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October 01, 2015

“One must have artistic talent, practical experience, professional knowledge, good business and executive ability, resourcefulness, and a determination to persevere. With these assets there is no reason why a woman should not be as successful as a man.”
-Esther Marjorie Hill, Toronto Star, June 15, 1920
Esther Marjorie Hill (1895-1985)
“One must have artistic talent, practical experience, professional knowledge, good business and executive ability, resourcefulness, and...
Image Credit: University of Toronto Archives, UTA-B1986-0106/005P
Architectural Credit: N/A

September 22, 2015

Alex Josephson, Co-Founder of PARTISANS Architects, on Celebrating...

September 07, 2015

Automotive Building
Completed in 1929 to showcase the latest cars and trucks, the Automotive Building was the result of a design competition that saw 30...
Image Credit: n/a
Architectural Credit: Douglas Edwin Kertland

September 06, 2015

Queen Elizabeth Building
Image Credit: CNE Archive
Architectural Credit: Page + Steele Inc., with Peter Dickinson as lead designer
Completed in 1956 as the Women’s Building and renamed in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the Queen Elizabeth Building was designed by...
Horticulture Building
Image Credit: Horticulture Building Postcard, 1927
Architectural Credit: George Wallace Gouinlock
One of the 12 buildings designed by Toronto architect George Wallace Gouinlock for Exhibition Place, the Horticulture Building was completed in...

September 05, 2015

Dufferin Gate
Image Credit: Toronto Modern,
Architectural Credit: Philip R. Brook
The original main entrance to the exhibition grounds, this historic gateway has been rebuilt three times (1895, 1910, and 1959). The original...
Press Building
Image Credit: Illustration of the Press Building (formerly Administration Building) as part of the 1928 CNE programme. CNE Heritage
Architectural Credit: George Wallace Gouinlock
While the Scadding Cabin might be the oldest building on the exhibition grounds (dating back to 1794 and relocated to Exhibition Place in 1879),...

September 04, 2015

Enercare Centre (National Trade Centre)
One of the newest additions to Exhibition Place is the Enercare Centre. Completed in 1997 and designed in joint venture by Zeidler...
Image Credit: Zeidler Partnership Architects
Architectural Credit: Joint Venture by Zeidler Partnership Architects and Dunlop Farrow Inc.
-Zeidler Partnership Architects

September 03, 2015

George Wallace Gouinlock (1861-1932)
Image Credit: OAA
Architectural Credit: n/a
In 1906 George Wallace Gouinlock was appointed as the official architect of the Industrial Exhibition of Toronto (which in 1912 would be renamed...

September 02, 2015

Horse Palace - Detail
Image Credit: n/a
Architectural Credit: John James Woolnough
Detail of one of the many low relief that decorate the Horse Palace (1931) designed by City of Toronto Architect John James...
Horse Palace
Image Credit: CNE Archives
Architectural Credit: John James Woolnough
Built to support the equestrian events of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in 1931, the Horse Palace is considered one of the finest examples...

September 01, 2015

MWW – Minden Wild Water Preserve
Set among the lush forests of the Kawarthas, near the township of Minden, Ontario, the Minden Wild Water Preserve is an engineered slalom course...
Image Credit: Sketch of Athlete Entry by Alexis Schneider
Architectural Credit: Toronto 2015 Organizing Committee
-Alexis Schneider, Overlay Site Manager TO2015
The Bandshell
The Art-Deco CNE Bandshell was built in 1936, replacing the bandstand that had occupied this area of Exhibition Place since 1906. Modeled after...
Image Credit: Bandshell 1936, via
Architectural Credit: Craig and Madill Architects

August 31, 2015

The Princes’ Gates
Image Credit: The Princes' Gates, ca. 1927, City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 5795.
Architectural Credit: Chapman and Oxley
The eastern entrance to the Canadian National Exhibition grounds was built in 1927 to commemorate 60 years of Canadian Confederation...

August 27, 2015

The Garden of Unearthly Delights
In mid-August, the Northern Ontario Society of Architects (NOSA) joined the festivities of Up Fest in Sudbury, Ontario. The three day long...
Image Credit: Northern Ontario Society of Architects
Architectural Credit: Northern Ontario Society of Architects
-Northern Ontario Society of Architects
Q&A: Liza Stiff, Senior Manager Overlay Design and Delivery
When we started our special series “The Architects behind the Games” our goal was to showcase the often unnoticed behind the scenes...
Image Credit: courtesy of Liza Stiff
Architectural Credit: N/A
-Liza Stiff

August 21, 2015

Athletes Village – Block by Block
In our last post on the Athletes Village, or Canary District as it is now known, we talked about how the DundeeKilmer Integrated Design...
Image Credit: DundeeKilmer Integrated Design Team consisting of architectsAlliance, KPMB Architects, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Daoust Lestage inc.
Architectural Credit: DundeeKilmer Integrated Design Team consisting of architectsAlliance, KPMB Architects, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Daoust Lestage inc.

August 20, 2015

Athletes Village
After 37 days of incredible athletic and cultural performances, the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games have come to an end. The banners that...
Image Credit: DundeeKilmer integrated design team consisting of architectsAliance, KPMB Architects, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Daoust Lestage inc.
Architectural Credit: DundeeKilmer integrated design team consisting of architectsAliance, KPMB Architects, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and Daoust Lestage inc.

August 14, 2015

MIS – Mississauga Sports Centre
Not every venue for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games was a new build. Many competitions were held across the region in existing...
Image Credit: Richard Johnson Photography
Architectural Credit: Parkin Architects in Joint Venture with Zawadzki Armin Stevens Architects
-Parkin Architects
ABL – Abilities Centre
To be host to a world class, high performance competition like the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/ Parapan Am Games, a venue must meet strict requirements...
Image Credit: Toni Hafkenscheid
Architectural Credit: B+H Architects

August 12, 2015

"The architects and engineers who worked on the Abilities Centre did so much research and spoke to so many different people ... they wanted to know the needs of the community and then develop it based on that."
-Jessica Vreugdenhil, manager of community relations and marketing at the Abilities Centre
"These venues, the Athletes' Village and perhaps most importantly, the awareness built through the Games will ensure a lasting legacy of inclusion for all."
-Susan Ruptash, Managing Principal at Quadrangle Architects

August 10, 2015

United We Play: How Architects Helped Make the Games Accessible to All
"We are in the midst of an exciting time for accessibility in Ontario, and we are thrilled that we can be a part of the societal shift that...
Image Credit: Bob Gundu
Architectural Credit: NORR Architects and Engineers (Project Architect)
-Quadrangle Architects

August 07, 2015

Art of Sport: Fitness Follies
A key ambition of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is extending the celebration of sports far beyond the field of play and into the...
Image Credit: RAW Design
Architectural Credit: RAW Design
-RAW Design

July 29, 2015

“As a Toronto-based design firm, we welcome opportunities to give back to the city we love with our creativity.”
-Edmund Li, Lead Designer and Associate at Reich+Petch
Pan Am Path: A City-Wide Legacy Project
When discussing the legacy of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games, it is the 10 newly built competition venues and 15 renovated...
Image Credit: Reich+Petch
Architectural Credit: Reich+Petch

July 27, 2015

OCZ – Ontario’s Celebration Zone
While the competition venues for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games might receive the most attention, there are also numerous...
Image Credit: courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects
Architectural Credit: Hariri Pontarini Architects
-Hariri Pontarini Architects

July 24, 2015

Temporality plays a leading role in the design of the Toronto 2015 Pan Am / Parapan Am Games. While international multi-sport events are...
Image Credit: Denegri Bessai Studio
Architectural Credit: Denegri Bessai Studio
-Denegri Bessai Studio

July 22, 2015

7 venues and 1 firm: B+H and Toronto 2015
Architecture is a consultative process often involving multiple stakeholders with competing requirements and desires. Architects play a key role...
Image Credit: Infrastructure Ontario
Architectural Credit: B+H Architects
-B+H Architects

July 21, 2015

MIV – Cisco Milton Pan Am / Parapan Am Velodrome
A key challenge shared among many Pan Am venues – indeed among many large scale facilities built for multisport games - is ensuring a...
Image Credit: City of Milton
Architectural Credit: Cannon Design (Architect of Record), FaulknerBrowns (Concept Design Architect), B+H Architects (Master Planning and PDC Consultant)

July 17, 2015

An Uplifting "Diving" Experience - Designing the PAC Dive Tower
By: Kris Vassilev, OAAAs part of NORR's team I had the opportunity and the privilege to develop the final design of the Dive Tower at the Pan...
Image Credit: Kris Vassilev
Architectural Credit: NORR Limited Architects and Engineers (Project Architect)
-Kris Vassilev, OAA

July 15, 2015

Designing PAC - NORR Architects and Engineers
Hosting a wide diversity of events, from sitting volleyball to modern pentathlon, the CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House...
Image Credit: NORR Architects and Engineers
Architectural Credit: NORR Architects and Engineers (Project Architect)
-NORR Architects and Engineers
PAC – CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Aquatics Centre & Field House
Located east of downtown Toronto at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus, the CIBC Pan Am/ Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field...
Image Credit: Bob Gundu
Architectural Credit: NORR Limited Architects and Engineers (Project Architect)

July 14, 2015

Image Credit: Shi Gill
Architectural Credit: NORR Limited Architects Engineers Planners

July 13, 2015

CEB - Centennial Park Pan Am BMX Centre
Located in Etobicoke, on the western end of the City of Toronto, the 2.3 hectare Centennial Park Pan Am BMX Centre is home to the BMX...
Image Credit: Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects
Architectural Credit: Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects (KMA Inc.) in association with Elite Trax Inc.
-Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects
The Architect behind PAD: Rod Robbie (1928-2012)
As one of Rod Robbie’s most celebrated designs – the Pan American Ceremonies Venue/ Rogers Centre / Skydome – plays host to...
Image Credit: CBC
Architectural Credit: n/a

July 11, 2015

The Making of SkyDome / PAD (1988) - a short film exploring the design and construction of PAD and the people...
PAD – Pan Am Ceremonies Venue (Rogers Centre/Skydome)
““The SkyDome, as it looks, as it feels is on the way to fulfilling architect Rod Robbie’s hopes of designing ‘a pleasure palace for...
Image Credit: Wikipedia,
Architectural Credit: Rod Robbie

July 09, 2015

Goldring Centre for High Performance Sport, Toronto, Ontario, 2014
Image Credit: Tom Arban Photography
Architectural Credit: Patkau Architects & MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects
While not a Pan Am competition site for Toronto 2015, this OAA Design Excellence Award 2015 winner will serve as a practice venue for men’s...

July 08, 2015

David S. Ingalls Skating Rink, New Haven, USA, 1958
Image Credit: Eero Saarinen, Library of Congress;
Architectural Credit: Eero Saarinen
Built in 1958 and lovingly known as the Yale whale, the David S. Ingalls Skating Rink at Yale University was designed by renowned...

July 07, 2015

Olympic Oval, Richmond, British Columbia, 2010
Image Credit: Nic Lehoux, Derek Lepper, via Archdaily
Architectural Credit: Cannon Design
Built as an indoor Olympic long-track speed-skating venue for the Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in 2010, but now repurposed as...
Hiram Bithorn Stadium, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1962
Image Credit: Hiram Bithorn: Visión, ícono y estadio
Architectural Credit: Orval E. Sifontes and Alexander Papesh
Recognized for its mid-20th century design, and in particular its accordion-like roof, the Hiram Bithorn Municipal Stadium, is the largest...

July 06, 2015

Maracanã (Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1950
Image Credit:
Architectural Credit: Michael Feldman, Waldir Ramos, Raphael Galvão, Oscar Valdetaro, Orlando Azevedo, Pedro Paulo Bernardes Bastos, and Antônio Dias Carneiro.
Known as the Temple of Soccer, the Maracanã has been host of numerous sporting events including the 1950 World Cup,1989 American Cup, 2007...

July 05, 2015

Coliseums, Unidad Deportiva Atanasio Girardot, Medellín, Colombia, 2010
Image Credit: Iwan Baan
Architectural Credit: Giancarlo Mazzanti + Felipe Mesa (Plan:b)
Host of the 2010 South American Games, the coliseums brings together four independent sports buildings (basketball, gymnastics, combat,...

July 04, 2015

Soldier Field, Chicago, USA, 1924
Image Credit: 1937
Architectural Credit: Holabird & Roche
Designed in 1919 and opened in 1924, this historic Neoclassical stadium hosted the 3rd Pan American Games in 1959. Part of the larger North...
Poliedro, Caracas, Venezuela, 1974
Image Credit: El Universal, 1976
Architectural Credit: Jimmy Alcock, in collaboration with Hector Hermidas and Roberto Andrade
Once the world's largest geodesic dome, measuring 145m in diameter and rising 38 m above the playing surface, the Poliedro of Caracas was designed...

July 03, 2015

Astrodome, Houston, USA, 1964
Image Credit: Historic American Engineering Record
Architectural Credit: Hermon Lloyd & W.B. Morgan, and Wilson, Morris, Crain and Anderson
Originally called the Harris County Domed Stadium, the Astrodome was completed in 1964. Conceived as the home of the Houston Colts and...
Olympic University Stadium, Mexico City, 1952
Image Credit: González, Lourdes. "El Estadio Olímpico Universitario del Pedregal. Permanencia y vigencia", Revista Arquitectura vol. 21, UNAM, 201, pp. 34
Architectural Credit: Augusto Pérez Palacios in collaboration with Raúl Salinas Moro and Jorge Bravo Jiménez
Conceptual sketch for the Olympic University Stadium in Mexico City. Completed in 1952, the stadium hosted the 1955 Pan American Games and the...

June 29, 2015

The details are the very source of expression in architecture. But we are caught in a vice between art and the bottom line.
-Arthur Erickson

June 23, 2015

The film explores the way Parkour and Freerunning is changing the perception of urban space and how the space is changing the traceurs...

June 10, 2015

People can inhabit anything. And they can be miserable in anything and ecstatic in anything. More and more I think that architecture has nothing to do with it.
-Rem Koolhaas

April 03, 2015

Landmark Award Visit
After a busy set of meetings in Vancouver as part of CExAC, I had the honor of being part of the press conference to announce this year's...
Image Credit: Toon Dreessen
Architectural Credit: William White

March 24, 2015

Washington Mall
Image Credit: T. Dreessen
Architectural Credit: Various
In my busy schedule, we attempted to take a vacation for March Break and spent a few days in Washington DC. Not that I am advocating for...

March 21, 2015

Visit to Calgary
Image Credit: T Dreesseen
Architectural Credit: Foster + Partners; Zeidler Partnership
As president, had the opportunity to visit Calgary and meet with AAA on their on-going discussions on insurance within the profession. Managed...

March 17, 2015

Dreessen's Self Promotion Advertisement
The announcement of the new president of the OAA that appeared in the Globe and Mail on Wednesday March 11 2015 was a flagrant abuse of the...
Image Credit: n/a
Architectural Credit: n/a

March 07, 2015

Presidents Blog
Have now been OAA President for a little over a month and what a month it has been. It is astonishing how much work is involved. It is an...
Image Credit: no photo
Architectural Credit: no credit

June 10, 2014

Here's why we are not selling the OAA Headquarters Building
We have been asked by some of our members why the OAA is not moving from its building at 111 Moatfield to downtown Toronto? While the majority of...
Image Credit: unknown
Architectural Credit: n/a

May 20, 2014

Windowless Rooms
Recently I became a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects group on Linkedin. I wrote the following: IN TORONTO THE...
Image Credit: NA
Architectural Credit: NA
-Astra Burka, OAA

May 17, 2014

Re: A digital prescription for the hospital of the future, May 11 Humber River Hospital will not be “the hospital of the future,” for...
Image Credit: unknown
Architectural Credit: HDR Architecture Associates Inc
-Toronto Star Tue May 13 2014

May 13, 2014

OAA HQ: Walking the Talk PowerPoint Presentation
PowerPoint on the OAA HQ...
Image Credit: N/A
Architectural Credit: N/A

May 08, 2014

Past OAA Council member running in Ontario election
Past OAA Council member Rob Newman announces he is running for a seat in upcoming Provincial election. Rob is running in the campaign to be the...
Image Credit: N/A
Architectural Credit: N/A

May 02, 2014

OAA HQ Targeting Zero Carbon Emissions! Share your voice: comments welcome
The OAA is moving forward with a plan to use the OAA Headquarters as an inspirational model for achieving the goals of the 2030 Challenge through...
Image Credit: n/a
Architectural Credit: Ruth Cawker
-OAA Building Committee