Property owners, entrepreneurs, community members, academics and city builders will gather at York University in celebration of Toronto’s newest zone: the Residential Apartment Commercial (RAC) (www.raczone.ca). Moderated by Graeme Stewart, Principal of ERA and the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal, this event hosted by the City of Toronto will centre discussions on the zone’s implementation as well as its economic and social opportunities.
Topics will touch on:
- Where does the zone apply?
- What new things can be done there?
- Why is this a great idea?
- How does RAC zoning make it easier to implement sensible changes?
- Who can benefit from these changes?
And Panelists will include:
- Jennifer Keesmaat, Executive Director and Chief Planner City Planning, City of Toronto
- Jason Thorne, General Manager Planning and Economic Development, City of Hamilton
- Dr. Eileen de Villa, Medical Officer of Health, City of Toronto
- Doug Saunders, Author and Journalist
- Maurine Campbell, Coordinator, 2667/2677 Kipling Avenue Tenant Association
- Gobal Mailwaganam, Managing Director, Municipal Affairs & Housing and Operations CAPREIT
The RAC Zone was initiated through a long term collaboration between a group of partners including the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal, United Way Toronto & York Region, Toronto Public Health and the tower Renewal Office at the City of Toronto. Approval of the RAC zone ushers in a new era for communities within Toronto to emerge as a more healthy, resilient and vibrant places.
Illustrations by Daniel Rotsztain
The Friends of Allan Gardens (FOAG) are leading efforts to ensure that this historic public garden remains relevant and integrated into its ever-evolving surrounds. ERA’s Tatum Taylor, who also sits on FOAG’s Board of Directors, has published an article in the Summer/Parks issue of Spacing Magazine that describes the process for renewal. In her words:
‘…For decades, Allan Gardens has struggled to maintain its identity and integrity within Toronto’s rapidly evolving downtown core. The diversity of its uses sets it apart within the City’s parks system, but also imposes competing demands on its aging infrastructure. The newly released Allan Gardens Refresh, produced by the Friends of Allan Gardens (FOAG) in collaboration with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department, envisions a future for the park that evokes its former grandeur. In keeping with Allan Gardens’ traditions of horticulture innovation and social activism, the Refresh initiative is an inventive approach to planning, stewardship, and revitalization – shaking up the existing model of master planning for Toronto’s parks…’
To read the article in its entirety, please pick up a copy of Spacing Magazine online or at your local newsstand outlet.
To learn more about the Allan Gardens Refresh – a vision document produced by FOAG in partnership with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division – visit friendsofallangardens.ca
Allan Gardens feature image courtesy of Brent Wagler.
Workshop image curtesy of ERA Architects.
Spacing cover image courtesy of spacing magazine.
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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Marcus Mitanis
After much awaited anticipation, Heritage Toronto held its awards ceremony on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015. The event was held at the Koerner Hall in Toronto and was hosted by the host of CBC Radio’s Fresh Air, Mary Ito. This year’s Kilbourn Lecturer was Rahul K. Bhardwaj, President and CEO of the Toronto Foundation. The awards ceremony was preceded by a special Mayor’s Reception, where Mayor John Tory spoke about the importance of heritage conservation in architecture. Continue reading…
Heritage Toronto recently released the list of award nominees for the William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship category. ERA is proud to be part of six out of sixteen nominated teams.
Calvin D. Evans’ Master Shipbuilders of Newfoundland and Labrador: Volume Two, Notre Dame Bay to Petty Harbour magnificently captures the rich maritime history spanning the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador.
100 Spadina Rd. Photo by Andrew Louis.
What happens when a building’s heritage conservation is complicated by new building codes that were non-existent at the time of its construction? Continue reading…
This month’s issue of Metropolis Magazine ranks Toronto #1 globally for liveability; it is in good company with Tokyo and Helsinki, numbers two and three respectively.
A recent issue of C Magazine, themed “Location,” features documentation of an artwork by ERA’s Josh Thorpe and artist David Court. The work On Printed Matter was exhibited at the New York institution Printed Matter in 2011 and was recently republished in C’s inside-back-cover section “Artefact.” Continue reading…
Michael McClelland on Yonge; photo Dave LeBlanc
Recently Dave LeBlanc of the The Globe & Mail featured ERA Principal Michael McClelland in an article about heritage architecture and new development on Toronto’s Yonge St. Continue reading…
The NFB project A Short History of the Highrise recently won the “News and Documentary” category of the Emmy Awards. ERA and the Centre for Urban Growth and Renewal (CUG+R) had the pleasure of working with director Kat Cizek on this project, which examines the current conditions and future potential of post-war high-rise living around the world. Continue reading…
Recently, Cottage Life Magazine published a feature on Ardshona Cottage, summer home to builder David Ballantine and his family. ERA worked with the family to refurbish their wonderful historic cottage and the surrounding landscape at Pointe au Baril, Ontario. Continue reading…
Monocle recently profiled Toronto’s City Hall, designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell, positioning it as the city’s most distinctive piece of architectural design. ERA’s Graeme Stewart is featured in the discussion of how the building began, and how it has evolved as a central moment in the urban and civic experience of Toronto.
Monday March 24th, ERA’s Graeme Stewart will be joining Christopher Hume and guests for a forum on the future of Toronto. The discussion begins at 6:30 pm, Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave, Toronto. Continue reading…
Throughout the first part of 2014, the Toronto Star is running a series called “Big Ideas“, asking Torontonians to think big about the future of the region. What type of Toronto do we want to create in the years to come?
For our contribution to this series, we discuss Tower Renewal as the key to realizing the region’s potential. The piece can be found at Here at thestar.com, or below: Continue reading…
In a recent article in the Globe & Mail, Dave LeBlanc explains how Gemini House provides a new, sustainable model for heritage homes.
The Gemini NTED approach, developed by U of T’s Kim Pressnail and Ryerson’s Russell Richman, is a new way to engineer low-energy housing. The idea is to put a box within a box, separating the home into a thermally isolated “core” and “periphery.” Continue reading…
Monocle Radio recently interviewed ERA’s Graeme Stewart on The Urbanist, a weekly program on the people and ideas that shape urban life. In this week’s edition, Andrew Tuck speaks with Graeme about Toronto’s modernist legacy and the Tower Renewal program.
You can listen to this interview online at Monocle.com #61.
In the 2012 Quality of Life Issue of Monocle Magazine, ERA’s Graeme Stewart fields a few questions on Toronto’s Tower Renewal Project from Christopher Frey, Monocle correspondent and former Chief Editor for Toronto Standard.
To find out more about this issue, see Monocle v.6, no. 55.
Lara Herald, a project landscape architect at ERA, was recently invited to speak with Matt Galloway on CBC’s Metro Morning regarding the future of Toronto’s Ontario Place.
A cluster of three artificial islands on Toronto’s waterfront, Ontario Place was launched in 1971 as an affordable and varied summer destination. Its attractions have over time included a simulated mine, a wilderness adventure ride, a World War II Destroyer, a concert venue, an IMAX theatre, a marina, a waterpark, and, of course, various places to walk, rest, eat, and drink.
Matt Galloway with Priti from the NBF’s HIGHRISE, Image Courtesy of the National Film Board of Canada
This week CBC’s Metro Morning is taking to the Kipling strip north of Finch to talk tower renewal, in an area of aging concrete towers that were typical all across Toronto during the early 1950s and ’60s.
On Wednesday, February 15th Graeme Stewart will appear for an interview on Metro Morning’s live broadcast from the Rexdale building at 2667 Kipling. This building is also the focus of the NFB’s HIGHRISE documentary, One Millionth Tower.
Follow Graeme’s interview Wednesday morning on CBC Metro Morning.
For all things tower renewal, visit ERA’s Tower Renewal blog.
One half of the adaptive reuse of the Gardens is now open! People even lined up over night to be first into the new flagship Loblaws store. Public interest has been at a frenzy, and there is a lot of press about the event; Globe and Mail, CityNews, National Post, etc. A more thorough collection of reactions to come in the next few days, but initial responses have been enthusiastic and positive.
This week Graeme Stewart discussed ERA’s ongoing work related to Tower Renewal and working with the NFB of their film documentary with the metro morning team. You can listen to his interview in full here.
The Toronto Standard discusses North York’s emergence as a modernist heritage hub.
Please also have a look at the full publication of ‘North York’s Modernist Architecture Revisited‘, produced by ERA last year.