Diamond Schmitt receives a third international award for Daniels Spectrum

Daniels Spectrum, the transformative cultural centre at the heart of a regenerated Regent Park community in downtown Toronto, received a Great Places Award at a ceremony in Los Angeles on May 27 as part of the 46th annual conference of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA).

The EDRA Great Places Awards recognize professional and scholarly excellence in environmental design and pay special attention to the relationship between physical form and human activity or experience.

Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, Daniels Spectrum provides professional performance, rehearsal, learning and social enterprise space for community-based arts and cultural groups. “It is an honour to be recognized with a Great Places Award,” says Donald Schmitt, principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects. “The design objective was to facilitate interaction among the tenants, students and the public and to make the centre a vibrant and welcoming crossroads for the community.” Operated by the non-profit Artscape, the colourful 60,000-square-foot LEED Silver certified facility is highly versatile and tenant groups worked with the architects to design their studios with their audiences in mind.

Seema Jethalal, managing director of Daniels Spectrum, says, “Artscape is extremely pleased to be acknowledged with the Great Places Award. Every day, we see the realization of a dream to build a place where people experience arts, culture and creativity, and we’re thrilled that others are looking to Artscape and Daniels Spectrum as a model for cities and environments of the future.”

Tenants include Native Earth Performing Arts, Regent Park School of Music and COBA Collective of Black Artists. ArtHeart Community Art Centre, Pathways to Education, the Regent Park Film Festival and the Centre for Social Innovation round-out the seven resident groups.

Daniels Spectrum has previously been honoured with a Civic Trust Award in 2015, Good Design is Good Business Award from Architectural Record Magazine in 2014, and Best New Venue in Canada for Meetings and Events from the BizBash Event Style Awards in 2013. It is named for The Daniels Corporation, the developer in partnership with Toronto Community Housing Corporation revitalizing the 69-acre postwar public housing community with 5,115 rent-geared-to-income and market rate residential units and amenities.


Diamond Schmitt Architects (www.dsai.ca) is a leading full-service architectural firm based in Toronto with an international reputation for design excellence and sustainable design solutions. An extensive portfolio includes performing arts centers, academic buildings, libraries, sports facilities, master plans, residential and commercial buildings. Equally extensive is work completed for the healthcare sector, with life science facilities, research laboratories and hospitals.