DX exhibit features award winning projects

MacNab Transit Terminal in Hamilton was awarded a Silver in the 2011 Design Exchange awards in the category of Urban Design.  DTAH shares the award with lead consultant MRC, and team members MMM Group, Trace Engineering and Entro.

Also in November 2011, MacNab Transit Terminal received an Award of Merit in the category of Healthy Communities, in the Hamilton Urban Design Awards.

The 2011 Design Exchange Award winners exhibit is on display at the DX from November 24, 2011 to February 26, 2012, and features models, drawings and images from all award categories. The DX is located at 234 Bay Street, Toronto, south of King, north of Wellington.

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DTAH Sponsors Toronto Society of Architects Year-End Bash

The Toronto Society of Architects held their annual Year-End Bash on November 29 in a celebration of architecture and design in our city. Each year a “great space in Toronto” is recognized. The event was held at the Baille Court in the Art Gallery of Ontario;  also featured was the Weston Family Learning Centre.

DTAH is a strong supporter of our colleagues at the TSA and was one of this years event sponsors.

Movember: Well Grown, Mo Bros

Once again, the DTAH male contingency were enthusiastic participants in Movember, an international campaign to raise funds to support men’s health, specifically prostate cancer.

With great fundraising efforts made by all,  DTAH team moustaches elicited donations totaling $1185 - well grown, mo bros!

City of Toronto setting new standards for tree planting in hard boulevards

The City of Toronto is committed to planting trees on city streets to improve pedestrian spaces, for environmental benefits, and to make the city more beautiful. DTAH, as prime consultant, is currently providing professional services for Tree Planting Solutions in Hard Boulevard Surface, together with team members ARUP, Urban Trees and Soils, and Urban Forest Innovations.

The purpose of this project is to refine, enhance and develop creative solutions that will establish best practices and technical requirements to enable sustained, healthy and mature tree growth in hard boulevard surfaces within the public right-of-way.

The project will develop an implementation manual to address issues such as optimal planting sites, tree height, longevity, preferred species, required soil volumes, coordination with below and above grade utilities, and associated maintenance requirements. The engineering standard drawings and accompanying best practices/implementation manual will be taken as a new City of Toronto Standard.

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Joe Lobko speaks at growTO session

The third session of Live Green Toronto's growTO: Urban Agriculture Speaker Series was held the first week of November at the Ryerson University Architecture Building. The series features both local and international urban agriculture specialists and is intended to initiate discussion about the development of Toronto’s urban agriculture scene.

DTAH Principal Joe Lobko was a speaker in Session 3, “Where can we grow? Planning and Designing for a Carrot City.” The session focused specifically on the need for innovative policies, such as land trusts and novel zoning, for maximizing growing space in dense cities such as Toronto. Also discussed were the opportunities afforded by alternative spaces such as rooftops, grounds adjacent to public institutions and brownfields.

The session was followed by the launch of “Carrot City: Creating Places for Urban Agriculture,” a publication highlighting over forty current designs that incorporate urban agriculture and food production. The book features two of DTAH's projects that integrate urban agriculture and health-conscious programming, Artscape Wychwood Barns and Evergreen Brick Works.

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Joe Lobko presents “Brownfields Redux” at ICOMOS conference in Paris

On the subject of “Heritage, Driver of Development”, Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works and Artscape Wychwood Barns were selected for presentation at the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) General Assembly and Scientific Symposium in Paris (France) November 28 – December 1, 2011.

The abstract of the accompanying paper by DTAH partner Joe Lobko is below, and available through ICOMOS online.

Abstract.  Cities around the world contain abandoned industrial brown-field sites that once played a critical role in the development of their urban areas, but which now lie dormant and inactive. ‘Toronto Brown-field Redux’ is the story about the adaptive reuse of two such sites within the largest city in Canada; one an abandoned streetcar storage and repair facility located in the midst of a downtown neighbourhood, and the other an abandoned brick-making plant located in one of the many river valleys that help define the physical character of the city. In both cases, a unique heritage building formation, long abandoned, has been revitalized and transformed into a vibrant, mixed-use community hub, with sustainability as a major design theme. In both cases, the re-development of these unique, publically owned sites was led by not-for-profit agencies, rather than government, and depended upon extensive community engagement and partnerships for capital funding, programming and ongoing stewardship. Both projects exemplify the overall symposium theme, “Heritage – Driver of Development.”

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2011 Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Award Finalist: Artscape Wychwood Barns

The Zerofootprint Re-Skinning Awards showcase newly evolving re-skinning design technologies and present new ways of thinking about environmental sustainability. The purpose of the competition is to jump-start the discussion around how we might retrofit entire cities in order to massively reduce our collective environmental footprint.

Winners, announced at GreenBuild 2011, were chosen by a jury of experts: Canadian architect John Patkau; Edward Mazria, Architecture 2030 Challenge founder; Thomas Auer, energy efficient building design expert; Michael Ra, Front Inc. founding partner; Michelle Addington, Yale Architecture professor; and Dana Cuff, UCLA Architecture professor and Founding Director of sustainable urban design think tank CityLAB.

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Tours at GreenBuild international conference showcase DTAH projects

October 4 to 7 GreenBuild 2011 will be in Toronto – the first time the international sustainable buildings conference has been held outside of the United States.  Two DTAH projects, Evergreen Brick Works, and Artscape Wychwood Barns, will be showcased on a full day tour lead by Joe Lobko on Saturday, October 8. The Distillery District is the third property on the tour, which will be led by Jamie Goad.

The tour “Toronto Revitalization – A New Life Celebrating an Industrial Past” visits three examples of derelict industrial sites that have been successfully transformed into new mixed use communities by celebrating a proud industrial heritage.

Evergreen Brick Works is also the topic of a morning educational session (BL14) on Thursday, October 6 titled: BL14: Evergreen Brick Works: Heritage Industrial Brownfield and LEED Platinum (Candidate) Converted into Environmental Community Centre. Presenters in this session are: Robert Plitt, Evergreen Brick Works; Michael Leckman, Diamond Schmitt Architects; Joe Lobko, du Toit Allsopp Hillier; and Douglas Webber, Halsall Associates Limited.

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Roof Gardening underway at 50 Park Road

Work began in August on a new roof top garden at the DTAH studio building on Park Road. Members of the newly formed Roof Gardening Enthusiasts hauled three 169-gallon galvanized steel tanks up the outside of the building that will be used as planting containers for berries, greens, radishes and herbs.

The idea for the roof garden sprung from conversations amongst staff about trying to create and maintain an urban garden, and how the flat roof on the DTAH office would be a perfect, sunny location for growing.

Although planted late in the summer growing season, the Roof Gardening Enthusiasts harvested baby greens and radishes this week. We hope to have some herbs for picking next week.

The list of items planted in the roof top garden at DTAH includes:

  • Raspberry (shrub)
  • Blueberry (shrub)
  • Haskap berry, edible honeysuckle (shrub)
  • Strawberry (perennial)
  • Currant (shrub)
  • Bloomsdale spinach (seed)
  • Black seeded Simpson lettuce (seed)
  • Tatsoi (seed)
  • Rainbow chard (seed)
  • Bouquet dill (seed)
  • Oriental salad mix (seed)
  • Radish (seed)
  • Kale (seed)
  • Basil, mint, rosemary (plant)

Bon appétit!

John Hillier panelist at Canadian Brownfields 2011 conference

John Hillier is a conference panelists for “Repurposing Brownfields - Eco Parks and Vibrant Public Spaces”. This workshop brings together landscape designers, remedial experts, and parks managers experienced in brownfield redevelopment of eco parks and public spaces to discuss the relationship between landscape revitalization, planning processes, and contaminated sites restoration.

The panel is looking at the mechanics of revitalizing and repurposing blighted neighbourhoods through the intervention of the public realm; demystify the challenges in overcoming site restoration for public parks including the use of risk management in the public domain; discuss the technical challenges of facilitating ecological and biological systems to take root in these new engineered landscapes; and highlight how to work within budget constraints and limited government incentives for upfront capital, operating, and maintenance costs.

Making Great Places: Canadian Brownfields 2011 conference, Oct 3-4 at the Allstream Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto is Canada's national conference and trade show focusing on the redevelopment of under-utilized properties as a catalyst for sustainable, vibrant and liveable communities.

MacNab Transit Terminal improves commuter experience in Hamilton

The new MacNab Transit Terminal, which opened in early 2011 between King and Main Streets in downtown Hamilton, provides an important upgrade to the public transportation network in the City’s core, while at the same time contributing a valuable new public urban space.

The bus terminal building provides a double height waiting area with seating, public washrooms and schedule/route information. The interior features a distinctive wall tiling treatment inspired by the random horizontal layering of the Niagara Escarpment. The partial second floor provides staff amenities and a dispatch/security office overlooking the entire terminal. Linear canopies provide continuous shelter and shade over the passenger platforms, as well as integrated flip-down seats, perch rails and system maps.

Both the terminal building and canopies feature green roofs to reduce the urban heat island effect and enhance views from adjoining tall buildings. Low-energy LED lighting contributes to a safe and attractive outdoor environment while minimizing ongoing maintenance. Universal accessibility is provided throughout the terminal, a key objective for the City.

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East Bayfront Promenade Ready to Open

The water's edge promenade in Toronto's new East Bayfront District is nearing completion and getting ready to open.

The Phase one opening will be set to coincide with Sugar Beach (Claude Cormier and the Planning Partnership) next month. The treed granite promenade will be the first phase of public parks to open in the new district, and will set the standard for future open space projects.

The official date will be August 9th - watch the Waterfront Toronto website for more details!

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DTAH Spring Party at Evergreen Brick Works

S’mores, kids and cocktails seems like an unusual combination for a client appreciation event, but it worked! Guests enjoyed the chance to be outside on a warm spring chatting with colleagues and friends. They cooked marshmallows for their s’mores over an old fashion firepit, and went on site tours through the many industrial spaces that have been converted into intriguing community spaces. Those who rode their bike took the opportunity to get a tune up with the Bike Works staff on-hand.

In the end the evening was enjoyed by all, and...the kids were ALRIGHT! 

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Canadian Institute of Planners name Evergreen Brick Works a Great Public Space in Canada

From more than 6,000 nominations and after four months of voting by people across the country, the winning locations in the first annual Great Places in Canada contest were selected by the Canadian Institute of Planners in May 2011.

The top locations are being honoured not only because of their popularity, but also because they exemplify the highest standards of planning. To be judged a winner by the panel of professional planners, the location had to meet certain criteria including:
• promoting social and economic activities
• having a memorable or unique character
• having design or architectural features that are visually interesting
• meeting different aspects of sustainability
• being accessible by different modes of transportation
• reflecting local culture, history, and landscape

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Urban Land Institute Announce Wychwood Barns as Award for Excellence Finalist

Up to ten projects will be selected as winners of The Americas competition, which is widely recognized as the land use industry’s most prestigious recognition program. Winners will be announced May 20, 2011 in Phoenix during ULI’s Real Estate Summit at the Spring Council Forum.

Each of the finalists, selected from 148 entries throughout North and South America, have succeeded in raising the bar in demonstrating creativity and best practices in land use and property development, said Jury Chair Marty Jones, president, Corcoran Jennison Companies in Boston. “All of the finalists prove once again that, consistent with ULI’s mission, building more than just ‘bricks and mortar’ can be financially successful and also enhance and strengthen the surrounding community.”

Artscape Wychwood Barns reclaims one of Toronto’s oldest surviving car barns, with space for 13 non-profit organizations, 15 artist studios, 26 live/work spaces, and a fully-functional greenhouse. The self-sustaining, 60,000-square-foot facility brings together the arts, urban agriculture, and affordable housing without the use of any ongoing subsidies.

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New bridge structure over the Grand River takes shape

A new bridge over the Grand River is starting to take shape at Fairway Road in southeast Kitchener. DTAH’s design input has included shaping of piers, unique bridge railings, stone approach walls, lighting and landscaping.

Working with McCormick Rankin Corporation, the bridge is scheduled for completion during fall of 2012.

DTAH awarded two new EA's for major bridge projects

DTAH will be undertaking studies of two exciting new bridge projects in Ontario.

Along with Delcan, DTAH will be studying the reconstruction of the existing Burgoyne Bridge in St. Catherines. This project will look for innovative solutions for this landmark bridge over the 12 Mile Creek in the Niagara Region.

For the Rideau Canal Crossing, DTAH is teamed up with McCormick Rankin / MMM to look at design options for a new pedestrian bridge south of the recent Corktown Footbridge in Ottawa (by DTAH and Delcan, completed 2007).

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