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OAA Announces Upcoming Landscape Design Competition

Toronto, ON –The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) is poised to launch a landscape design competition for its headquarters. Among the goals is a furthering of the Association’s Renew + Refresh initiative, which made the Toronto building a model of net-zero design. The winning project of the anonymous competition will be awarded the contract to redesign the landscaping at the OAA property at 111 Moatfield Drive.

As the province’s regulator for the architecture profession, the OAA’s primary mandate is to serve and protect the public interest. Given the substantial societal impact of the construction and operation of the built environment, the Association seeks to take aleadership role in celebrating sensitive, responsible, and innovative design while emphasizing the essential role the architecture profession, and all design professionals, plays in building for resiliency and inclusivity.

This landscape design competition is a key project to action the themes and priorities of the OAA’s five-year Strategic Plan—namely its focus on climate action and equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation. It will explore how buildings and their site contexts can be designed and adapted sustainably, with consideration to diverse users and the Indigenous communities on whose traditional land the building is situated. In addition to showcasing design excellence, competitors will be asked to
create a welcoming arrival experience, enhance the building, recognize the role of sustainability and water use in the health of the environment, and acknowledge the Don River ravine context.

The juried competition, overseen by Ontario architect Joe Lobko, will be open to teams led by a licensed member of the OAA or a Full Member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) able to conduct the work through a Certificate of Practice or landscape architecture firm. All participating teams must include an OALA landscape architect and a civil engineer. Eligible applicants will have their designs reviewed (anonymously) by a panel of esteemed jurors comprising:

  • Susan Speigel (architect with SSA Studio and OAA Vice President)
  • Sheila Boudreau (landscape architect with SpruceLab)
  • Michelle Longlade (Lieutenant Governor-appointed member of the OAA’s
    governing Council);
  • Marc Ryan (landscape architect with Public Work); and
  • Liz Wreford (landscape architect with Public City).

They will be supported by a Technical Review Advisory team, including a diverse range of subject matter experts that will review the submissions and provide summary reports for the jury’s consideration.

Submissions will be anonymously showcased as part of a special public exhibition at the OAA Headquarters, viewable during the annual Doors Open Toronto event at the end of May. The winning design will be awarded a $20,000 prize and be selected to lead the landscape redesign project. Two honourable mentions will also be selected with an award of $5,000 each.

“This competition is a natural extension and continuation of the ethos underpinning the Renew + Refresh project,” says Lara McKendrick, OAA Vice President and Chair of the Building Committee. “We see this competition as an opportunity to think about how we can take steps to heal our relationship with the land and its original caretakers. The key consideration underpinning all of this is what constitutes responsible landscape interventions in a time of climate change and reconciliation.”

The competition officially launches March 20, with final submissions due on Thursday, May 16. Complete competition details, including eligibility criteria and the competition brief, will be made available on the OAA Website in the coming weeks.

Further Information

OAA President Settimo Vilardi, Landscape Design Competition Facilitator Joe Lobko, and other representatives of the OAA may be available for phone or email interviews. Additional information and high-resolution photos are also available.

Media Contact
Erik Missio, Communications Manager
416-449-6898, ext. 241

About the Ontario Association of Architects

The Ontario Association of Architects is a self-regulating organization under the Architects Act, a statute of the Government of Ontario. It is dedicated to promoting and increasing the knowledge, skill, and proficiency of its members, and administeringthe Act, in order that the public interest may be served and protected.

OAA Renew + Refresh Retrofit
The OAA Headquarters Renew + Refresh project is a success story that shows how existing buildings can be adapted to meet climate resilient targets rather than being demolished and replaced. As the regulator of the profession in the province, the OAA wanted to demonstrate first-hand how existing buildings can be successfully adapted to minimize environmental impacts and support a sustainable future. The Association’s headquarters in Toronto boasts numerous updates and upgrades that
showcase the possibilities in net-zero design solutions, while extending and expanding the functionality of the interior spaces. For more information on the OAA’s Renew + Refresh retrofit and other climate-focused initiatives, visit

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