parks, and on whose board of directors he currently serves.

David received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and his Master of Architecture degree from McGill University. He is a registered architect in the State of New York, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. His research on Toronto’s rich early 20th century architecture and architects led to the publication of his essay, “Toronto’s Edwardian Skyscraper Row,” in the Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada. He is eager to further this research and hopes to foster a greater appreciation for the fascinating story of the evolution of architecture in Toronto.

For a sampling of David’s past work with RAMSA, click here.

The (Lane)way Forward: Exploring the Potential of Under-Served Public Space

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As Toronto’s population increases in density, it places more pressure on ever-shrinking resources, including public space. The use of laneways in the city to increase public space offers the opportunity to release some of this pressure.

ERA’s Annabel Vaughan moderated a panel discussion on November 30th on just this subject. Organized by The Laneway Project, panellists included Jake Tobin Garrett of Park People, Jessica Myers of the Junction BIA, Jonathan Morrice of Toronto Police Service’s 55 Division, Mark van Elsberg, Public Realm Section, City of Toronto, and Monica Wickeler, a visual artist who works in street art and murals.

The Laneway Project – a not-for-profit corporation – champions change, initiating action through a grassroots approach, specializing in ‘tweets to shovels’ social media activism in the realms of planning, urban design, architecture, landscape, communications, research, community engagement and public policy. They would like to see a time-based sharing of spaces: to push laneways to offer an ebb and flow as dynamic, multi-purpose community spaces over a 24-hour cycle.

Laneways lie on the marginal edge and are often associated with crime, however they are vital as potentially thriving public spaces. Toronto often lags behind other international centres when it comes to optimizing our public space. An interesting precedent is Detroit’s TAP (The Alley Project), where garages host street art workshops and animated laneways are adorned with graffiti, creating spaces to engage youth, ultimately changing the focus of their use.

The City of Toronto aims to facilitate stakeholder-driven, incremental interventions of a similar nature, seeking out opportunities to revitalize and enliven existing laneways. This has included limiting parking to enable restaurants to set up licenced patios in alleys, reinventing micro-retail environments, developing parking spot parklettes, retaining historic laneway networks, developing guidelines for housing, and supporting laneway innovations hosted by BIAs and communities as part of the public realm.

The panel successfully fleshed out these opportunities; for Toronto, the conversation is just getting started.

For more information please click here.

‘Tower, Slab, Superblock: Social Housing Legacies and Futures’ Sparks the Imagination on Postwar Design and Construction

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Participants included: Geraldine Dening, Co-Founder, Architects for Social Housing, Simon Elmer, Co-Founder, Architects for Social Housing, Phineas Harper, Deputy Director, The Architecture Foundation, Paul Karakusevic, Founder and Partner, Karakusevic Carson Architects, Jean-Louis Cohen – Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at New York University, Javier Arpa, Research and Education Coordinator of The Why Factory at Delft University of Technology,
Kenny Cupers, Associate Professor in the History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Basel, Frédéric Druot, Founder and Partner, Frédéric Druot Architecture, Susanne Schindler – Architect, writer, and housing columnist for Urban Omnibus, Martine August, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, and Graeme Stewart, Principal, ERA Architects.

“Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform and reuse!”
– Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

On December 10th a group of international guests will assemble at the Cooper Union Rose Auditorium in New York City to share thoughts on policy and design improvements to enhance the existing stock of postwar social hosing in North America and Europe, reflecting on the need for creating solutions to reimaging this housing stock.

Hosted by the Architecture League of New York, the focus of the symposium will be the approaches and best practice of three cities: London, Paris, and Toronto. ERA’s Graeme Stewart will speak of the Toronto experience and emerging opportunities through our ongoing work on Tower Renewal.

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When: 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM Saturday, December 10, 2016
Where: Rose Auditorium, The Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, New York

For background event information please click here.
For event information please click here.

Rendez-Vous Maestria: The Restoration of the GCC’s Suspended Ceilings

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On Friday, December 2nd, Jan Kubanek of ERA Architects will present La Restauration des Plafond Suspendus de Centre Conférence du government à Ottawa (The Restoration of the Government Conference Centre’s Suspended Ceilings), a rich insight into the revitalization of the Canadian landmark as it shifts into its future role of housing the Senate of Canada. In 2028 the space will return to its original use, allowing for explorations in adaptable and reversible interventions. Jan will also touch on, among other topics, the complexities pertaining to the ceiling’s materiality, spatial qualities and safety, based on conservation and contemporary ideologies.

La Restauration des Plafond Suspendus de Centre Conférence du government à Ottawa is one of many intriguing conversations taking place at Rendez-Vous Maestria, a multi-day event hosted by the Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec. From December 1st to 4th, expertise in craft and built heritage will be celebrated by curators, artisans, designers, architects and the public as they convene to exchange ideas, renew knowledge and showcase innovations in traditional techniques and current practices.

Link to GCC:
http://www.eraarch.ca/project/government-conference-centre/

Link to Rendez-Vous Maestria:
https://www.metiersdart.ca/en/maestria-show

 

76 Howard Street’s Moving Day

It’s one thing to pack and move house, and quite another to move a house!

William Whitehead House, at the ripe old age of 130 years, was relocated under exacting circumstances to allow for the development of 1000 condos units in the St. Jamestown neighourhood. The team at ERA was on hand to supervise and document the process as it unfolded on Saturday, November 26th. The images that follow represent a chronological photo-essay by Daniel Lewis, Project Manager and Scott Weir, Principal.

Check out the article by the Globe and Mail’s Dave Leblanc. Click here.

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A Sense of ‘History in the Making’ for a Toronto Residence

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As highlighted in RUE Magazine’s article, “History in the Making” – the beauty is in the details.

The multi-spread editorial in the recently published Issue 44, features the renovation and façade restoration of a residential project in Toronto’s Summerhill neighbourhood. The home was originally designed by John Wilson Siddall and respectfully transitioned into a more contemporary aesthetic by Croma Design and ERA Architects.

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With detailing at the forefront as guiding principle, the article commends the thoughtful approach used by the designers: from the handling of material additions that blend seamlessly with the original structure, to the reinstatement of key circulation elements in the revised layouts; all aspects of approach result in uniform flow and spatial harmony.

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Read the feature in Issue 44 of Rue Magazine: http://www.ruemag.com/magazine/issue/issue-forty-four#132

Project profile: http://www.eraarch.ca/project/summerhill-house/

 

New Visions for Social Housing in Canadian Architect Magazine

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In the November issue of Canadian Architect author Jay Pitter investigates how spatial issues contribute to community challenges such as isolation, despair and violence in urban social housing communities.

Using the community where she grew up in Toronto as a case study, Pitter explores the design deficiencies of the Corbusian “Towers in the Park” style favoured by Robert Moses in the 1930s. In this piece she reaches out to a group of design leaders from Toronto and Vancouver to discuss how to develop an approach that integrates design, policy and social development by cultivating trust, engagement and collaboration with communities to build social housing for a new generation.

The group consisted of:
Michael Gellar: Vancouver based Architect, Planner and Real Estate Consultant
Gregory Henriquez, FRAIC: Managing Partner of Henriquez Partners Architects
Michael McClelland, FRAIC: Founding Principal of ERA Architects
Graeme Stewart, MRAIC: Principal at ERA Architects
Sheila Penny: Toronto based Architect and VP of Facilities at Toronto Community Housing

Out of this discussion emerged thoughtful ways of building more complete social housing communities by considering the lived reality of residents made up by the systems and structures that shape their daily experiences. The group emphasized the importance of developing trust through a more collaborative process and providing the tools to allow residents to shape their own neighbourhoods and respond to community needs.

Click here to view the article.

Big Cities in a ‘small’ Context

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How do cities grow? Do we limit growth or encourage it? Direct it or simply discover its natural rhythms? While municipal planning, land use policies and settlement patterns have shaped the physical aspect of North American cities, often social, cultural and environmental forces leave a firmer mark on our communities.

ERA’s Philip Evans and Heather Campbell were recently invited by Princeton University’s Frank and Deborah Popper to discuss with their land-use planning students how Canadian cities address population growth. This conversation prioritizes the sustainability of communities by rooting development in the broader cultural heritage context: recognizing the diversity of people, places and lifestyles which have both shaped and responded to the growth of buildings, streetscapes and communities. The role of reuse – from buildings and skills, to gathering spaces and local economies – within the evolution of our communities is essential to sustainable growth and a sense and quality of place in both countries.

ERA’s small program shifted the focus to shrinking areas, mainly rural, and the challenges of industry closure, population loss and infrastructure decline. With the Buffalo Commons project, the Popper’s study of American frontier communities addresses questions about longevity and sustainability on environmental, social and economic fronts. Similarly, small’s focus on livable communities within Canada’s unique rural context aims to develop support for small-scale cultural economic drivers, to address the shift and redesign in the rural landscape, from natural resource dependency to a new cultural economy.

These continuing cross-border conversations help us develop a deeper understanding of our possible reciprocal contributions to both sustainable city-building and the sustainability of smaller places, those often overlooked by broader policy supports. It is the conversations of the next generation of leaders, their priorities and principles which need to be reflected in the development of our communities today.

Mission Point Resort Wins Prestigious Award

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Mission Point Resort been recognized by Condé Nast Traveler’s Reader’s Choice Survey as the best resort in Michigan and one of the top ten resorts in the US Midwest.

ERA was brought on as prime design consultants in 2014, when new ownership began an ambitious scope of improvements to upgrade guest experience and comfort requirements. Working alongside local architects of record The Architect Forum, ERA has overseen renovations to the spa, salon, athletic centre and public retail space. Architectural upgrades are ongoing.

Mackinac Island has long held historic significance as a site of peace-making and commerce for the Ottawa, Chippewa, Huron, Menonminee and Potawomi peoples. Colonized by French Jesuit Missionaries in the 1670s, the island’s strategic location led it to become the centre of the Great Lakes fur trade. Later captured by the British, Mackinac and its fort became a focal point of the war of 1812. It was taken by the US in 1814.

Today Mackinac Island is a national historic landmark and a state park. The island is rich in Victorian architecture having become a popular summer resort throughout the 19th & 20th centuries. One of the only communities in the United States to still forbid the use of automobiles, the island’s preferred mode of transport is horse-drawn buggy.

Located on 18 acres of the Island’s southern lakefront, Mission Point Resort’s original buildings date back to the 1820s, with the majority of the resort being built in the 1950s & 1960s. Collectively they reference a wide array of architectural styles including classical, colonial revival, Adirondack and Michigan Modern.

For more information click here.

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Friends of Allan Garden’s Tulip Festival Offers a Chance to Embed the City with Colour for the Spring

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Winter may be around the corner, but we’re already looking forward to springtime in Allan Gardens. We will soon be planting two large beds of tulips at the centre of our favourite park, and hope that you will join us! The flowers will bloom in spring 2017, just in time for Canada’s 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

Please spread the word — there will be plenty of bulbs to go around. If you could RSVP to Tatum at tatumt@eraarch.ca, that will help us plan our supplies.

Event date: Saturday, November 12, 10:00am to 12:00pm

Meet us in front of the Palm House, dressed warmly and ready to get a little dirty. Stay for the morning if you can, or feel free to drop in and plant a few bulbs to start your Saturday. If you have gloves, a spade, or other gardening tools, please bring them; we will also have some equipment on hand. The Allan Gardens horticultural team will be providing guidance on where and how to plant the bulbs. We look forward to seeing you there — and seeing the flowers on the other side of winter!

For more information on FoAG and it’s events click here.

Flags: Public Artwork Complete

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A new public work by artist Josh Thorpe has just been launched at Maple Claire Park, Toronto. For this project, entitled Flag Field, ERA Architects provided landscape architectural and project management services.

Flag Field consists of fourteen custom flags on flagpoles ranging from 25 to 50 feet high. Thorpe designed the flags as simple drawings of cats and dogs, stripes and polka dots etc. — images associated loosely with the leisure of parks.

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The flags are clustered in two groups adjacent to the main pedestrian path of the park, and are intended to bring movement and colour to the site, to partly screen the surrounding urban fabric, and to create a loose system in which people can stroll or children can play.

The base of each flag is a circle of multi-coloured rubber crumb surface often associated with playgrounds and sports fields. Each flagpole is underpinned by groundscrew technology, a light-touch alternative to traditional concrete foundations. The use of ground screws in this case is more economical, more time-efficient, and makes a much smaller footprint on the site.

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ERA’s contribution to the project included support with early schematic design and concept renderings; consulting regarding view corridors and flag placement on site; construction drawings; tendering; and contract administration. Structural Engineering was provided by Blackwell and the use of ground screws was provided and installed by Aduvo Systems Ltd. They proved to be an economical solution to securing the base of the pole to their grounding.

Thorpe is an internationally exhibiting artist with new work soon to be announced at 3A Gallery, New York. See his website for more images and information.

A Field Guide to Tactical Heritage Urbanism

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ERA Architects, in conjunction with the Canadian National Committee of the International Council of Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS Canada), is proud to announce the launch of “A Field Guide to Tactical Heritage Urbanism”.

Tactical heritage urbanism is a collection of economically accessible, temporary initiatives enacted by citizens to introduce and celebrate the stories and experiences that collectively constitute their community’s past and present.

Canada is an international leader in the creation of policies that support the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage, the understanding that society is in essence a valuable and diverse cultural web. This topic is of great relevance at this time, as municipal policies require the same recognition of cultural knowledge transfer between populations and generations as their federal counterparts to move the conversation into the future.

This digital book explores how heritage can act as a source of cohesion and sustainability by examining projects that facilitate stronger models of citizen participation in the decision-making and management processes of our cultural environment.

The Field Guide is the result of the annual ICOMOS Canada symposium called Heritage and Democracy: Bringing Heritage out of History and into the City, which was held in Toronto on May 6, 2016. The conversation will continue at next year’s symposium Connection to Place, which is taking place May 24-27 in Halifax.

 

Toronto’s Cultural Heritage Landscapes: From Plan to Action

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On Saturday, November 5th, from 9:00am – 4:30pm in room #308 of Metro Hall (55 John Street) the Community Preservation Panels of the City of Toronto are hosting a discussion about how Cultural Heritage Landscapes (CHL’s) should be approached as part of city building and heritage conservation processes.

Cultural Heritage Landscapes are defined by the province as “a defined geographical area of cultural heritage significance that has been modified by human activities and is valued by a community”

The subject is timely as recent updates to Toronto’s Official Plan create stronger direction for the protection of CHL’s in the city.

The Forum is being organized to raise an awareness of the issues surrounding the topic and to inspire the development of what could become a Toronto Cultural Heritage Landscape Guideline. Members of the public are welcome to attend and are encouraged to actively participate in the sessions and discussions, which are focused around the questions:

What are they and why are they important?
What is our experience? and
How do we protect them?

Forum Speakers:
Carolyn King, Former Chief of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation
Julian Smith, Architect and Director, Willowbank Centre for Cultural Landscape
Brendan Stewart, Landscape Architect and Urban Designer, ERA Architects
Wendy Shearer, landscape Architect, Cultural Heritage Specialist
Stephen Robinson, Senior Heritage Planner, City of Guelph
Mark Warrack, Manager of Culture and Planning, City of Mississauga
Catherine Nasmith, Architect and President, ACO
Madeleine McDowell, Educator and Heritage Advocate
Micahel McClelland, Founding Principal, ERA Architects and Member, Advisory Council of the Cultural Landscape Foundation
Mary MacDonald, Senior manager, Heritage Preservation Services, City of Toronto

Commentator:
Paul Bedford, Urban Mentor, Former Chief Planner, City of Toronto

 Moderator:
Alex Bozikovic, Architecture Critic, The Globe and Mail

ERA Celebrates Project Wins at the 2016 Heritage Toronto Awards Ceremony

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Heritage Toronto held its annual awards ceremony on Monday, October 17th, 2016. The event was held at the Isabel Bader Theatre, Victoria College, University of Toronto and was hosted by the former host of CBC Radio’s Fresh Air, Mary Ito. This year’s Kilbourn Lecturer was Dr. Steven High, Professor of History at Concordia University. The awards ceremony was preceded by the Mayor’s Reception, during which Councilor Mike Layton spoke about the importance of heritage conservation in architecture.

The jury considers such things as the quality of craftsmanship, appropriateness of materials, and the use of sound conservation principles, as well as how well the project meets current needs while maintaining the integrity of the original design vision.

ERA is proud to be a part of four awarded recipient teams and two honourable mentions. The following projects were recognized:

Award of Excellence: The Ward: The Life and Loss of Toronto’s First Immigrant Neighbourhood
Editors: John Lorinc, Michael McClelland, Ellen Scheinberg & Tatum Taylor
Publisher: Coach House Books

Award of Excellence: The Don Jail
Commissioned by: Bridgepoint Active Healthcare
Planning, Design and Compliance Architects: ERA Architects, Stantec Architecture, KPMB Architects
Design, Build, Finance, Maintain Architects: VG Architects, HDR Architecture, Diamond Schmitt Architects

Award of Merit: Church of the Redeemer
Commissioned by: University of Toronto
Architectural/Design Firms: ERA Architects Inc.
Heritage Contractor: Clifford Restoration Limited

Award of Merit: Imperial Plaza
Commissioned by: Camrost-Felcorp
Architectural/Design Firm: Onespace Unlimited Inc., ERA Architects Inc.

Honourable Mention: 2532 Yonge Street
Commissioned by: Edgecombe Realty Advisors, Inc.
Architectural/Design Firm: ERA Architects Inc.

Honourable Mention: Hermant Building, 19 – 21 Dundas Square
Commissioned by: HNR Properties Ltd.
Architectural/Design Firm: ERA Architects Inc.

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