As part of the 2021 DesignTO Festival, DTAH Partner and Toronto Society of Architects Chair, Megan Torza, will be speaking as part of the Urban Affairs Forum on “Does Canada need a National Architecture Policy?” The virtual “fireside chat” will include representatives from some of Toronto’s leading city-building organizations, who will share their own perspectives on the process and content of the emerging National Architecture Policy for Canada, responding to the nationally formulated “Rise for Architecture” Vision. Read more about the Rise for Architecture Vision here

Register for the free event here

National Architecture Policies have been implemented around the world and set guidelines and best practices to enhance social, cultural and environmental well-being. These policies can also support politicians, professionals and the public in creating more sustainable and equitable societies. The built environment has an enormous impact on our quality of life and the quality of life of future generations who will inherit the places we have designed. The discussion around whether or not to implement a National Architecture Policy in Canada asks what we want our built environment to say about us, now and in the future, and what values and priorities we want to guide the design of our cities, and whether these values and priorities should be coordinated and consistent across our nation as a whole.

This video also provides additional context and background on the vision and ideas to be discussed. View video on YouTube here

DTAH have been working with The Salvation Army on the revitalization of Florence Booth House, an emergency shelter for unhoused cis and trans women. The shelter provides shelter and basic needs to unhoused women in the City of Toronto, including three meals per day, a bed, clothing as available, personal hygiene products and a weekly nursing clinic. Read more about the work at Florence Booth House here

The new Florence Booth House, designed by DTAH, retains the original 1910 façade along Tecumseh and will include: additional beds to accommodate more residents each night; greater privacy for residents; spacious kitchen, dining and washroom facilities; additional resident program support space, including a multi-purpose room; and, private, secure outdoor space for residents.

Learn more about the project here

Construction is well underway on the new timber Duchesnay Creek Bridge in northern Ontario. The new bridge is being erected over Highway 17B on the Nipissing First Nation–North Bay boundary and is being built by a limited partnership company comprised of majority owner Nipissing First Nation (NFN) and Miller Paving Limited.

The replacement bridge features an innovative modern timber design inspired by the heritage attributes of the original below-deck wood truss structure. The detailed design was led by LEA Consulting with DTAH providing bridge architect services.

The 93-metre-long, 12-metre-wide bridge will consist of three spans utilizing 12 glue-laminated timber girders supported on reinforced concrete piers. Other enhancements include modern open metal railings inspired by the historic wood railings and hybrid concrete/wood approach walls with incised “DUCHESNAY CREEK” identification text in English, French and Ojibway.

A virtual groundbreaking for the new Niagara Falls Exchange in Niagara Falls was held on December 8, 2020 by the City of Niagara Falls. The groundbreaking marks the start of construction on this exciting new development. Watch the groundbreaking video on YouTube here

The new Niagara Falls Exchange will become a vibrant centre of activity in the community by providing shared spaces where artists, musicians, food vendors, and local businesses can come together and create. The entire site is knit together with a design language that prioritizes an accessible public realm and creates quality indoor and outdoor space that is durable, flexible, and sustainable. For more information, see the project page

Related Projects

In 2014, as part of the RavinePortal Exhibition, DTAH published two Hacker’s Guides to the Ravines: one focusing on the Don Valley ravine system, and the other on the Humber Valley.

These guides featured comprehensive maps of each ravine system, layered with relevant information pertaining to access, use, programs, amenities, key features and points of interest. The guides were enhanced by the community - as people shared anecdotes, tips and tricks about the ravines as part of the RavinePortal Exhibition - and this information was incorporated into the maps.

Since the RavinePortal Exhibition closed, and these maps were produced, DTAH has had the great fortune to continue working extensively with the City of Toronto to implement accessibility and safety improvements in the Don Valley, as part of the Lower Don Trail Master Plan Implementation, including widening trails, introducing bridges and new pedestrian and cyclist access points, and incorporating local and Indigenous artworks into the trails. These improvements ensure the Lower Don is safer and more accessible in all seasons.

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues, accessing outdoor space has never been more crucial to our collective mental and physical health. Exploring Toronto’s ravines is a great way to get outdoors and learn more about your City!

In this spirit we’re again making these guides available for download below. We’re always interested to hear peoples’ experiences of the ravines. If you have a tip that should be included on the maps, let us know

2014 Don Valley Ravines Guide

2014 Humber Valley Ravines Guide

PDF Versions of Guides [Opens Google Drive]

Related Projects

As the new Union Station GO Bus Terminal opens this week, we look back at the first terminal and how it has shaped the lives of Toronto’s commuters since it opened in 2003.

The first terminal was designed by DTAH as an interim facility for GO Transit, on a site immediately east of Union Station in downtown Toronto.

It replaced an over-capacity area in front of Union Station on Front Street – staff originally had to move taxis and cars to accommodate buses; in addition to managing GO bus customers in line, staff had to ensure they didn’t interrupt regular pedestrian access. The first terminal was a welcome addition to Toronto and the GTA’s transit infrastructure, providing dedicated space for buses and GO users, as well as offering covered and heated waiting areas, and safe boarding areas. Read more here

The site is now part of the larger, interconnected CIBC Square development. DTAH is currently working with WilkinsonEyre and Adamson Associates in the next phase of evolution to realize the public realm vision for the 141 Bay site. Read more about CIBC Square on the project’s official website here

A virtual public meeting for the Toronto Port Lands Flood Protection project will be held on December 4, 2020, from 2:30 to 4:30PM EST. At the meeting there will be updates on the project, including: updates on the final design for the river valley and parks, and an update on construction progress. Additionally, designs for the roadway and public realm along Lake Shore Boulevard East between Cherry Street and Carlaw Avenue will also be presented. The presentations will be followed by a live Q & A with project team members. Register for the Teams meeting here

DTAH is part of a collaborative team to design and implement the infrastructure, streets, and integrated public realm that will support future city-building initiatives within Toronto’s Port Lands. The project will transform major sections of Cherry and Commissioners Streets and the Don Roadway. Compared to a typical Toronto street, these new streets will dedicate more space for pedestrians, cyclists and transit and provide much more green space. Naturalized spaces will contribute more than just beauty to these streets. Prioritizing green infrastructure such as bioretention planters and green medians will help manage stormwater and improve survivability rates for urban street trees. It will also create better connections for urban wildlife, which affects the health of the entire city.

The Port Lands Flood Protection and Enabling Infrastructure (PLFPEI): Roads and Municipal Infrastructure project will play a major role in providing crucial flood protection, creating the new Villiers Island, and unlocking over 800 acres of development land – setting the foundation for a highly sustainable mixed-use community with access to great parks and open spaces along the reconfigured, re-naturalized mouth of the Don River. Learn more about the project here

Located in a 1960’s era warehouse, the new home for Hepburn Engineering Inc. offered an opportunity to provide a flexible office plan with a continuous and fully accessible perimeter, with ample access to daylight and natural ventilation. Internal workstations are organized in zones around a new sky-lit central meeting and gathering space to be used for socially distanced meetings, connecting people and projects.

Future proofing was a key objective, and even though the design was completed pre-pandemic, the plan incorporates many initiatives that promote and ensure a safe, open, flexible, interactive, and fluid work environment, including a reduced reliance on enclosed offices, an investment in automated and touchless systems and HVAC systems with appropriate filtration and UV treatment.

The project also includes many sustainable initiatives; extensive use of natural daylighting, durable materials, energy efficient lights, daylight occupancy sensors, natural ventilation, enhanced building envelope design and the installation of a cold roof as part of the City of Toronto Eco-Roof Incentive Program, reducing energy costs, urban heat and improving air quality.