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President's Local Societies Tour

From August 18 to October 28, OAA President, Toon Dreessen and Executive Director, Kristi Doyle visited the OAA local Societies to hear directly from members as well as update them on OAA initiatives.

At the inaugural meeting in Windsor (August 18) Dreessen emphasized that architects can lead the charge in the provincial government’s drive for community hubs. Several hubs are already in operation across the province, including Bathurst-Finch in Toronto and the London Family Centre Service System, while others are currently in the process of opening including one in Peterborough. The OAA has identified Windsor as a good location for community hubs because of the opportunity the city presents.

“Architects are creative problem solvers,” said Dreessen. “By engaging with architects to find creative solutions to these problems and design problems, you create opportunities for building use.”


Local Society visit with the Northwestern Ontario Society of Architects in Thunder Bay.

The community-focused tour continued with visits to the Northwestern Ontario Society of Architects in Thunder Bay (August 20) and then the tour began its fall dates – to Kingston to visit the St. Lawrence Valley Society of Architects (September 10) followed by the Toronto Society of Architects meeting (September 15).



Members of the Toronto Society of Architects ask OAA President about current initiatives.

In Peterborough (September 22) the hot topic was the competition for the design of the new Canadian Canoe Museum at Peterborough Lift Lock. Ninety firms from all over the world had been interested in the job before the short-list of five finalists was released.



In Peterborough OAA President and Executive Director met with two Societies, Northumberland Durham & Trent 

“Architecture competitions such as this one are fairly rare in Canada,” Dreessen said.  “Expect to see five vastly different proposals.  It's through that diversity that you'll see the talents of architects."

The visits continued the next day (September 23) in Sault Ste. Marie with the Algoma Society of Architects. Dreessen talked to the media about how architects can play a big part in building rehabilitation projects and downtown revitalization, citing the examples of Sudbury and Hamilton where preserving existing structures has been successful.

The tour resumed on October 15 when Dreessen met with the Hamilton & Burlington Society-- discussion included the economic impact of slow planning - research report.

On October 20, the tour continued in the tri-cities with the Grand Valley Society of Architects. The visit was complimented with the launch of GVSA's oral history publication 'Architects Talk'.


A large crowd of students, intern architects, and architects attended the visit with the Grand Valley Society of Architects. 

Both the London and Niagara visits took place on October 22 and then the tour continued north with the Northern Ontario Society of Architects in Sudbury and Northwestern Ontario Society of Architects in North Bay.

The final President visit was in Ottawa with the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects, October 28.

Not surprising the common thread of discussion during the society visits was focused on issues of procurement and contract language, specifically unreasonable requirements and risk transfer.  A full report on the fall tour is being drafted and will be presented to Council in December as well as available online.

Thank you to all of the members who attended these meetings and who provided feedback to the President and Executive Director. Member participation is valued by Council, it provides insight into the issues and concerns of architects across the province as well as community initiatives and opportunities.


2015 Calendar:

Date Local Society and Location
Aug..19  Windsor Region, Windsor
Aug..20 Northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay
Sept. 10 St. Lawrence Valley, Kingston
Sept. 15 Toronto
Sept. 22 Northumberland Durham & Trent, Peterborough
Sept. 23  Algoma, Sault Ste Marie
Oct. 15 Hamilton & Burlington, Hamilton
Oct. 20 Grand Valley, Cambridge
Oct. 22 London
Oct. 22 Niagara
Oct. 27 Northern Ontario, Sudbury
Oct. 27 North Bay
Oct. 28 Ottawa