Ontario’s best

“’Twas the night before IIDEX /At Liberty Grand / We gathered to give / All the winners a hand.” The winners of the annual ARIDO Awards, that is, and what a festive occasion it turned out to be, with the fitting theme of “The Future is Bright.” As always, the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario gives good gala: the decor was dandy, the food fab, the presentation punchy.

The ARIDO Awards recognize excellence, innovation and creativity in the province’s interior design industry. Total awards this year number 22: Project of the Year; two Awards of Excellence; 18 Awards of Merit; and one Award of Merit + Award of Merit: Sustainable Design.

The big winner of the evening was Johnson Chou, of the eponymous Toronto firm, for his project Sixty Colborne, a condominium presentation centre kitty-corner to downtown Toronto’s St. James Cathedral. Chou designed a modern white box framing north and east city views. By day, the glass walls invite passersby to peek into the tranquil space; at night, the walls become reflective screens for projection of proposed development. “ARIDO members consistently defy expectations, creating groundbreaking, world-class projects,” says ARIDO president Sue Bennett. “There are dozens of marketing centres built in Ontario every year, but Sixty Colborne stands out from the crowd. It is a true creative expression.”

Toronto-based Figure3 had a remarkable evening, winning four awards in total: an Award of Excellence for its bold and bright Telus, Generation 2 Store in Laval, Que.; an Award of Merit + Award of Merit: Sustainable Design for its state-of-the-art Nova Scotia Power workplace on Halifax’s waterfront; and Awards of Merit for Telus Small Business Store and Quartz/Spectra Model Suite. 

The other Award of Excellence went to Toronto-based MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects for its pristine, arctic-themed Polar Securities Office Renovation in Toronto’s financial district. 

“ARIDO congratulates all the award winners,” says Bennett. “Their talent and commitment to design excellence strengthen ARIDO’s position as the guardian of the highest standards for interior design in Ontario.”

To view the full list of winners, visit arido.ca and click on Awards.