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The Brig: A Reflection on Heritage Week 

by Michael McClelland, principal

This Heritage Week, I’d like to remember the Brigadier, or the Brig, as he was known, for the lessons he taught me.    Brigadier General John McGinnis was a larger-than-life figure. He was among the troops that liberated the Netherlands during the Second World War, and then after retirement he began a second career in the then...

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Publications & Exhibits

One Year of ‘The Signs That Define Toronto’ 

by Kurt Kraler

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since the marquee in front of the iconic El Mocambo nightclub announced the momentous occasion; “The Signs That Define Toronto book launch”. Held on the evening of December 1, 2022, the event played host to an enthusiastic crowd of people who gathered to celebrate Toronto signs and...

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People

50th anniversary oral history of Robarts Library features Michael McClelland   

by Alessandro Tersigni

Spacing recently published an oral history reflecting on the five-decade life of one of Canada’s most recognizable Brutalist buildings: the University of Toronto’s Robarts Library. It features commentary by ERA’s Michael McClelland as well as Carole Moore (University of Toronto Chief Librarian, 1986-2011), Gary McCluskie (Diamond Schmitt), and writer Shawn Micallef. The piece explores Robarts Library’s design antecedents, materiality, and scale—it was the...

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People

Graeme Stewart on the interdisciplinary brilliance of George Baird

by Graeme Stewart, principal

After the passing of George Baird in October, ERA principal Graeme Stewart reflected in Azure Magazine on his relationship with the architectural theorist and educator and the great value of engaging with architecture and urbanism through an interdisciplinary prism. Baird has been described as a member of what is sometimes referred to as “The Toronto...

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Awards

Canadian Architect Award of Excellence awarded to the New Vic transformation project at McGill University

by Alessandro Tersigni

ERA is excited to announce that the New Vic transformation project at McGill University in Montreal was awarded a 2023 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence! As heritage architect on the project, ERA has been working with Diamond Schmitt and Lemay Michaud to restore and adapt the 130-year-old former Royal Victoria Hospital building into a state-of-the-art...

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People

Michael McClelland talks taste, class, and conservation in Azure Magazine

by Michael McClelland, principal

Azure Magazine‘s Stefan Novakovic recently interviewed ERA principal Michael McClelland about the relationships between taste, social class, and conservation and how they determine the ways we see and live in cities. As our understanding of heritage continues to evolve and broaden to include more diverse forms of value, this historical and practical look at the...

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People

Celebrating Claude Cormier 

by Alessandro Tersigni, writer & researcher

The trailblazing Quebecois landscape architect Claude Cormier passed away two weeks ago after a thirty-year career spent creating many of Canada’s most lauded and inventive public spaces. Known for his joyful yet probing designs, Claude often upended status quos. Projects like Sugar Beach and Berczy Park resist traditional municipal aesthetics as much as they celebrate...

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People

Illustration as a tool of clarity: Q&A with Daniel Rotsztain 

by Alessandro Tersigni, writer & researcher

ERA is excited to welcome Daniel Rotsztain as the firm’s first Artist-in-Residence. Known as the Urban Geographer, Daniel is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer, and community activator who contributes to urbanist discourses, practices, and modes of thinking in a variety of ways. He received a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Guelph and...

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People

Breaking down barriers in the landscape: Q&A with Brendan Stewart

by Alessandro Tersigni, writer & researcher

Continuing our efforts to engage with landscape in foundational and innovative ways, ERA welcomes long-time collaborator Brendan Stewart back to the firm as a Senior Advisor on landscape practice. Brendan brings years of experience in landscape discourse and architecture from across the sectors of academia, industry, and nonprofit grassroots initiatives. Having studied with Randy Hester...

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News & Events

Growing our leadership team at ERA

by ERA Architects

ERA Architects is proud to announce our latest staff promotions and hirings. ERA is committed to connecting heritage to wider considerations of urban design and city building, while providing our staff with opportunities to grow their professional careers. Associate ERA is pleased to have Mikael Sydor and Rui Felix promoted to our team of associates....

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People

Lisa Prosper, ERA, and cultural landscapes

by Michael McClelland, principal

ERA Architects is thrilled to welcome Lisa Prosper as the firm’s Senior Advisor with expertise in Indigenous heritage, cultural landscapes and World Heritage. Lisa brings an Indigenous perspective to her work in cultural landscapes and cultural heritage as they intersect with planning, design, interpretation, and engagement.   Lisa’s work is informed by diverse and extensive experience...

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Ideas & Issues

Three lessons from Europe’s independent cultural spaces

by Daniel Rotsztain, artist in residence

In the summer of 2022, ERA was invited to join a tour with member organizations of Trans Europe Halles (TEH), a network of 135 cultural organizations from 39 countries in Europe and beyond. TEH members collectively support, research, and advocate for independent cultural spaces and their positive contribution to social, environmental, and economic well-being.   TEH...

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Portrait of William Greer, facing the camera in 3/4 position, his left hand pensively at his chin.

Bill Greer (1925–2023)

by Michael McClelland, principal

I met Bill at what was then the Toronto Historical Board in 1981.  Bill was the Chief Architect and I worked under his direction for seven years.  I’m convinced that architecture is a skill that one learns from mentorship, and I acknowledge that Bill was my mentor.  I’d suggest that Bill’s mentor was Buckminster Fuller,...

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News & Events

A new look for ERAarch.ca

by ERA Architects

We’re happy to share the new look for our website ERAarch.ca. Over the years, the range of work we’ve tackled and the expertise we’ve developed has expanded to the point where we felt our web site wasn’t properly reflecting what makes ERA unique. Over the course of the last year, we worked to refresh the...

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Publications & Exhibits

Dragon Centre Stories: Perspectives on Multi-Cultural Retail and Suburban Cultural Heritage 

by Alexis Cohen, senior associate

Opened in 1984 in Agincourt, Scarborough, Dragon Centre was North America’s first indoor Chinese mall. Its developers — brothers Daniel and Henry Hung, originally from Hong Kong — adapted an old roller-skating rink into a mall serving the Greater Toronto Area’s growing Chinese-Canadian population. Combining Hong Kong’s dense commercial markets and the big box North...

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News & Events

The Signs That Define Toronto: A new book from ERA and Spacing 

by Kurt Kraler

We are happy to announce the release of The Signs That Define Toronto. Published and produced with Spacing, ERA partner Philip Evans and architect Kurt Kraler team up with Spacing’s Matthew Blackett and 20 contributors to reveal the history, culture, and stories of the city through its unique signage. The book is packed full of...

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Interior of University College Library from second floor balcony.
News & Events

University College: Revitalization and Accessibility 

by ERA Architects

The University College is an architectural gem within the already famously picturesque University of Toronto campus. In a way, it’s the centre of the university, and when you look north up King’s College Road, your view terminates in what ERA’s Max Berg calls a “postcard building” from the 1850s.  It has been home to a...

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Publications & Exhibits

Announcing the Frank Darling Book Project

by David Winterton, senior associate

Disponible en français ci-dessous. Over the past six years I’ve been researching and occasionally lecturing at SSAC conferences on Canadian architect Frank Darling (1850–1923) and his ultimate firm, Darling & Pearson. A clear narrative has evolved that outlines his leadership in developing an official “Edwardian” architecture in Toronto and beyond, the firm’s tremendous output of...

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Community Engagement

Eat More Scarborough Food Tour 

by ERA Staff

Scarborough has long been a landing place for newcomers to Toronto. People from all over the world come to this sprawling borough to get a foothold and find community in a new megacity — often far from home in every sense of the word.  One of the ways people find that foothold and community is...

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Royal Victoria Hospital, circa 1917, showing the entry procession and multiple buildings up the incline of Mount Royal.
Project Updates

A New Life for the Former Royal Victoria Hospital in Montréal

by ERA Architects

Since 2019, the Montreal office of ERA Architects has been contributing as a heritage specialist to the adaptive re-use of one of Montreal’s iconic sites, the former Royal Victoria Hospital. The iconic silhouette of the complex, built on Mount Royal, represents a visual landmark both from downtown and from Mount Royal Park. The New Vic...

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Wall of books of many sizes and ages
Ideas & Issues

Diving Into the ERA Library—Part 1 

by ERA Architects

Having access to unique and highly specific books about neighbourhoods, cities, and architecture is a vital aspect of the culture of ERA. Periodically, we will pull books off the shelves of ERA’s library to reveal some of the charming and forgotten publications that shed light on local history.   Truth & Reconciliation: Calls to Action ...

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Three rows of thumbnail image squares show the overall colour palette of neighbouring buildings on a streetscape

Dressing The Webster

by ERA Architects

If you look closely enough, you’ll notice that every neighbourhood has its own unique colour palette, which helps define its character. Some are strictly uniform and monochromatic, while others are a wildly chaotic patchwork of distinct colours. Many of these shades and swatches stem from the materials used in a neighbourhood’s construction throughout the years....

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News & Events

Three New Principals and Expanding Leadership at ERA

by ERA Architects

ERA Architects is proud to announce our firm’s three new principals and the latest staff promotions and hirings. ERA is committed to connecting heritage to wider considerations of urban design and city building, while providing our staff with opportunities to grow their professional careers. PRINCIPALS We’re proud to announce Victoria Angel (Ottawa), Jan Kubanek (Montreal),...

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ERA annonce ses nouveaux associés à Montréal
News & Events

ERA annonce ses nouveaux associés à Montréal | ERA Announces New Leadership in Montréal

by ERA Architects

  ERA Architectes est fière d’annoncer la nomination de Ève Wertheimer et de Jan Kubanek en tant qu’associés à la tête du bureau québécois de l’agence.  ERA Architectes œuvre au Québec depuis 2012 sur des projets de mise en valeur de l’environnement bâti existant, pour plusieurs clients des secteurs privés et publics. La nomination de...

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Ken Soble Tower, a white-clad 18-storey tower viewed from a vantage at ground level and looking high up into the sky.
News & Events

Canada’s Ken Soble Tower certified as world’s largest residential Passive House EnerPHit retrofit

by ERA Architects

One of the first of its kind in North America, the 18-storey affordable seniors tower serves as a model for low-carbon, resilient future January 19, 2022 (Hamilton, ON) – ERA Architects (ERA) and PCL Construction (PCL) announce the Ken Soble Tower in Hamilton, Canada, has become the world’s largest residential building retrofitted to the Passive...

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