ERA Architects

Ridgeway Community Courts Celebrates the Spirit of Collaboration with Award Win

Ridgeway Community Courts has recently been recognized by the City of Mississauga as a project that is improving the quality of life for local residents. On May 24th, 2017 ERA Architects was presented with the Community Partnership Award as acknowledgement of the inspirational partnership between the municipality and firm.

The project is the realization of a talented group of local youth, who transformed an under-utilized parking lot and sidewalk boulevard into a vibrant multi-sport court and community space for drop-in recreational programming. The youth-led management of court operations has created an opportunity for skills-building and leadership development.

ERA led the collaborative design process, which worked closely with the community to bring this much-needed resource to the Ridgeway neighbourhood of northwest Mississauga, together with the major project partners, MLSE Foundation, The Rotary Club, Erin Mills Youth Centre and the City of Mississauga. A unique partnership was created, with the project driven by ground-up advocacy. The result was a public space that is truly reflective of the community’s vision.

The award was designed by Mississauga-based artist/designer Alex Anagnostou.

Court images courtesy of MLSE and ERA Architects.

 

Albert Jackson’s Story: local students document a history of social injustice spurring a network of community partnerships

In 2013, students at Clinton Public School produced a book on Albert Jackson, the first African Canadian postal worker in Toronto. Jackson was born into slavery in Delaware and escaped to Canada via the Underground Railroad only to face racial discrimination in his new home. He ultimately became the city’s first black letter carrier and was one of the few people of colour to serve as a civil servant in 19th-century Canada.

Following ERA’s collaboration on Welcome to Blackhurst Street as part of the Mirvish Village redevelopment, A Different Booklist approached ERA to help extend the life and reach of the students’ book on Jackson by supplementing the text and artwork with archival material. ERA ended up doing the graphic layout, too.

Jackson’s story is the subject of increasing recognition. In 2012, a laneway in Harbord Village was named after Jackson who owned several properties in the neighbourhood and, in 2013, the Canadian Union of Postal Workers recognized his legacy with a commemorative poster. On July 21st, Heritage Toronto will unveil a plaque in his honour.

Numerous community members and institutions generously offered information, photographs, and other support for the book. A Different Publisher and ERA would like to thank the Jackson Family, the Ontario Black History Society, Karolyn Smardz Frost, Patrick Crean, Janet Walters at Toronto’s First Post Office Museum, Chris Bateman at Heritage Toronto, Sandra Foster, Ron Fainfair, and LaShawn Murray.

The Story of Albert Jackson was recently launched at Mayworks Festival, an annual event that promotes worker rights for decent wages, healthy working conditions, and quality of life through the support of diverse artists and their creations.

ERA is proud to contribute to the dissemination of Jackson’s story through a growing network of community partnerships.

At the May 3rd book launch with Clinton Street Public School teachers Gini Dickie and Pamela Jamieson, A Different Publisher’s Managing Editor Liberty Hacala, and Itah Sadu of A Different Booklist.


Event Photography courtesy of Itah Sadu, A Different Booklist.
Book layout images courtesy of ERA Architects.

Michael McClelland on the Panel: Discussions on Art and Nature in Public Space

Art, nature and public engagement intersect throughout the city in many ways and ERA is in the thick of discussions leading to interesting, inspirational projects.

Last Saturday Michael McClelland participated in a panel featuring the local urbanite’s quest for green space and reprieve from sprawl, as depicted in the City of Toronto commissioned photographs by Robert Burley for the exhibition An Enduring Wilderness. These images celebrate Toronto’s urban wilderness as spaces of celebration and reward, entwined in a strategy for ‘maintaining and communicating their ecological and civic function’. The show was curated by Carla Garnet, is on until May 26th and open to the public at John B. Aird Gallery, 900 Bay Street as part of the Contact Photography Festival.

On Friday, May 19th Michael is sitting on a second panel as part of the public art: new ways of thinking & working symposium, at York University from May 18 – 20th. The discussion is entitled ‘Artists and City Building’, and will introduce ideas to assist artists in participating more fully in city building through a series of responses to questions touching on the nature of the word ‘public’, expectations related to such work and how to challenge contemporary art practices through commissioning processes. Recommendations will feed into OCAD University’s study on public art in Toronto.

 

ERA Principal Scott Weir Walks Designer Tommy Smythe Through a Few Current Conservation Projects

Scott Weir was invited to tour designer Tommy Smythe of The Marilyn Denis Show through some of ERA’s current conservation projects.

The first project shown is the conservation of houses at 62-64 Charles St (project team: Andrew Pruss, Daniel Lewis and Julie Tyndorf) which is being undertaken in collaboration with aA, for Cresford Developments. Hunt Heritage is the heritage contractor.

The second is the moving and repair of 76 Howard as part of the long-term heritage conservation of a neighbourhood bounded by Sherbourne, Howard, Parliament and Bloor (project team: Daniel Lewis, Jeff Hayes, Nicky Bruun-Meyer, Gill Haley and Scott Weir) with aA for Lanterra Developments. Hunt Heritage is the heritage contractor. Video of the building move by David Dworkind.

Link to related blog post:  https://www.eraarch.ca/2016/76-howard-streets-moving-day/

The third project is the adaptive reuse and incorporation of a Jarvis Street mansion into Casey House (project team: Luke Denison, Mikael Sydor, Sanford Riley, Jessie Grebenc, Michael McClelland, Edwin Rowse and Scott Weir) for Casey House Toronto, with Hariri Pontarini Architects Clifford Masonry Ltd is the heritage contractor.

Thanks to the Marillyn Dennis show, and Tommy Smythe and his team for profiling heritage work happening in the city!

Link to segment: http://www.marilyn.ca/…/s…/Daily/May2017/05_04_2017/Segment3

These projects will be featured in greater depth on the ERA portfolio page of the website in the weeks to come.

Start Small: Placemaking & Cultural Economies

In collaboration with small, ERA is proud to present Start Small: Placemaking & Cultural Economies a talk with Halifax-area cultural economic drivers moderated by Philip Evans, Founder of small and Principal at ERA Architects.

Join us for this free, public event taking place from 6-7pm, on May 24th at Arts Bar + Projects at 1873 Granville Street, Halifax. 

Across Canada, communities are shaped by their unique cultural landscapes. Small-scale, place-based businesses and organizations are essential to this culture, and to the evolution and adaptation of these communities. small is an organization that works to support this evolution by bringing together cultural economic drivers; ­those visionary entrepreneurs, organizers and agitators who leverage the unique place-based cultural assets in their communities to build social, cultural and economic strength. From Inuvik to Bonavista, we’re hosting a series of events to talk about their careers, challenges, and the tools needed to succeed.

To kick-off ICOMOS Canada’s annual conference ‘Connection to Place’, we’re in Halifax asking:
How do we tell the stories of our communities?
What is the role of local cultural economies in these stories?
How do we support these cultural economies?

Come chat with us! The event is free and there will be a cash bar. Please register here: https://startsmallplacemaking.eventbrite.ca