Search for "Architecture"

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Canadian Centre for Architecture

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is both a museum of architecture and a research institute. It is located in Shaughnessy Village, a neighbourhood in downtown Montreal. Internationally renowned, the CCA is the primary Canadian institute devoted to the study of architecture. It was founded in 1979 by architect Phyllis Lambert to raise public awareness of the importance of architecture in society and to encourage innovation and university research regarding architecture.

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Clifford Wiens

Clifford Donald Wiens, architect, designer, teacher (born 27 April 1926 in Glenn Kerr, SK; died 25 January 2020 in Vancouver, BC). Clifford Wiens’s distinguished body of work reflects both corporate modern architecture and a broader expressionist movement. Wiens was known for his superb and inventive architectural and structural details, as well as for his simple but strong forms. His distinctive approach to structure and form was shaped by his relationship with the abstract painters in the Regina Five and his background in industrial design. Wiens won two Massey Awards and the Prix du XXe siècle from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. Following his death in 2020, the Globe and Mail called him Saskatchewan’s “leading architect of the postwar era.”

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Ottawa Greenlights Controversial Chateau Laurier Renovations

Ottawa City Council approved the construction of a controversial addition to the storied Chateau Laurier, which had been fiercely contested by a large swath of the public. Detractors compared the seven-storey, 147-room extension, which blocks the view of the Chateau from the adjacent Majors Hill Park, to a radiator and a shipping container. But after submitting five designs in three years, the hotel’s private ownership was eager to move forward. Opponents of the addition planned to go to court to prevent construction, which was slated to begin at the end of 2019.

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Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry

Gaspard-Joseph Chaussegros de Léry, military engineer (born 3 October 1682 in Toulon, France; died 23 March 1756 in Quebec City, QC). Chaussegros de Léry contributed to the development of New France by fortifying the colony’s towns, namely Quebec and Montreal. His relief maps of Quebec and Montreal are still regarded as accurate models of these cities. Some consider Chaussegros de Léry the father of the first truly Canadian architecture. (See also Architectural History: The French Colonial Regime.)

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Moshe Safdie

Moshe Safdie, CC, architect, professor, urban planner, educator, theorist, author (born 14 July 1938 in Haifa, Palestine [now Israel]). A Companion of the Order of Canada, Moshe Safdie’s architectural designs include residential housing, galleries, fine arts complexes, parks, airports, museums, colleges, libraries, government buildings, memorials, masterplans and multi-use complexes. He is perhaps best known in Canada for the Habitat 67 housing complex in Montreal, the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and Vancouver Library Square. Safdie’s influence is wide reaching, covering nearly 100 projects on five continents. His Boston-based office has extended its branches to Jerusalem, Toronto, Singapore and Shanghai.

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Étienne Gaboury

Étienne-Joseph Gaboury, CM, OM, architect (born 24 April 1930 in Bruxelles, MB; died 14 October 2022 in Winnipeg). Gaboury's strong links to the prairie landscape and the Franco-Manitoban community of his youth are reflected in his architecture. His major projects include the Precious Blood Church, the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg and Saint Boniface Cathedral.

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Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, CC, OBC, landscape architect (born 20 June 1921 in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany; died 22 May 2021 in Vancouver, BC). Cornelia Oberlander moved to Vancouver, British Columbia in 1953, where she founded her own architectural firm. During her career, Oberlander established herself as a landscape architect and became recognized for her social and environmental approach to architectural design. (See also Landscape Architecture.) Oberlander was the recipient of numerous awards and honours throughout her career and life.

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Historic Sites in Canada

Historic sites are places that are recognized for their importance in Canadian history. Provincial or territorial historic sites are designated by provincial and territorial governments, while national historic sites are designated by the federal government. At the federal level, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada also designates people and events of national significance, in addition to sites. These people and events are often commemorated by a plaque at a physical place. Municipalities also often have the authority to designate historic sites of local significance, as do Indigenous organizations under self-government agreements. Finally, historic sites may be designated at more than one level (e.g., provincial and national). (See also National Historic Sites in Canada; UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Canada).

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Gustavo Uriel da Roza

Gustavo Uriel da Roza II, OC, architect (born 24 February 1933 in Hong Kong; died 24 April 2022 in Surrey, BC). Da Roza completed his architectural training in Hong Kong and moved to Winnipeg, MB in 1960. (See also Architecture.) He taught at the University of Manitoba and became well-recognized for his architectural work, including the design of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Da Roza was of Chinese and Portuguese descent and was active among Winnipeg’s Portuguese community (see Portuguese Canadians).

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Architectural History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada

Before the arrival of Europeans, Indigenous peoples in Canada had their own building traditions. Dwellings and structures differed vastly from nation to nation, depending on their purpose and function. Building traditions also reflected important aspects of Indigenous peoples’ respective cultures, societies, geographies, environments and spiritual beliefs. This article provides an overview of the main types of dwellings and structures used by Indigenous peoples in the Arctic, Subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, Plains and Eastern Woodlands.

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Jack Diamond

Abel Joseph (Jack) Diamond, OC, OOnt, architect (born 8 November 1932 in Piet Retief, South Africa; died 30 October 2022). An Officer of the Order of Canada and multiple winner of the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, Jack Diamond was one of the most significant and successful Canadian architects of his generation (see Architecture). He was made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1980 and in 1994 was made an honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects.

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Peter Cardew

Peter Cardew, architect (born 8 June 1939 in Guildford, England; died 26 October 2020 in Vancouver, BC). Cardew immigrated to Canada in 1966 and established his own architectural firm in Vancouver in 1980. Cardew’s architectural projects received critical acclaim and he was the recipient of numerous awards during his career, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal in 2012. (See also Architecture.)

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Alexander Cowper Hutchison

Alexander Cowper Hutchison, architect (born 2 April 1838 in Montreal, QC; died  1 January 1922 in Montreal). Hutchison was one of Montreal's most prolific and prestigious architects (see Architecture). He epitomized the generation of  self-taught men who shaped the city during the second half of the 19th century. He is recognized for several architectural achievements including the Redpath Museum and Montreal’s City Hall, which he designed with architect Henri-Maurice Perrault.

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Vancouver Feature: Birks Building Demolished

The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated.


The sparkling white terra cotta tiles of the Birks building lit the southeast corner of Granville and Georgia from 1913. Inside, sparkling jewelry, silver and fine china attracted the most demanding, and wealthy, clientele. It was a shock to the city when the Birks family decided to tear the impressive grand dame down in 1975.

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Vancouver Feature: Birks Clock Moves Downtown

The following article is a feature from our Vancouver Feature series. Past features are not updated.


“Meet me at the Birks clock” was the standard Vancouver rendezvous plan in the pre-cell phone era of 1913 to 1974. But the Birks clock itself has been a wandering timepiece. It started at Granville and Hastings, moved to Granville and Georgia, and returned to its original intersection — but across the street!

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Barton Myers

Barton Myers, RCA, FRAIC, architect (born 6 November 1934 in Norfolk, Virginia). Barton Myers is considered one of Toronto’s most influential architects, even though he hasn’t worked in Canada for more than 30 years. His architecture is notable for its activist stance on city design. He is passionate about the health of cities and the need to balance preservation and renewal. Much of his early seminal work in Canada is focused on mixed-use prototypes, infill housing and the sensitive combination of old and new to create richly layered urban environments. His innovative approach breathed new life into neighbourhoods slated for the wrecking ball and left a lasting mark on the city of Toronto.

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Bronfman Family

Descendants of Russian immigrant tobacco farmer Yechiel (Ekiel) Bronfman and his wife, Mindel, members of the Bronfman family have owned and controlled huge financial empires built from the profits of the family liquor business (see Seagram). The best-known members of the family are Samuel Bronfman, founder of Seagram and president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1939–62), and his descendants. Samuel’s wife, Saidye Rosner Bronfman, was an influential philanthropist who supported the arts in Canada and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for organizing work on the home front during the Second World War. Sons Edgar and Charles Bronfman ran Seagram for decades, while grandson Edgar Miles Bronfman Jr. oversaw the sale of Seagram to Vivendi. Charles was also co-founder of the Historica Foundation of Canada and Heritage Minutes, as well as chairman and principal owner of the Montreal Expos. His sister Phyllis Lambert is a well-known architect who founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Their cousins, Edward and Peter Bronfman (sons of Allan Bronfman), developed a financial empire in their own right. The family has given generously to several charitable organizations and been involved in the Canadian Jewish Congress and World Jewish Congress.