The City of Toronto recently held the 2023 Toronto Urban Design Awards gala, where three DTAH projects were honoured: Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes received an award in the Small Open Spaces category, Tommy Thompson Park Entrance and Pavilion received an award in the Public Buildings in Context category, and the Bloor Street Urban Fire Benches received an award in the Elements Category.

On Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes, the jury commented, "This project was appreciated simply for what it is, and what it is doing for the public realm, but these little details, and some of those thoughtful moments, collectively are what made this project award worthy."

The jury commented that Tommy Thompson Park Entrance and Pavilion is "a beautiful building; scaled appropriately; built from appropriate materials; and detailed with the evolution of the site in mind. Despite its modern stature, expressive rooflines, and generally some contemporary notes, this building feels like something that might have always been here, with materials pulled from just underneath the surface, and beautiful gabion baskets to reinforce them. Simple; refined; elegant."

The jury comment on the Bloor Street Urban Fire Benches: "It is beautiful when an element can do so many things for the public realm. Not only do we need more seating in the city, but we need seating that is more engaging, and promotes better opportunities for social interaction. These benches are designed in such a way that we can gather inwards, or gaze outwards, promoting a variety of social engagement opportunities within the vibrant Bloor Street corridor between Church and University Avenue."

Read the full jury report here.

Related Projects

Our design & leadership team continues to grow!

Having worked with acclaimed firms across Canada, Colin Berman brings over 20 years of experience in design, management and implementation of award-winning public realm projects. Colin has extensive expertise in leading urban design and landscape architectural projects, emphasizing outstanding service to clients.

His extensive design and project leadership experience includes public parks, urban revitalization studies, green infrastructure, environmental assessments, streetscapes and waterfront master plans. With a strong interest in community-focused projects, Colin also brings a wealth of understanding in meaningful collaboration practices with Indigenous communities on numerous place-keeping projects across Ontario.

We're delighted to be one of the five shortlisted teams for the design of a new downtown park at 229 Richmond St W! We've teamed with Paul Raff Studio, Trophic Design and Monumental and are excited to design a park that reflects and celebrates the neighbourhood's cultural scenes and unique history while integrating principles of Indigenous place-keeping and creating a green oasis in this fast growing community.

Learn more about the project here

We’re looking forward to opening our studio at 50 Park Road to the public for Doors Open Toronto, on Saturday, May 27, from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. with last admittance at 4:30 p.m.

We will also be offering free presentations throughout the day, sharing insights from some of our current projects in Toronto as part of the Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) Open Studio program.

11:00 a.m., Yvonne Lam: Transforming Toronto’s Waterfront: What’s next for East Bayfront, Quayside and Queens Quay East

1:00 p.m., Mark Langridge: A Bridge to Somewhere: Two crossings in ravine settings close to Yonge & Bloor

3:00 p.m., Megan Torza: Architecture in Parks: Designing for community use at Tommy Thompson Park, Dufferin Grove and Bluffer’s Beach

Visitors to DTAH’s studio will learn about the evolution of the important modernist building that sits in the Rosedale Valley ravine in the heart of downtown. See the working environment of a leading architecture, landscape architecture and urban design firm and the transformation of the original headquarters of the Ontario Association of Architects. Recognized as an OAA landmark building and listed as a heritage property, the building and site speak directly to DTAH's philosophy which for five decades has worked to respect, preserve, and enhance the public realm, while celebrating the intersection of built and natural form.

DTAH has had the honour of helping to shape many beloved places across the city, through our expertise in urban design, landscape architecture, and architecture. Projects that we have worked on which are also participating in Doors Open include: Artscape Wychwood Barns, Danforth Garage, Cummer Church, Fort York National Historic Site, and Parkdale Arts and Cultural Centre – part of the future Parkdale Hub.

DTAH is honoured and delighted to share that we are the recipients of two (!!) CSLA National Awards of Excellence, for St. Andrew's Playground Park and Brampton Riverwalk Open Space and Urban Design Master Plan.

The revitalized St. Andrew's Playground Park brings a playful landscape and much-needed greenspace to meet the needs of the dense and lively Fashion District. As the site of Toronto's first public playground, the new design honours the history of the site with heritage signage and adds whimsical bright yellow accents throughout, while protecting the landscape's interwoven tree canopy. With recent changes to the adjacent community, including the opening of the adjacent Ace Hotel and the upcoming mixed-use Waterworks Building food hall, residence and YMCA, the reimagined St. Andrew's Playground will now play a vital role as a dynamic community greenspace for generations to come.

The Brampton Riverwalk Open Space and Urban Design Master Plan re-imagines Brampton's relationship with a once-dynamic water-way, by re-introducing Etobicoke Creek into the identity of the downtown. The plan aims to create a vibrant place for people to enjoy and a catalytic resource that weaves through the city's core. The Master Plan highlights opportunities for an integrated landscape and provides a strong framework for the city to imagine new possibilities for its future growth. The result: A renewed physical and social relationship to the Etobicoke Creek through the creation of a series of new trails, look-outs and connections with increased physical and visual access to the water’s edge, as well as connectivity to (and between) adjacent neighbourhoods and the downtown, resulting in a renewed physical and social relationship to the Etobicoke Creek by way of a series of connected public spaces and landscapes.

See the full list of CSLA award recipients here.

April is Landscape Architecture Month and we are proud of the work we do to shape our communities, from master plans to the design and implementation of parks and plazas.

DTAH is excited to continue to build on our extensive experience with the City of Toronto and share that we are the successful proponents for the design and construction of two City of Toronto parks, located at 10 Ordnance Street and 801 Wellington Street West.

The two parcels of land are located just north of Garrison Crossing, an award-winning project in Fort York, which was led by Pedelta and Dufferin Construction with architectural and landscape components by DTAH.

These parks will complement Stanley Park to the north and Garrison Common to the south, creating a continuous corridor of green spaces spanning from Adelaide St. W to Fort York Blvd. and will be part of the active transportation route to Toronto’s waterfront farther south.

We are looking forward to collaborating with the City, the community and stakeholders to transform these spaces into dynamic and welcoming greenspaces for this growing community. Stay tuned for more updates!

DTAH is excited to work with our partners at Praxis Consulting to renew the 11th sequential Wascana Centre Master Plan in Regina, Saskatchewan.

Wascana Centre is located on the traditional lands of Treaty 4 territory, the original lands of the Cree, Ojibwe, Saulteaux, Dakota, Nakota, Lakota, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation.

Wascana Centre is a unique place in Canada and one of the country’s largest park systems. At 930 hectares, it is home to many uses, including the Provincial Legislative Grounds, the University of Regina, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, recreational facilities, museums, galleries, performing arts centres, and a federally protected waterfowl preserve. DTAH has had the privilege to lead all of the master plans since 1982. This effort, the first for the Saskatchewan Provincial Capital Commission, will include a 100-year vision alongside a focused set of recommendations to inform capital works over the next decade.

We are at the beginning of the process where we listen to the community. To date we have held one-on-one interviews with Indigenous Community Leaders, an Indigenous Sharing Circle, a well-attended public open house, and our first online survey. More opportunities to engage will take place throughout the year. The overall project is scheduled for completion by the end of 2023.

Learn more

DTAH is pleased to announce that Partner Emeritus Robert (Bob) Allsopp has established the Robert N. Allsopp Urban Design Fellowship with the Landscape Architecture Canada Foundation (LACF). The one million dollar donation will allow LACF to award a yearly Fellowship of $35,000 to $50,000.

The Robert N. Allsopp Urban Design Fellowship is intended to provide a practicing mid-career landscape architect, whose work and exploratory interests are in urban design, with funds for research or pursuing a specific area of inquiry over a five-to-six-month ‘sabbatical’. The Fellowship will provide support for urban design research which elevates the art, science, and practice of landscape architecture, contributes to the knowledge base of the profession and is beyond the scope of the projects in their office or practice.

Bob Allsopp explains:

In establishing this Fellowship, my larger motive is to promote excellence in the landscape architecture profession particularly in urban design. I am offering an opportunity to seasoned urban designers to take a break from practice and to pursue areas of enquiry and research that are useful and invigorating to them personally, and that benefit the larger profession and ultimately, urban environments.

Click here to learn more about the Fellowship.

First Deadline for the Fellowship is 1 June 2023.

According to Eha Naylor, LACF President:

This extraordinary gift will advance awareness of landscape architect's role as leaders in thinking critically and creatively about urban design issues in our built and natural environments.

About Robert (Bob) N. Allsopp

Bob grew up in Leicester, England where he studied Architecture at the Leicester College of Art and Technology and was winner of the Royal Institute of British Architects Soane Medallion design competition following graduation. He became a registered architect in 1961 and completed his first major architectural commission two years later. He then pursued graduate studies in Civic Design at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, followed by two years as Visiting Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Kansas, USA under the auspices of the Fulbright Scholarship Program. Returning to London, UK, he worked as an Architect/Planner on the planning of Redditch New Town and major urban regeneration projects in London and Cardiff. Bob moved to Canada in 1968 to take up the position of Director of Campus Planning at the University of Manitoba and subsequently became involved, with Alex Rattray, in establishing the graduate Landscape Architecture Program there. He taught the first design studio in that new program. In 1979, he joined Roger du Toit Architects/du Toit Associates in Toronto and began teaching in the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Toronto. The partnership, du Toit Allsopp Hillier, was formed in 1985 and it continues as DTAH, a much-expanded, multi-dimensional design practice. Bob is principally known for his breadth of understanding of urban design issues and his doggedness in search of deceptively simple design solutions strongly rooted in their place. His best-known work is in campus planning, urban neighbourhoods and a wide range of projects in Canada’s National Capital recognized nationally and internationally. He is the recipient of CSLA Fellowship in 1995, the 2008 OALA Pinnacle Award and 2016 CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Bob was recipient of the 1989 Canada Council’s Residency in Barcelona Award. It is the personal and professional value of this ‘sabbatical’ experience combined with his belief that Landscape Architecture is the best multi-dimensional ‘home’ for Urban Design, that has stimulated the establishment of this LACF Fellowship.