ERA Architects

Jane’s Walk in Old York

On Saturday May 5th, ERA principal Michael McClelland joined Ken and Eti Greenberg to take a group of 65 participants on a Jane’s Walk in the heart of Toronto. Named for legendary urbanist Jane Jacobs, Jane’s Walks occur all over the world in the name of promoting urban literacy and the involvement of community in urban development.

Jane Jacobs’ critical writing and thinking has radically changed the way urban planning is practiced in North America. Her practice was clearly important to Ken and Eti Greenberg, whose work has also had a dramatic effect on downtown neighbourhoods in Toronto and elsewhere.
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East Scarborough Storefront: Wood Inventory Part II

As we have mentioned previously on this blog, ERA Architects is collaborating with ArchiTEXT and Sustainable.TO on the exciting Community.Design.Initiative at East Scarborough Storefront. Over the course of an intensive 19-week mentorship semester we worked with community youth on the design of a kitchen garden and patio, a unique green-roof pavilion, a bee and butterfly garden, and a small orchard. Summer and fall 2012 will see further collaboration with the community as we move toward construction of this dynamic new environment.

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Allan Gardens: a new public space design competition

E.R.A. Architects is pleased to announce its participation in Friends of Allan Gardens (FOAG), a group of neighbours and citizens concerned with actively promoting the vitality of Allan Gardens park. This volunteer group’s mission is to revitalize the park through creative strategies that will improve open spaces, nurture local culture and attract a larger and more diverse group of users.

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OCAD 2012 Sustainable Design Awards

ERA is a proud sponsor and juror for the 2012 Sustainable Design awards. Initiated by students at OCAD and, the awards celebrate student work throughout OCAD’s many faculties.

In its second year off the ground, the awards have grown, with ambitions to go National in 2013.

Congratulations to the winners and the students who ran the awards.

For more information, visit

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Miles Glendinning Lecture, May 3rd, 2012

ERA Architects and the Toronto Society of Architects present the 2012 Modern Heritage Visiting Lecture, Miles Glendinning: The Hundred Years War: A Century of Mass Housing ‘Campaigns’ Across the World.

Join us May 3rd at the Art and Letters Club at 6:00pm for cocktails and lecture at 6:30. For more information and to RSVP, click here.

Miles Glendinning is the director of the Scottish Centre for Conservation Studies, University of Edinburgh, and chair of Docomomo International Committee on Urbanism. Miles is also the author of the book Tower Block, a history of mass housing in the UK, and Architecture’s Evil Empire, a critical look at contemporary practice.

Carrot Cake Bake Off

Another delicious bake-off was held in the ERA office last week. This time the challenge was laid down by newcomer to the office Julie Tyndorf, to three time winner Sydney Martin. There was added scandal when an anonymous entry mysteriously appeared on the table. Who won?

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ERA to Revitalize Historic Yonge Street Landmark

The former Canadian Bank of Commerce building at 197 Yonge Street, since abandoned for 25 years, is set to become the focus of a major redevelopment effort led by MOD Developments in collaboration with ERA. Redevelopment will see the restoration and integration of the existing stone edifice at the foot of a new mixed-use tower designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects.

The illustrious stone frontispiece, designed in 1905 by Darling and Pearson, stands as a wonderful example of turn-of-the-century Beaux Arts classicism in Toronto. To this day (and in spite of its long derelict status) the building manages to turn the heads of city-dwellers and tourists alike. Over the coming months ERA will oversee the gradual transformation of this widely revered local landmark into a grand lobby space for the new residential development.

Though many of the interior spaces have been altered significantly over the years, there is still much inside to be celebrated — from the raised wood paneling and carved oak cornice lines in the front lobby, to the intricately detailed plaster ceilings in the office spaces; things are definitely looking up for this long neglected piece of the city.

See the press release from MOD Developments here.

Metro Morning on Tower Renewal

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.