OAA celebrates the best in architectural design and innovation by Ontario architects

The annual Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Celebration of Excellence Awards held on May 8 showcased the best in architectural design and innovation by Ontario architects. Twenty new buildings in Toronto, St. Petersburg (Russia), Georgian Bay, Kingston, Bolsover, Sudbury, Crawford Lake, Sarnia, Town of the Blue Mountains, Oakville, Port Hope and Surrey (B.C.) were distinguished in this year’s Design Excellence category. 

The 2015 award-winning projects illustrate how intrinsically important architecture is to building strong cities and communities.

“Ontario architects, every year, show their ability to create enduring, beautiful and sustainable buildings” says OAA president Toon Dreessen. “Architecture forms a part of the cultural and social history of Ontario residents. The Design Excellence Awards show that OAA members create value by being creative problem solvers, increasing the impact that good architecture can have on our physical, mental and social well-being. Architects contribute to the local, provincial and national economy and help create spaces that we all use and appreciate.”

In addition to the 20 Design Excellence awards and honourable mentions announced before the ceremony, three more honours were unveiled during the gala:

• The inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s Award was presented to the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts by N45 Architecture Inc. in association with Snøhetta Architecture Design Planning P.C.

• Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award, honouring architectural excellence for projects in Ontario that cost no more than eight million dollars, was presented to UUfie Inc., for Lake Cottage.

• People’s Choice, decided by public vote, went to Moriyama & Teshima Architects in association with Charles Correa Associates for the Ismaili Centre.

“We are very honoured to receive the OAA Lieutenant Governor’s Award,” says Robert Matthews, partner at N45 Architecture Inc., who took home the award for the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts in Kingston, Ontario. “The Isabel Bader Centre was designed not only as a beautiful place for the public to enjoy music, but as a versatile space for the students of Queen’s University’s music, drama, film studies and fine arts departments to learn and experiment. We were inspired by Kingston’s geography and wanted to make sure the building related to its environment. The main performance hall is wrapped in wood reminiscent of the rock you see throughout the city.”

The 2015 OAA awards were presented at the OAA Celebration of Excellence Awards and Dinner at Liuna Station in Hamilton, Ontario, on May 8. The gala was attended by the province’s top architects, building industry guests, clients of the winning projects and those with a passion for architecture.

The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdsewell, lieutenant governor of Ontario, brought greetings and presented the first ever Lieutenant Governor’s Award. World-renowned opera singer Jean Stilwell, was the MC for the evening, and the awards were hosted by OAA president Toon Dreessen.


The OAA Awards offer the Ontario architectural profession an annual opportunity to present their work to the public and a professional audience; demonstrating the excellence of both individual award winners and the profession as a whole; fostering a greater appreciation of architecture and architects in the public realm.


The Ontario Association of Architects is a self-regulating organization governed by the Architects Act, which is a statute of the Government of Ontario. The OAA’s mission is to represent, regulate, support and promote the profession of architecture in the interest of all Ontarians, and to lead the design and delivery of built form in the Province of Ontario.

For more information, visit www.oaa.on.ca